Sleep well after an adventurous day hiking, biking, eating, imbibing, and exploring Palisade’s many wineries, farm stands, art studios, markets, and festivals. Take in the view of Grand Mesa. Stay a night or stick around. (And now you can laze around at our Motel Bar!)
If you didn’t bring a bike, no worries. For a leisurely wine country tour, rent one of our cruiser bikes from the Spoke and Vine fleet. These wine country bikes feature baskets for the goodies you may bring home, and bells for fun!
You can also rent road and mountain bikes at Rapid Creek Cycles located in downtown Palisade. This shop is the go-to for any repairs, parts, etc. you may need.
Road biking in Palisade offers unlimited routes, quiet roads, and beautiful scenery. Make your trip extra fun by stopping at local wineries and farm stands along the way!
Fruit & Wine Byway
Glide past or make a pit stop at world-class vineyards, orchards, lavender gardens, and farm fruit stands. Explore historic downtown Palisade, tour along the scenic Colorado River, and soak up the beautiful views of the Grand Valley. Suggested 3 routes:
East Cruiser Loop: 5-mile easy tour along the Colorado River that starts and ends in downtown Palisade.
West Cruiser Loop: 7-mile loop that takes riders through Riverbend Park and goes by the most wineries of any tour.
East Orchard Mesa Loop: 25 miles with several hills along the way. A favorite scenic drive or road bike ride that passes by many orchards, vineyards, and wineries. Best vistas of the valley.
Colorado National Monument
This is a MUST for the serious rider! You will be treated to epic climbs and breathtaking views of the Colorado National Monument. There are a few different ways to tackle the Monument so map out your plan ahead of time to maximize your ride. Don’t forget to bring two lights because you’ll be riding through long dark tunnels.
This paved trail goes from Palisade all the way to Loma, which means loads of distance options (60+ miles possible) away from cars, and almost entirely along the river.
The Grand Mesa Climb
This world-class climb can start at Powderhorn, in the town of Mesa, at the Park & Ride just off highway 70, or even in Palisade for varying lengths. Ride out and back to County Line or the Visitor Center, or go all the way to Cedaredge and climb back up and over. You will be treated to cooler temps and, as you can imagine, excellent views!
Reeder/Purdy Mesa Loop
Believe the hype! If you are a seasoned cyclist, this ride should be on your short list. Cyclists are drawn by the climb up the Reeder Mesa switchbacks, the cooler temps, and low traffic volumes. The scenery is drastically different from what you might expect—in a good way! There are several variations. We love the Palisade Gran Fondo route.
Jeff and Jody are avid mountain and road bikers, and have been peddling around this entire valley for 20 years. Stop by the lobby to get the singletrack lowdown. These are our favorite trails:
Palisade Rim Trail
The Palisade Rim Trailhead is conveniently located about a mile away from the motel. The climb is burly for the first 800 ft. There is some cliff exposure, but it’s definitely worth trying it if you want a more advanced ride. For those committing to the ride, you will be treated to petroglyphs!
The newly added downhill plunge came to life July of 2021 and has become one of the longest downhill trails in North America. The trail offers 32 miles of beautiful views, wicked exposure, and technical switchbacks; starting at the top of the Grand Mesa. The first 12 miles require elevation gain as you travel through a mixture of forests and meadows to the Shirttail Point Trailhead, near Powderhorn Ski Resort. Here, the real un begins and you start your true plunge into Palisade for the remainder of your ride. You'll watch your terrain change from high elevation forest to mountain desert. The trail exits at the Palisade Rim Trail Parking Area. ride carefully! This trail is not for the faint of heart and this trail is recommended for advanced riders only. Call Rapid Creek Cycles for shuttle services at 970.464.9266
Lunch Loops – Grand Junction
The trail network is extensive and worth exploring. This is a favorite among locals looking to get out for a quick ride during lunch. However, if you are lucky enough to have more time, you can get lost out there. Literally! (Slight exaggeration, but definitely keep a map on you to ensure you get the best ride in.) Our favorite is the Gunny Loop.
Kokopelli Trail System – Loma
There are many loop options to choose from here to keep all levels of riders challenged. You can piece together a family ride on Rustlers or extend it to an all-day epic ride. ‘Koko,’ as the locals call it, has everything from fast singletrack to burly technical sections.
18 Road – Fruita Book Cliffs
If you want to get some fun base miles in and be unable to stop smiling from ear to ear, this is the place. It just doesn’t get better than a descent down PBR or Kessell Run. Perfect area to bring the family or those new to mountain biking. More advanced riders will also enjoy the terrain at 18 Road, which will test your cornering techniques at speed.
West Bench and Mesa Top Trails
Trails on the Grand Mesa are perfect options for summer and fall riding. It averages about 20 degrees cooler on the Mesa as compared to Palisade. There are many options in the high country, so don’t hesitate to inquire for our best tips.
