By John Leach
Grand Junction is the largest city on the Western Slope and a center for tourism, trade and transportation.
The city also has built a name for itself as a center for dinosaurs, based on a good museum with skeletons, casts and robotic reconstructions of dinosaurs and a handful of major dinosaur digs in the area.
Grand Junction sits in the Grand Valley, and both the city and the valley were named for the Grand River, renamed the Colorado River in 1921. Grand Mesa rises above the valley to the east, reaching an altitude of 11,000 feet, covering 500 square miles and offering camping and hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter.
• Itinerary: Hunting dinosaurs in the Grand Junction area
• Dinosaur Journey Museum
• Dinosaur Hill
• Fruita Paleontological Area
• Rabbit Valley Natural Area and Mygatt-Moore Dinosaur Quarry
• Riggs Hill dinosaur area
• Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness
• Country Jam Ranch
• Cross Orchards Historic Site
• Highline Lake State Park
• James M. Robb – Colorado River State Park
• McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area
• Western Colorado Botanical Gardens
Grand Junction facts
Population: 58,566 (2010 Census).
Land area: 31.1 square miles.
County: Mesa (Grand Junction is the county seat).
Altitude: 4,593 feet above sea level.
Climate: Hot summers, moderate winters and low humidity, with abundant sunshine year-round. Annual precipitation of 9 inches, including average snowfall of 14 inches a year. July averages: 92 high and 63 low. January averages: 38 high and 17 low. More information >>