Located near the Utah-Colorado border on the western edge of the state, Grand Junction serves as a base for visits to several area attractions, especially Colorado National Monument. Within the monument's 20,450 acres/12,270 hectares, you'll find extraordinary red-sandstone monoliths and vividly colored canyon walls. Be sure to see Independence Monument, Balanced Rock, the Coke Ovens and Pipe Organ. Grand Junction is also a center for river rafting on the Green River in Utah and on the Colorado River in Colorado.
The town's Museum of Western Colorado examines the region's natural and human history through exhibits and replicas of 19th-century locales, including a classroom and post office. Its observation tower provides a nice view of the western Colorado landscape. The museum also operates two satellite facilities: Cross Orchards Historic Farm, which re-creates a farm from the turn of the 20th century (the area is still famous for its peaches), and Dinosaur Journey in Fruita, which exhibits fossil finds and animated half-size replicas that move and roar. It also has a working paleontology lab.
Another excursion from Grand Junction is to the large, flattop mountain called Grand Mesa, about 35 mi/55 km to the east. The forested mountain offers lakes, camping, hiking and skiing. Grand Junction is 200 mi/320 km west of Denver.
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