Fruita, CO is a unique place offering an array of outdoor recreational activities, attractions, and beautiful landscapes. Fruita can be considered a paradise for anyone who loves the great outdoors and offers a variety of activities to choose from, such as hiking trails, world-class mountain biking, rafting, scenic drives, and simply taking in the views of the spectacular scenery of the area. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Colorado National Monument
The Colorado National Monument in Fruita, Colorado preserves one of the American West’s grand landscapes. Towering monoliths can be seen within a vast canyon and plateau panorama. Visitors can experience the red-rock, sheer-walled canyons along several turns and twists on the Rim Rock Drive, during which they may also spot soaring eagles and bighorn sheep. The Historic Rim Rock Drive is a journey of twenty-three miles offering a bird’s-eye view of the area’s canyons. Interpretive signs and photo opportunities can be found at scenic overlooks. The Colorado National Monument also boasts more than forty miles of trails with varied difficulties.
1750 Rim Rock Dr, Fruita, CO 81521, Phone: 970-858-3617
2.Museum of Western Colorado: Dinosaur Journey Museum
© Museum of Western Colorado: Dinosaur Journey Museum
The Dinosaur Journey Museum with the Museum of Western Colorado is a regional geological and paleontological museum that highlights the story of western Colorado’s history of life, along with the history of the surrounding area with robotic dinosaur reconstructions, cast skeletons, and real fossils. The interactive, hands-on museum features more than fifteen thousand fossil specimens throughout its displays, exhibits, and collections, an earthquake simulator, a “quarry site” where children can discover dinosaur bones, a sandbox for making dinosaur tracks, and a viewable paleontology laboratory. The exhibition hall includes fossil dinosaur bones and robotic reconstructions of Tyrannosaurus rex, Triceratops, and many other dinosaurs.
550 Jurassic Ct, Fruita, CO, Phone: 970-858-7282
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3.Western Slope Vietnam War Memorial
© Western Slope Vietnam War Memorial
The Western Slope Vietnam War Memorial is dedicated to the women and men who served in the Armed Forces of the United States between the years of 1959 and 1975 during the Vietnam War. the focus of this memorial in Fruita, Colorado is to honor the people who serves both in the country and outside of it, and in particular, those who were killed, taken prisoner, missing, or disabled during the Vietnam War. The Western Slope Vietnam War Memorial’s basic design is a display of the UH-1H Huey helicopter, which symbolizes the Vietnam era. All military branches are represented.
340 CO-340, Fruita, CO 81521
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4.Kokopelli's Trail, Fruita, Colorado
Kokopelli's Trail is a multi-use, 142-mile trail that travels along a circuitous and scenic route through the desert starting in Loma, Colorado and ending in Moab, Utah. As a through route, the trail is mostly used by mountain bikes, with the trail featuring various terrains, ranging from technical singletrack to a pavement trail. The majority of Kokopelli's Trail is made up of old jeep roads, and has become one of the premier trails for mountain biking in Utah and Colorado. Eight small camping area are located along the trail in Utah. Each one has a toilet, and some have a picnic table.
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5.Rattlesnake Canyon, Fruita, Colorado
Rattlesnake Canyon is located within Colorado’s Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness, a core part of the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. The canyon is a rather scenic area consisting of nine natural arches, which is the country’s second highest concentration of arches of this kind, the highest concentration being at the famous Arches National Park. To reach Rattlesnake Canyon, visitors can take the Black Ridge access roads or attempt the difficult seven-mile hike from the trailhead of Pollack Bench. Guests can reach the access roads, which are open seasonally, through the Colorado National Monument located adjacent to the canyon.
Black Ridge Rd, Fruita, CO
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6.Black Ridge Wilderness Study Area
The Black Ridge Wilderness Study Area encompasess a total of 75, 439 acres across both the state of Colorado and the state of Utah. Vegetation throughout the wilderness area is fairly sparse with pinyon-juniper woodland here and there. The east-west Black Ridge area is separated by seven different red-rock canyons that vary in length. The canyons includes various geological characteristics, including desert patina, giant alcoves, windows, and spires. The Black Ridge Wilderness Study Area is also home to bald and golden eagles, desert bighorn sheeps, mountain lion, and deer. Hiking, backpacking, primitive camping, rafting, and horseback riding are all possible here.
