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Bookcliffs in Colorado
Bookcliffs are near Grand Junction.

Things to do in Fruita

Fruita, a small city west of Grand Junction, has emerged as western Colorado’s adventure sports capital. The town, homesteaded with orchards and farms in the 1880s, is surrounded by spectacular red rock country. The Book Cliffs line the northern horizon, while sandstone beds at Colorado National Monument form Fruita’s southern skyline. These two areas, coupled with Grand Mesa, the world’s biggest flat-topped mountain to the east, give every outdoor enthusiast plenty of space to find fun.

There’s a huge variety of singletrack mountain bike terrain from cruiser trails that are perfect for kids and families to twisting technical challenges for advanced riders. The 18 Roads Trails in the North Fruita Desert Area has some of the area’s best rides. The Chutes and Ladders Trail is killer, with fast chutes and steep ladders. Other great trails are the Edge Loop, Zippity Do Da, Frontside, and the easy Kessel Run.

Colorado National Monument rises south of Fruita and the Colorado River. The Monument is a spectacular parkland filled with cliff-lined canyons, tall sandstone spires, and scenic overlooks. Nearby is 80-site Saddlehorn Campground for quiet, starlit nights. Rim Rock Drive, a 23-mile scenic road from Fruita to Grand Junction, offers lots of short trails to overlooks above sheer cliffs. Some of the best viewpoints are Cold Shivers Point, Grand View Overlook, and Fruita Canyon Overlook.

Hikers love Colorado National Monument as well as the surrounding wild country. The monument has many easy hikes as well as longer half-day treks. Take Canyon Rim Trail, Otto’s Trail, Devil’s Kitchen Trail, and Monument Canyon Trail for great adventures. McGinnis Canyons Conservation Area has the second largest concentration of arches in the United States. Rattlesnake Canyon Arches Trail makes a loop above the canyon, passing seven of the area’s nine arches. South of Fruita is the mile-long Dinosaur Hill Trail and the site where a 70-foot-long Apatosaurus was excavated in 1900.

The mighty Colorado River bounds Fruita on the south, offering rafters and kayakers big water and wild adventure. You can float them with your own raft or kayak, or sign on for a guided trip. The 25-mile Ruby and Horsethief Canyon section is most popular. The run is mostly easy flatwater with occasional small rapids. The Blue Heron Run, a half-day easy trip upriver from Fruita, is a popular guided tour. The 17-mile Westwater Canyon section is the real deal for expert boatmen with raging rapids like Staircase and Skull.

Five golf courses lie within 15 miles of Fruita. Adobe National Golf Course with 27 holes is a challenging in a gorgeous setting. Also, check out Tiara Rado Golf Course and Lincoln Park Golf Course. James M. Robb-Colorado River State Park and Highline State Park offer camping, fishing, biking, wildlife observation, and hiking. If skiing is your deal, it’s an easy drive east to Powderhorn Mountain Resort to sample its famous champagne powder.