Saturday, May 26, 2018

Summer of Adventure: Grand Valley, Colorado

This spring and summer I'm advocating adventuring for my readers, whether it's in a great research book, panning for gold, sleeping in a haunted inn, or being one with nature. Today, I'm focusing on Grand Valley, Colorado.

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (April 11, 2018) – Located just a few hours west of Denver, Colorado’s Grand Valley is one of the most beautiful outdoor playgrounds in the country, and is surrounded by rivers, canyons, mesas and mountains. Comprised of Grand Junction, Palisade and Fruita, the landscape is dramatically different from anywhere else in the state. Hike the Colorado National Monument, bike 1,500-plus miles of singletrack, explore over 1.7 million acres of open space, recreate on the storied Colorado River, and more. Some of Colorado’s most innovative outdoor gear manufacturers have found a home that allows them to test their products right out their back door. Below are just a sampling of ways to experience the Grand Valley, while supporting the local retailers and manufacturers that call Grand Junction home.

Mountain Biking: The Grand Valley is one of the top mountain biking destinations in Colorado. For lovers of singletrack, you can take a leisurely ride or choose an adrenalin-filled epic adventure. One of the most famous rides is the Tabeguache trailhead, aka Lunch Loops. Right outside of town, the trails were named by locals that could bust out of work and get a spin during lunch. Enjoy your mid-day break on a custom, wooden framed bike from Savvy Cycles. Made primarily of hickory and ash, these bikes are noted for their strength, durability and amazingly smooth ride.

For a more adventurous experience, check out the new mountain bike trails being developed in the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area including the Wrangler Trail and Hawkeye Trail, as well as the soon-to-be developed lower Moore Fun Trail and Steve’s Reroute, a new single-track trail near an old uranium prospecting road. These new trails, along with the storied Kokopelli Trail, provide ideal terrain to test drivetrain, suspension and bike components hand-made at Mountain Racing Products (better known as MRP).

Camping: From red rock desert to the lush forests of the Grand Mesa, the Grand Valley’s diverse topography provides campers options when the rest of Colorado campsites are often sold out. Saddlehorn Campground at Colorado National Monument features 80 sites overlooking the red rock formations at one of the area’s most storied attractions. Camp in style in a hand-built, off-road capable, Vintage Overland Teardrop Trailer, the ultimate in hipster camping chic.

Pitch a tent at a campsite atop the Grand Mesa, the World’s largest flat top mountain, with more than 300,000 acres of land and 300 stream-fed lakes where locals love to fish. Seek Outside, specializes in lightweight shelters including tipis and hot tents that make sleeping outdoors easier, especially with a Wiggy sleeping bag, known for their Lamalite insulation and are the only sleeping bag manufacturer in the U.S.

Hiking: From high Colorado mountain meadows to sandstone canyons, the Grand Valley offers plenty of hiking options to satisfy every ability, interest and season. An easy-to-moderate day hike is Dominguez Canyon, located in the Dominuez-Escalante National Conservation Area South of Grand Junction. This remote trail provides an authentic wilderness experience without having to travel too far from town, yet still no crowds. Pack a picnic in a Hill People Gear pack. For those wanting to be pack-free, Loki Outdoor Clothing offers all-in-one multi-function outdoor clothing.

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