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7.McInnis Canyons Conservation Area
The McInnis Canyons Conservation Area is situated within western Colorado’s high desert canyon country, along with eastern Utah. The conservation area spans across more than 123,000 acres. One of the unique natural resources in the area is the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness that contains North America’s second largest number of natural arches. Fossils of international importance have been unearthed in the McInnis Canyons Conservation Area during over one hundred years of excavation. There are many different petroglyph and pictograph sites throughout the area as well. The conservation area today is a recreation destination, drawing many guests in with its mountain biking opportunities.
Fruita, CO 81521
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8.Colorado Backcountry Biker, Fruita, Colorado
© Colorado Backcountry Biker
Colorado Backcountry Biker, or also known as CBB, is the leading biking destination in the town of Fruita. It is a place to go before visitors leave on their ride, after they get back from their ride, or just talk about bike riding. Colorado Backcountry Biker offers self-guided, multi-day backcountry hut trips on western Colorado’s Uncompahgre Plateau. CBB is also a full-service bike shop with some of the most highly regarded mechanics in the region. The bike shop has everything guests may need for a great bike ride, along with an optional stay at the Gateway Spa and Resort during trips.
150 S. Park Square, Fruita, CO 81521, Phone: 970-858-3917
9.Edge Loop Ride, Fruita, Colorado
The Edge Loop Ride is a long bike ride of twenty-eight miles that loops north Fruita around the 18 Road trail system. This loop is created by the combination of the Frontside trail and the Prime Cut trail with more than fourteen miles of doubletrack and roads leading to the trail being Little Book Cliffs. The Edge Loop then sets off downhill from the Book Cliffs. After coming out from the canyon, the ride journeys around foothills to guide bikers back to the trailhead. The skill level of mountain biking along the Edge Loop Ride varys from easy to moderate to difficult.
North Fruita, CO
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10.Cavalcade Performing Arts Center
© Dmytro Panchenko/stock.adobe.com
The Cavalcade Performing Arts Center is a concert entertainment venue that provides live music performances for the Fruita community and nearby Grand Junction, Colorado. The unique entertainment space accommodates audience of over fifty people for live music, comedy, community, and poetry events. The Cavalcade Performing Arts Center is a non-profit, all-volunteer performing arts venue situated in the heart of downtown historic Fruita. The ticket/concession counter offers non-alcoholic drinks and snacks, and shopping, recreational activities, breweries, and restaurants are just a few steps away. The center also includes a comfortable area backstage and two restrooms.
201 E. Aspen Ave, Fruita, CO 81521, Phone: 970-260-5413
11.Moon Farm, Fruita, Colorado
© Moon Farm
The Moon Farm in Fruita, Colorado has been a legacy of Western Colorado for more than five decades and inspired imagination in both adults and children alike for generations. This farm includes a variety of different attractions across the grounds, including a petting zoo full of friendly animals, museum exhibits, antiques, cultural displays, a Barbie exhibit, dinosaurs, special collections, and more. During the month of October, the Moon Farm features an expansive pumpkin patch, a themed corn maze, a haunted straw maze, and hayrides. The Moon Farm also plays host to field trips for school groups and birthday parties.
1360 18 1/2 Rd, Fruita, CO 81521, Phone: 970-261-1113
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12.Adobe Creek National Golf Course
© Adobe Creek National Golf Course
The Adobe Creek National Golf Course in Fruita, Colorado is situated against the scenic backdrop of the beautiful Colorado National Monument. The golf course features twenty-seven holes spread out across three different nine-hole courses, known by the names of The Desert, The Monument, and The Mesa. All three separate golf courses connect to the Adobe Creek National Golf Course’s open concept and very spacious clubhouse. The golf courses hosts various golf tournaments and golf outings of various sizes throughout the year, all while allowing the general public to play a round of golf, weather permitting, year-round.
