When you’re planning to elope in Grand Junction, you will probably be curious about what there is to do in the area. If you’re the kind of person who loves to drive through the beautiful scenery, we have plenty to offer in the way of scenic drives near Grand Junction! From desert roads snaking through red rocks canyons, to alpine views and lush agricultural areas – there’s plenty to see and do while you’re visiting the Grand Junction area.
Fruit & Wine Byway in Palisade
The Fruit & Wine Byway in Palisade is a scenic drive that winds through Colorado’s wine country and the orchards of the Grand Valley. It is a 25-mile loop that begins and ends in Palisade, a small town located just east of Grand Junction, Colorado. The byway takes visitors through picturesque countryside, where you can see orchards of peaches, apples, cherries, apricots, pears and more. There are also over 20 wineries along the route, offering tastings and tours. Some of the wineries and orchards also have farm stands and stores where you can purchase fresh produce, jams, and other local products. There are also some restaurants and cafes along the byway that serve farm-to-table cuisine and locally sourced ingredients.
The Fruit & Wine Byway is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, and it is especially popular during the fall harvest season, when the orchards are bursting with fruit. Peaches ripen in August, the time of the Annual Peach Festival, while you can pick your own apples later in September and October. Many of the wineries and orchards also host special events and learning opportunities throughout the year. If you’re planning a trip to the Grand Junction area, the Fruit & Wine Byway is definitely worth a visit. It’s a great way to experience the region’s natural beauty, agricultural heritage, and delicious food and wine!
Grand Mesa Scenic Byway
The Grand Mesa Scenic Byway is a 63-mile drive that takes you through the Grand Mesa National Forest. The drive offers stunning views of alpine forests, lakes, and meadows, as well as several hiking trails and fishing spots. The Grand Mesa Scenic Byway is a spectacular drive that winds through the Grand Mesa, a large plateau (in fact, the largest flattop mountain in the world!) located just east of Grand Junction, Colorado. The byway is a 63-mile loop that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, including alpine forests, high-elevation lakes, and mountain overlook vistas. The drive begins in the town of Cedaredge and heads up the Grand Mesa, climbing to an elevation of over 10,000 feet. Along the way, visitors can stop at several scenic overlooks that provide stunning views of the surrounding area, including the San Juan Mountains to the south and the Book Cliffs to the north. One of the highlights of the Grand Mesa Scenic Byway is the many recreational opportunities it offers. The Grand Mesa is home to over 300 lakes, reservoirs, and streams, making it a popular destination for fishing, boating, and other water activities.
There are also several campgrounds, lodges, and hiking trails along the route, offering visitors the chance to explore the area’s natural beauty for longer than a quick drive if desired. If you stray off of the Byway, you can check out one of the best views on the Grand Mesa: Land’s End. It sits about 10 miles off the highway up a winding gravel road – but most cars have enough clearance to make it just fine. You’ll be rewarded with insane views of the valley below where you can see for miles and miles – well into Utah on a clear day. The Grand Mesa Scenic Byway is open year-round, but it can be closed during the winter months due to heavy snowfall. It is also important to note that the byway is a steep and winding route, so visitors should drive carefully and obey all posted speed limits. If you’re very afraid of heights, be cautious of a couple steep switchbacks on this road. Overall, the Grand Mesa Scenic Byway is a must-see destination for anyone visiting the Grand Junction area.
Unaweep-Tabeguache Scenic Byway
The Unaweep-Tabeguache Scenic Byway is the last scenic drive near Grand Junction. This 133-mile drive takes you through the Uncompahgre Plateau and all the way down to the San Juan Mountains if you’re up for a day trip. The drive offers stunning views of red rock canyons, towering peaks, and Jurassic Park vibes. The drive begins in the town of Whitewater, just south of Grand Junction, and heads west into the Unaweep Canyon. This canyon is a unique geologic formation that was carved out by a river that flowed in two directions, resulting in a deep, narrow canyon with steep, towering walls. You’ll swear you’ll see dinosaurs around each bend of the highway. As the byway winds through the canyon, visitors can stop at several overlooks that provide stunning views of the surrounding landscape, like Thimble Rock or the historic Driggs Mansion ruins. Another destination along the byway is the town of Gateway, where the towering red pillar known as “The Palisade” rise above the red rock desert of the area. The Gateway Canyons Resort offers a variety of attractions, from helicopter tours of the area to an automobile museum, one of the finest American auto collections in existence.
I hope this has given you some insights into the many scenic drives near Grand Junction and the views that make this valley and the area around it such a special place to elope!