Fall Family Fun in Fruita
What’s better than colorful-canyon views from 2,000 feet above the Grand Valley of the Colorado River, fascinating rock sculptures, a vast variety of flora and fauna, and access to hiking and biking trails in one of the most beautiful parks in Colorado?
Having all of this in 70-degree weather.
Fall in Fruita is unlike anything else. The trees pop, the desert climate cools, and the summer tourism slows just enough to give you some breathing room. There’s no better time to visit the Colorado National Monument, a perfect fall vacation destination for the entire family.
Not the planning type? We’ve got you covered. Read on for the must-sees and dos for your autumn adventure.
START YOUR DAY THE BEST WAY—WITH A LATTE.
Before entering the park, jumpstart your day at one of Fruita’s downtown cafes. Whether you’re a pumpkin spice princess or a pour-over snob, there’s a hot caffeinated beverage with your name on it—and with the full day of adventure ahead, you’ll need it.
CRUISE THE HISTORIC RIM ROCK DRIVE.
Colorado National Monument’s historic Rim Rock Drive is one of the most spectacular car rides you can take in the entire United States. The 23-mile long road provides access to Saddlehorn Visitor Center, 19 viewpoints, 14 hiking trails, and views so incredible it’s hard to keep your eyes on the road (but do, as it’s also quite winding). Take the family for this ride of their life to get a lay of the land and narrow down places you’d like to play in the park.
Feeling extra adventurous? Bring your bike and cruise the entire route.
PICK A PLACE TO STAY.
Saddlehorn Campground, located inside the park, is open year-round and has sites for groups and families. No worries if you’re more of the hot shower and Netflix kind of vacationer. Fruita has plenty of hotels, Airbnbs and vacation rentals for every group size.
TAKE A NATURE HIKE.
Once you know where you’re staying, stretch your legs and get outside. The park is full of hiking opportunities for every level of adventurer, ranging from a family-friendly 1/4 mile stroll to more than 14 miles, with plenty of places for backpackers to set up camp.
TOUR THE FLORA AND FAUNA AND MAKE A MEMORY.
Whether you’re into plants, animals, or landscapes, the Monument is home to your picture-perfect photo opportunity. The varied terrain attracts animals of all shapes, including mule deer, coyotes, bighorns, raptors, and lizards, among many others. The pinyon-juniper woodland vegetation and unique geological formations add to the area’s interesting scenery. Couple all this with the stunning palette of autumn, and we guarantee you’ll come back with something highly Instagrammable.
RELAX AND REFUEL.
Come back to civilization Fruita-style by heading downtown for a craft beer, hand-tossed pizza, a giant plate of enchiladas, or whatever else you’re craving. Check out this list of local restaurants and bars and choose your own food adventure.