876 18 1/2 Rd, Fruita, CO 81521, Phone: 970-858-0521
13.Imondi Wake Zone, Fruita, Colorado
© Imondi Wake Zone
Imondi Wake Zone offers an exciting, safe, and fun experience for friends and families to learn and improve their watersports skills using the facility’s cable system. The cable park provides a way for people to enjoy towed-watersports, such as kneeboarding and wakeboarding, without any need for a boat. Imondi Wake Zone offers two different cable systems for guests, alson with helmet, vest, and board rentals. The Big Bro System is able to accommodate up to eight people at once, while the Lil Bro System is designed more for beginners and can only tow one person at a time.
1583 Cipolla Rd, Fruita, CO 81521, Phone: 970-639-0327
14.Hot Tomato Pizzeria, Fruita, Colorado
© Hot Tomato Pizzeria
Hot Tomato Pizzeria is an East Coast-style pizzeria in the town of Fruita, Colorado. This means that the pizzeria bakes its pizzas in a traditional stone oven and uses ingredients that are consistent with the old-school pizzerias in New Jersey and New York. All of the dough used at Hot Tomato Pizzeria is made fresh daily, in-house. The pizzeria also cooks all of the meats used, makes all of the sauces, and preps all of the vegetables daily. Produce from local growers is used at Hot Tomato during the growing season, as well as locally sourced bacon and sausage.
124 N. Mulberry St, Fruita, CO 81521, Phone: 970-858-1117
15.Camilla's Kaffe, Fruita, CO
© Camilla's Kaffe
Camilla’s Kaffe is a local favorite in Fruita, Colorado, and is also known quite well with the national community of mountain biking for offering great food and great service. Starting out as just a simple vision of family working together to run a cafe, Camilla’s Kaffe has expanded to include tasty delights, micro brew beers, specialty coffees, and a gallery for local artists. Visitors and locals alike can stop in and grab a cup of coffee, breakfast, lunch, or brunch. The menu served at Camilla’s Kaffe is focused on organic and gourmet cuisine and designed to meet anyone’s needs and likes.
206 E. Aspen St, Fruita, CO 81521, Phone: 970-858-7950
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16.El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant, Fruita, Colorado
© Bill Chizek/stock.adobe.com
El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant prides itself on being an authentic and true Mexican restaurant, serving classic Mexican fare to the Fruita community and surrounding other communities as well. In fact, El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant has six different locations across Colorado and Arizona. Guests can enjoy a variety of drinks, appetizers, and entrees that feature special recipes designed to make people want to return for another meal. The restaurant also has a full-service bar that offers hundreds of tequilas, vodka, rum, and other types of drinks. El Tapatio has a tradition of excellent service and culinary style.
402 Jurassic Ave, Fruita, CO 81521, Phone: 970-858-1011
16 Best Things to Do in Fruita, Colorado
- Colorado National Monument, Photo: jsnewtonian/stock.adobe.com
- Museum of Western Colorado: Dinosaur Journey Museum, Photo: Museum of Western Colorado: Dinosaur Journey Museum
- Western Slope Vietnam War Memorial, Photo: Western Slope Vietnam War Memorial
- Kokopelli's Trail, Fruita, Colorado, Photo: baranq/stock.adobe.com
- Rattlesnake Canyon, Fruita, Colorado, Photo: Noradoa/stock.adobe.com
- Black Ridge Wilderness Study Area, Photo: Noradoa/stock.adobe.com
- McInnis Canyons Conservation Area, Photo: Noradoa/stock.adobe.com
- Colorado Backcountry Biker, Fruita, Colorado, Photo: Colorado Backcountry Biker
- Edge Loop Ride, Fruita, Colorado, Photo: fotofabrika/stock.adobe.com
- Cavalcade Performing Arts Center, Photo: Dmytro Panchenko/stock.adobe.com
- Moon Farm, Fruita, Colorado, Photo: Moon Farm
- Adobe Creek National Golf Course, Photo: Adobe Creek National Golf Course
- Imondi Wake Zone, Fruita, Colorado, Photo: Imondi Wake Zone
- Hot Tomato Pizzeria, Fruita, Colorado, Photo: Hot Tomato Pizzeria
- Camilla's Kaffe, Fruita, CO, Photo: Camilla's Kaffe
- El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant, Fruita, Colorado, Photo: Bill Chizek/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Noradoa/stock.adobe.com
Attraction Spotlight: Colorado National Monument
The Colorado National Monument, in Fruita, Colorado, is a stunning, scenic attraction that draws visitors from all over the country. Take a hike, check out the visitor center, have a picnic, and even do some rock climbing… visiting is pure family fun.
