On Colorado’s Western Slope lies Fruita, a small town surrounded by big landscape. There are endless options for outdoor activities in and around this desert region; from rafting the Colorado River to mountain biking along the Kokopelli trail system, from learning about ancient dinosaurs to enjoying summer festivals, there’s truly something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely vacation or heart-racing adventures, head west to Fruita this summer with this getaway guide for the perfect weekend in Fruita, Colorado.
Day 1: Hiking, Dinosaurs, and Farmer’s Markets
The desert calls to all visitors headed to Fruita, Colorado. For some of the most unique hiking in the area, start your day at the Rattlesnake Arches in the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. The more manageable of the two Rattlesnake Arches trails is a five-mile out-and-back moderate trail that takes hikers through nine red sandstone arches, spires, windows, alcoves, and desert patina. You’ll likely have most of this remote trail to yourself; stop for photos, water, and some of the most incredible scenery in Colorado along the way.
After a morning of hiking, lunchtime in Fruita calls for hearty fare. Try Camilla’s Kaffe for homemade sandwiches and burgers or El Tapatio for authentic Mexican cuisine. After a leisurely lunch, grab a pint at Copper Club Brewery, a craft brewery in Fruita known for its gold medal-winning Amber ale and a cozy pub atmosphere. You may even start feeling like a local.
To immerse yourself in the local community, head to the Fruita Farmer’s Market held every Saturday from June to September. You’ll find locally grown produce, handmade crafts from local artisans, and live music. This is the perfect place to taste local foods and get to know some of the people that call this beautiful town home.
Then, the afternoon is all about dinosaurs. Yes, dinosaurs. Millions of years ago, it was dinosaurs that ruled this part of Colorado. The Museums of Western Colorado’s Dinosaur Journey is an interactive museum detailing life in the age of the dinosaurs. The exhibit includes both real fossils as well as casts and robotic reconstructions. Once you’ve learned all about the history and geology in the museum, head to Dinosaur Hill about 1.5 miles south of Fruita. On an easy mile-long walk, you’ll find 10 different stopping points that showcase dinosaur bones, educational plaques, and amazing scenery.
Spend the first weekend in June celebrating a Headless Chicken in Fruita, Colorado. Click here for more information!
This full day will have you craving a comfy bed, so finish your day at Moon Farm, a local favorite that offers lodging and vacation rentals. The property also has all sorts of other attractions sure to entertain any visitor, including a petting zoo, a snowboard museum, and small replicas of medieval castles.
Day 2: Rafting, Mountain Biking, and Scenic Drives
Send your early risers to grab morning coffee from Bestslope Coffee Co. in Fruita for expertly crafted coffees and specialty drinks, and put on some clothes you don’t mind getting wet for the start of Day 2 because you’re headed on a three-hour rafting trip down Blue Heron Run. This leisurely float will take you through a desert paradise where you’re likely to see deer, bald eagles, blue heron, and other wildlife. You’ll also have some opportunities to jump in the river and cool off.
After your river adventure, refuel for a jam-packed afternoon filled with mountain biking and scenic drives. Hot Tomato Cafe & Pizzeria serves East Coast slices and fresh, local ingredients. If you’re in the mood for the classics, try the burger at Munchies Pizza and Deli. Bonus: They also have ice cream cones, shakes, sundaes, and floats!
If you’re up for a challenge in the afternoon, head to the Kokopelli Trails, a 150-mile trail system that travels from Colorado all the way to Moab, Utah. These trails encompass some of the best mountain biking terrain in Colorado, so spend as much time as you can exploring these flowy, windy trails. From adrenaline inducing downhills to intense switchbacks and technical sections, these trails will surely test all of your mountain biking skills.
If mountain biking is your thing, don’t miss the season kick-off at the Fruita Fat Tire Festival. Click here for more information!
End your perfect weekend in Fruita, Colorado with a scenic drive through Colorado National Monument. The 23-mile Historic Rim Rock Drive takes you through the incredible rock formations and scenery of the National Monument. Don’t forget your camera, and be sure to pull off along the route for scenic overlooks and educational plaques all about the formation of the land and the establishment of the monument.