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Labor Day weekend in Western Slope - Colorado National Monument

Labor Day 2023 is just around the corner, and it’s time for a well-deserved long weekend. Why not take this opportunity to celebrate all your hard work in the scenic beauty of Colorado’s Western Slope? You deserve it, and this beautiful region is the perfect place to relax and recharge.


Where is the Western Slope and Why Explore It?

Nestled to the west of Colorado’s Continental Divide, the Western Slope is a hidden gem in Colorado known for its mountainous terrain, sprawling vineyards and orchards, diverse wildlife, endless adventure opportunities, and historical wonders. Less frequented than Colorado’s Front Range, the Western Slope offers an authentic taste of the Rockies, untouched by the tourist masses. From the vineyards of Palisade to the hot springs of Glenwood Springs, this part of the Rockies is the perfect destination for outdoor junkies this Labor Day weekend.

To help you make the most of your holiday, we’ve curated a list of 11 amazing activities to do in the Western Slope on Labor Day weekend.


1. Tee off at Battlement Mesa Golf Club

A prominent golf destination in Colorado, this meticulously designed, 18-hole championship course stretches over 7,000 yards. Designed by the famed architect Joe Finger, the course offers not only a strategic play but also presents sweeping views of the Bookcliffs, the Roan Plateau, and the Colorado River. Don’t forget to check out the Clubhouse, with its excellent restaurant and pro-shop, to cap off your day on the green.


2. Explore Rifle Falls State Park

Spanning over 48 acres, Rifle Falls State Park is a nature lover’s paradise. The park’s highlight is its stunning 70-foot triple waterfall. Apart from this, explore the limestone caves behind the falls, or hike the easy Coyote Trail which offers spectacular viewpoints of the cascades. For those who love camping, the park also offers camping spots with access to fishing and hiking trails.


3. A Day In Downtown Grand Junction

The vibrant Downtown Grand Junction is a cultural hub that deserves a whole day on your itinerary. Kick-off the day’s adventures with a historical walking tour, unveiling the rich past of the Western Slope through various historic landmarks. Then, head to the Museum of Western Colorado to delve into the region’s geology, paleontology, and cultural history. The Farmer’s Market is a must-visit for fresh local produce, artisanal products, and delicious street food. Continue your day at the Colorado National Museum for an immersive experience of the state’s rich history before rounding it off with a wine-tasting session at one of Grand Junction’s local vineyards.


4. Biking at Powderhorn Mountain Resort

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Located on the Grand Mesa, the world’s largest flat-topped mountain, Powderhorn Mountain Resort is not just a winter destination. The summer months transform it into a biking haven. With an extensive network of routes ranging from beginner to advanced levels, you’ll find just the right trail to satiate your thirst for adventure. Don’t have a bike? No worries. The resort provides rental services, so you can hit the trails immediately. When you’ve had your fill of the slopes, relax at the resort’s restaurants or take a scenic lift ride for a bird’s eye view of the entire mountain. 


6. Raft the Colorado River

Rafting the Colorado River is an experience of a lifetime. With guided trips covering different difficulty levels, it’s an exhilarating experience for all skill levels. As you navigate the rapids and float along serene stretches, you’ll also enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the Western Slope. It’s not just an adventure—it’s a journey into the heart of Colorado’s stunning landscape.


7. Visit the Peach Valley CSA Farm

A trip to the Peach Valley CSA Farm provides a refreshing break from the usual tourist spots. This Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm allows you to learn about organic farming practices, pick your fruits and vegetables, and appreciate the farm-to-table concept. Don’t miss their famous farm dinners, where you can enjoy a meal made from the freshest produce directly sourced from the farm. Make sure to buy some farm-fresh produce or handmade goods to take back home, too!


8. Spelunking in the Fairy Caves

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Unearth the mysteries of the underground world with a spelunking trip to the Fairy Caves. These caves, located in Glenwood Springs, offer a unique chance to walk through a vast network of chambers with captivating stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstones. Book your tour with Glenwood Cavern Adventure Park and let their knowledgeable guides lead the way while providing fascinating insights about the caves’ geology and history.


9. Drive through Grand Mesa Scenic Byway

This 63-mile drive is nothing short of breathtaking. The drive takes you through dense forests, sprawling meadows, past serene lakes, and to the top of the world’s largest flat-top mountain, the Grand Mesa. Take your time and enjoy the numerous hiking trails, picnic spots, and panoramic viewpoints along the way.


10. Wine and Orchard Tours in Palisade and Grand Junction

Colorado’s Western Slope is not just about stunning landscapes and outdoor activities. It’s also home to a burgeoning wine scene, particularly Palisade and Grand Junction, rivaling more famous wine regions across the country. Palisade’s unique climate supports over 25 wineries and numerous fruit orchards. You can embark on the ‘Fruit and Wine Byway‘ self-guided tour, exploring vineyards and tasting wines often poured by the winemakers themselves.

Grand Junction offers an urban wine-tasting experience, with downtown tasting rooms presenting local varieties. You can even book a ‘Tour de Vineyards’ guided bike tour for a leisurely exploration of vineyards interspersed with wine tastings.

Whichever you choose, you’re guaranteed a memorable foray into Colorado’s flourishing wine scene. 


11. Explore the Colorado National Monument



Nestled within the Western Slope lies the majestic Colorado National Monument, a testament to nature’s wonders. This remarkable destination spans 23,000 acres, showcasing deep canyons, towering monoliths, and awe-inspiring cliffs carved by the elements over millions of years. Venture along the 23-mile Rim Rock Drive, a winding route offering sweeping views of the valley and spectacular rock formations. Numerous pullouts allow for spontaneous photo opportunities, wildlife spotting, or a scenic picnic. The Monument is also known for its brilliant night skies. If you’re there after dusk, take a moment to gaze upwards and marvel at the starry starry skies.


The Best Place to Stay On Labor Day Weekend In Parachute

Cap off your Labor Day weekend on this side of the Rockies with a stay at Western Slope Suites. With our welcoming atmosphere and dedicated service, Western Slope Suites ensures a restful end to your action-packed days. Book your room now, and let us make your Labor Day weekend in Parachute memorable.

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