Originally discovered by John Otto (the same man who founded nearby Grand Junction)
because prior to that the residents of the area believed the canyons to be completely inaccessible to people, the national monument was established in 1911. Otto was actually hired on as a park ranger after that, drawing a dollar a month salary and living in a tent on the grounds. The area gained popularity in the 1980s after its inclusion in the Coors Classic bicycle race.
Permanent Attractions and Exhibits
Saddlehorn Visitor Center: A great starting place for a visit to the national monument is the visitor center. Full of maps, brochures, and educational exhibits, the knowledgeable staff is happy to answer questions and give pointers about how to make the best of a visit. There are also two different twelve-minute movies about the history of the site - one is a pictorial overview and the other focuses on the geology.
Hiking: The trails located around the national monument offer a wide variety of opportunities for hikers of all skill levels. It is also an excellent opportunity for photographers and bird watchers due to its scenic nature. With hiking trails that range from a quick quarter mile to a much lengthier trail that spans 14 miles, hikers can decide whether they want to spend a few minutes or a few hours on the trails. No pets or bicycles are allowed.
Rock Climbing: Hundreds of climbers visit the national monument every year to try their hands at the sandstone spires and cliffs. The majority of rock climbing routes in the park require climbers use more traditional rock climbing techniques and use or installation of any permanent hardware is strictly prohibited. Make sure to read through all climbing regulations prior to visiting.
Rim Rock Drive: For guests who prefer to see the premises from their vehicles, there is Rim Rock Drive. It is often listed as one of the most scenic drives in the entire United States and features natural beauty in the form of red rock canyons, green junipers, and mostly blue skies. Guests should be aware that the drive can be challenging, however, and is very steep in certain areas. This, paired with the fact that the road is narrow and has sheer drop offs mean that guests should be aware and use extreme caution. Always use headlights, obey the 25-mph speed limit, use caution around bicyclists and share the road.
Operating hours for the national monument visitor center vary seasonally. In the summer, the visitor center is open from 8am to 6pm. After October 1st, the visitor center is open slightly less hours, opening at 9am and closing at 5pm. They are closed on major holidays like Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. The monument itself is open all day long, all year round.
Field trips are a frequent occurrence at the national monument. Bring students to dive deeper into geology, ecology, and cultural history outside of the classroom. Field trips are all guided by park rangers. The programs offered are divided into grade levels and can all be viewed ahead of time on the website or by contacting an education ranger. Self-guided field trips are also allowed and curriculum and be viewed and downloaded ahead of time on their website. Reservations should be made at least three weeks ahead of time.
Children who visit with their families can also participate in the junior ranger program. Download the guide ahead of time, or pick it up when stopping at the visitor center. Meant for children ages 5 to 12, children who complete the activities, go for a hike, and have their work checked by a park ranger will receive a certificate of completion and a badge.
Dining and Shopping
There are no dining sites available when visiting the national monument, but picnics are always welcome. There are two designated picnic areas (Devils Kitchen and Saddlehorn) that can be reserved prior to a visit. There is also a bookstore located in the visitor center and, due to the national monument’s non-for-profit status, the profits help supports the day to day operations of the site. They sell a variety of books, apparel, and other souvenirs.
Colorado National Monument, 1750 Rim Rock Drive, Fruita, CO, 81521, Phone: 970-858-3617
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