Downhill Mountain Biking at Powderhorn Resort
Take advantage of lift-accessible mountain biking trails on the top of the Grand Mesa via the high-speed quad. There’s also a bike park that caters to all abilities.
There are so many options to spend the day outdoors. We have maps in the lobby and are happy to help pick out your perfect hike.
Colorado National Monument
We started to visit the Grand Valley in 2002, but it wasn’t until 2010 that we took the time to explore the Colorado National Monument. We are somewhat embarrassed that it took so long. It’s truly sensational! With 14 hiking trails, the monument’s canyons and monoliths create breathtaking views that dip down to 500 feet deep and soar up to 450 feet. Serpent’s Trail—the most popular—makes 54 switchbacks in just 2 ½ miles.
The Grand Mesa is the largest mesa (flat-topped mountain) in the world! This beauty can be seen right from our parking lot. During the summer it’s a great way to enjoy cooler summer temps and over 300 pristine high mountain lakes. With elevations around 11,000 feet, mountain biking and hiking trails are best enjoyed in the summer and fall after the snow melts.
Mount Garfield is the highpoint of the Book Cliffs, and can be seen from the Spoke and Vine Motel. It’s only a 4-mile hike round trip, but you climb a little under 2000 feet in two miles. Yes, it’s a butt kicker, and not for the faint of heart! You hike along a spine with scary drop-offs on either side. We don’t recommend it for children. The trailhead is about five minutes from Spoke and Vine, which makes it convenient to get a serious workout in.
Colorado still has a few areas where wild horses graze. Coal Canyon is the perfect place to spot wild herds. They may not be the most scenic trails, but it’s all worth it to see the horses in their natural environment. You’ll also encounter ancient rock art, and a natural stone arch in a section of white sandstone that you have to do some rock scrambling to look at.
Here in Palisade you have your choice of taking a guided float trip or a self-guided tour in a raft, stand-up paddle board (SUP), or kayak. Book a tour or rent gear from Palisade River Trips. Take a scenic float trip on the Colorado River from Palisade to James M. Robb Colorado River State Park at Corn Lake with Palisade River Trips. This trip takes 2½ to 3½ hours depending on the river flow. This is a great experience for the family or an afternoon cocktail float, adult-style. Swimsuits recommended because you might get wet.
The Colorado River around Palisade is a great place to SUP. Enjoy a 4-mile run from Palisade to Clifton or a 8-mile section that ends up at 32 Road in Grand Junction. You can also paddle one of the 300 lakes on the Grand Mesa or take a board to Lake Powell. SUP boards and lessons are also available from Rapid Creek Cycles.
Paddle Board Adventure Company 970.846.5926 offers rentals until Labor Day weekend. Also provide lessons and E-bike rentals
Riverbend is a quick walk from the Spoke and Vine Motel. Many of Palisade’s festivals are held here, which makes Spoke and Vine an excellent place to stay for festival-goers. The park cozies up to the beautiful Colorado River. A paved trail for hiking and biking starts at the end of Brentwood Drive in Palisade, where the trail crosses the Grand Valley Irrigation Canal and follows along the Colorado River all the way to Loma. And if you love disc golf, you don’t want to miss the nationally-certified 18-hole course! Plan a fun afternoon and enjoy the covered picnic tables, two large pavilions, a stocked fishing pond, boat launch, playground, and barbeque facilities. The best part about the park, in our opinion, is that it’s dog-friendly!
Cameo Shooting and Education Complex
This place is a great addition to the Valley. They offer all forms of shooting options, including archery. You can take classes, enter competitions, or just enjoy target practice.
Equipped with big burly tires designed to handle soft surfaces like snow and sand, fat bikes can be ridden on the Grand Junction Lunch Loops or Fruita trails, or almost any trail that accommodates snowmobiles. Laden with snow, mellow trails quickly become technical descents. It's worth the risk since falling is (usually) a lot less painful in powder! Please note that riding muddy trails causes damage that ruins it for the rest of us.
On the Grand Mesa, fat biking is allowed on the Mesa Top, Flowing Park, and West Bench trails, on snow-packed roads, and anywhere snowmobiles are allowed.
Downhill skiing and snowboarding are just 30 minutes away at Powderhorn resort. If cross-country skiing and snowshoeing is more your style, check out the Skyway Trail System and County Line on top of the Mesa.
The Grand Mesa trails are considered some of the best in the United States. Explore the 50 KM of groomed trail at Skyway, County Line, Ward, and plenty more “backcountry”-style trails for snowshoeing or touring, with trailheads at Mesa Lakes and along highway 65.
A handful of lakes nearby offer a wide variety of ice fishing options, where you can catch different types of trout and Kokanee Salmon.
More Winter Activities
Check out this guide for more ways to enjoy Grand Junction in the winter.