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People hiking in the National Monument.

The Perfect 3-day Family Weekend

Are you itching to enjoy that last bit of summer? Come play like a local in Fruita! Where else can you squeeze in this much family fun and be back to school and work on Monday?

Getting to Fruita 

  • Plane – Did you know you can fly directly into the Grand Valley via the Grand Junction Regional Airport? Save time and money!
  • Train – Sit back, relax, and let someone else transport you and your family to your next best adventure. You can ride by train or bus! Bustang’s West Line or Amtrack will take you into Grand Junction to rent a car before you head to Fruita for an adventure-filled weekend.
  • Automobile – Pile the kids into the car and hit the road! Fruita is a scenic four-hour drive from Denver, which makes the drive part of the fun. While road-tripping to Fruita is one of our favorite ways to get here, you’ll want to do yourself a favor and make sure to check road conditions and closures before you leave at

Where to Stay

Sure, we have plenty of hotels for a comfy night’s sleep, not to mention hot tubs and free breakfasts. But we also have plenty of short-term rentals. If you’re the camping type, check out the Colorado National Monument’s Saddlehorn Campground, but only if you would enjoy a campground that consistently makes the top campgrounds in the U.S. lists.

Day 1 

Breakfast: Start your day by fueling up at Camilla’s Kaffe before heading to the Colorado National Monument. Here’s a tip for eating like a local, make sure to get just about anything you order at Camilla’s smothered in their green chile. You can thank us later!

The Colorado National Monument is a gem of western Colorado. When you see the epic views for yourself, you’ll understand why. There’s no better way to describe this, but the Monument is kind of like our very own mini–Grand Canyon. There are a ton of great ways to enjoy the Colorado National Monument for all ages and abilities.

Scenic Drive: You’ll need to hold on tight and keep your eyes on the road when you drive the 23-mile scenic road along Rim Rock Drive through the Colorado National Monument. But don’t sweat it; you can always stop at the numerous overlooks to take in the sweeping canyon views. The entire scenic drive without stops takes about 45 minutes, but we encourage you to not only drive carefully but take your time and enjoy the awe-inspiring views from 500 feet above the canyon floor. Learn more and download a map of the park here.

Hiking the Monument: Ready to get your kicks dirty? Hop out of your car and hike within the Monument.

  • For an easy hike for all levels, we recommend Otto’s Trail, a 1-mile round trip out-and-back trail to an overlook of Sentinel Spire, Pipe Organ, and Praying Hands features. 
  • Devil’s Kitchen Trail is excellent for bringing the little ones along. The moderate hike leads to a cove of boulders perfect for those who want to play around on the canyon’s features. 
  • Challenge yourself on the Monument Canyon Trail, an 11-mile trek where you’ll get to soak up the many perspectives of the canyon and even find yourself at the base of Independence Monument, the canyon’s tallest free-standing formation. 

You might want to take note that the Colorado National Monument is open 24/7, and the entrance fee into the Colorado National Monument is $25 for vehicles.

Lunch: For lunch, we recommend heading over to Munchies Pizza and Deli. Even the pickiest of eaters will find something they’ll enjoy at Munchies! Try the Green Slopper burger for something a little different.

Have some educational fun: Fruita is the perfect destination for the dinosaur lover in your family. Explore the Museum of Western Colorado’s Dinosaur Journey Exhibit, where you can learn about the history of dinosaurs in the region, or even join a professionally conducted dinosaur excavation. When you’re done exploring the museum, stretch your legs and walk where the dinosaurs used to roam on a self-guided walking tour of Dinosaur Hill. This free, mile-long trek features fossils and loads of excellent info for you and your family to learn. 

Nearby Dinosaur Journey, you’ll also find the Western Slope Vietnam Memorial. The memorial is dedicated to the men and women who served in the armed forces during the Vietnam war and features a UH-1H Huey helicopter.

Spend the rest of the day exploring downtown Fruita! Kick back and relax on a brewery patio at Copper Club Brewing or Suds Brothers Brewing, located in downtown Fruita. Wander around downtown Fruita and check out the local shops before heading over to Hot Tomato for dinner. Hot Tomato is a community favorite (you’ll understand why once you try it), which means it can get busy! Consider ordering your pizza to-go and taking it over to Copper Club Brewing across the street to enjoy.

Day 2

A trip to Fruita wouldn’t be complete without some time spent on two wheels!  

Breakfast: For breakfast, head over to a local favorite, Bestslope Coffee, and grab breakfast to go to take with you out to the trails for an unforgettable morning mountain biking. While you’re there, ask the baristas about their favorite trails or things to see and do in Fruita!

Bike Rentals: Need some wheels? No problem! Your whole family can rent bikes and gear from Colorado Backcountry Biker or Over the Edge Sports, conveniently located in downtown Fruita.

Family-Friendly Trails: Fruita has some of the best mountain biking trails in the country. You’re sure to find the perfect trail to meet the needs of everyone in your family. Here are some of our favorite trails for families:

  • For first-timers or those with young kids, we recommend BLM’s 18 Road Trails, specifically PBR, or Kessel Run.
  • For families with older kids with a bit more biking experience, take on Rustler’s Loop or Mary’s Loop at the world-class BLM Kokopelli Trails.

Lunch: When you’re done riding, it’s time for a fiesta! Grab lunch at one of Fruita’s Mexican restaurants. El TapatioFiesta Guadalajara, and Mi Ranchito are all great options to have an awesome meal and taco-bout the great time you’re having in Fruita!

Make a splash in the desert: Yep, you read that right! If you wanted to spend the whole day on the trails, we wouldn’t blame you, but if you’re looking for other adventurous family activities to try in Fruita, there are a lot of unique ways to cool down in the Colorado desert. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Learn how to wakeboard at Colorado’s only cable wakeboarding park
  • Spend the afternoon on a SUP at Snooks Bottom
  • Float down the Colorado River
  • Enjoy fun in the sun at Highline State Park beach

Day 3

Breakfast: For your last day, you can take it a little easy, and when you’re ready to start your day, head to Aspen Street Coffee for breakfast. If you’re up for a little bit of an adventure, you can find out where the Mountain Berry Bowl food truck is located for the day and load up on a loaded smoothie bowl.

Explore on horseback: One of our favorite ways to see Colorado’s canyon country is by horseback. Explore McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area by booking a tour with Rimrock Adventures. Horseback riding tours are available to riders ages seven and up. They offer rides ranging from one hour to three hours.

Go for a hike: You’re sure to fall in love with the red rocks, wildlife, and serene beauty of Colorado’s high desert. For a chance to spend more time in McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area, we recommend going on a hike after your ride. Be sure to check out the best hikes in the area and pick the best trail for your family.

Lunch: When you’re done playing in the canyons, you can head back to town for a great meal at Karma Kitchen. For those who haven’t had Indian food, this can be one last adventure to round out a great weekend before packing up and heading home. 

Don’t forget to share your family fun with us by tagging @GoFruita! 

Featured Adventures

Unlocking the Secrets of Fruita: A Geological and Paleontological Journey 

Fruita + Palisade Gravel Adventure Guide

Dinosaur Journey