- Grand Junction Area Road Rides

Important!

Starting January 1, 2019, Colorado State Parks instituted a new fee for their northwest region parks that affect those of us who cycle or walk into Colorado State Parks. Previously, it was free to enter a state park on foot or on a bike. No longer. Now in order to enter a Colorado State Park in the northwest region of Colorado, a cyclist or walker must either purchase a day use pass for $4.00 PER CYCLIST OR WALKER or have a Colorado State Parks annual pass. This fee applies even if you want to just fill your water bottles or use the restroom! 

The fee applies to all five units of the James M. Robb State Park along the Colorado River as well as to Highline Lake State Park north of Loma. Probably the most significant impact on road cyclists will be that we can no longer stop at Highline Lake State Park to get water or use the restroom without paying their hefty fee (see the new Fruita Farms Grand Tour map for an alternative water and restroom stop). 

If you're planning on riding the Riverfront Trail, these new fees may drastically affect you on those rides too. See my Colorado Riverfront Trail page for more information. 

Given that it costs just $8 for a carload of people, this fee is hardly equitable. Therefore, I personally discourage any cyclist or walker from paying the new fee, even if that means not visiting a state park. We, as non-motorized trail users, need to show Colorado State Parks that charging us low (even negligible) impact users exorbitant fees in order to subsidize heavy impact users is improper and unacceptable. Until the state parks institute an equitable fee structure that recognizes the importance of and encourages non-motorized travel, we should NOT do anything that gives them reason to think we accept these ridiculously unfair fees. 

Second Note: Colorado National Monument (a federal, not state, park, so this is totally separate thing) has increased the price of a seven day pass for a cyclist from $5 to $10. The cost of an annual pass has also increased from $25 to $40. 

Cycling maps for the areas affected by the new fee or change in fee price will be updated with the new information by the spring of 2019. Sorry it can't be done quicker, there are a lot of maps to change. 






Route

Distance and Climbing 
 
Difficulty

Map
Preview

Map Download
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 Colorado National Monument
Starting in Grand Junction
Going clockwise 

 38 miles
2,750 feet of climbing

Moderate
Pretty steep right at the beginning, but mellow after that



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Colorado National Monument
Starting in Fruita
Going counter-clockwise 
Returning via the Riverfront Trail 

38 miles
2,350 feet of climbing


Moderate
Easier than going clockwise since the climb isn't as steep (but it does go on for a while). The Riverfront Trail is really flat, so the return part of the route is easy; however, included is an alternative return route that some may find more interesting. 



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In the Avenza 
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Palisade Wine and Fruit Tour


23 miles
 
Easy and Scenic
 
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Orchard Mesa - Palisade - East Orchard Mesa Loop


41 miles
731 feet of climbing 

Easy, but goes up one really good hill 

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 In the Avenza 
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Fruita Farms Alphabet Ride


37 miles
742 feet of climbing 

 
Easy
 
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In the Avenza 
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Rose Hill Rally 100K Ride


64 miles 
1330 feet of climbing 

 
Easy, but long
 
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Fruita Farms Grand Tour


55 miles 
 
Easy, unless you try to go
really fast, then it gets hard; 
a couple of the hills will get your
attention, though


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Reeder Mesa - Purdy Mesa - Kannah Creek Route
(see Grand Junction to Whitewater route below)



33 miles
1,810 feet of climbing 


Moderate 
 

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Little Park Road - Monument Loop
 

 29 miles
2,840 feet of climbing


Moderate to Difficult
(straight up and right back down again)
 
 

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Little Park Road and DS Road
  
62 miles (100 kilometers)
4,025 feet of climbing
(1,227 meters)
 


 Fairly difficult beginning,
moderate afterward

 
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Unweep Canyon
(see Grand Junction to Whitewater route below)

 
86 miles round trip
4,900 feet of climbing

Moderate to Difficult
(there is an easier, shorter alternative on the map) 


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Grand Junction to Whitewater
(makes it so you can start the Reeder Mesa ride in Grand Junction or turn the Unaweep Canyon ride into a century )

 
18 miles round trip

Easy by itself, but not that exciting by itself either


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Douglas Pass 
 

66 miles
4600 feet of climbing

 Kicks up at the end, so "difficult" if you head to the top, "moderate" if you turn back early;
Narrow road and not for the
faint of heart



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Grand Mesa Hill Climb




63 miles
6,049 feet of climbing

Difficult
"Bright light and dead relatives beckoning" kind
of difficult!

 

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