Grand Junction, Colorado

Best Places to Retire in Colorado


Grand Junction (population 46,000) is located on the Western Slopes of the Colorado Rockies at the confluence of the Gunnison and Colorado rivers. Nestled in a fertile valley among surrounding hills and mountains, it is an outdoor paradise. There are numerous orchards and vineyards, and there is the spectacular Colorado National Monument with its towering sandstone formations and numerous nearby mountain lakes. Forty miles to the southeast is another wonder of nature, the Grand Mesa, which is one of the world’s largest flattop mountains. This is also Colorado wine country and a number of wine tours are available.

The pleasantly mild and dry four-season climate in the Grand Valley, and its magnificent and unspoiled landscape, make it a paradise for outdoor activities. The opportunities include year-round golf, kayaking, fishing, hunting, mountain biking, hiking, touring, dinosaur digging, scenic touring and camping. In addition, there are endless canyons, forests, and mountains to explore.

Grand Junction is a thriving area with a 23,000 square-foot convention center, a 300-bed medical center, 1,000-seat theater for the performing arts, a symphony, chorale, jazz orchestra, and more. It is also home to Mesa State College with 4,600 students. It is a little over 100 miles to several well-known ski areas, including Aspen, Snowmass, Beaver Creek, and Telluride. Denver is about four hours away, and Salt Lake City is about the same distance to the West.

Arts & Culture

The Avalon Theatre is an historic structure built by Walter Walker in 1923. With seating of just over 1,000, it is even today one of Western Colorado’s largest performing arts venues. It has hosted Al Jolson, the John Philip Sousa Orchestra, and many other renowned artists.

Grand Junction Symphony –

Western Colorado Chorale –

Western Colorado Jazz Orchestra –

Grand Junction Centennial Band is an all-volunteer adult concert band that promotes the tradition of a hometown community band.

Grand Valley Children’s Choir –

Mesa County Public Library –

The Art Center offers a permanent collection of Western artists and special exhibits.

The Museum of Western Colorado –

Western Colorado Botanical Gardens –

The Two Rivers Convention Center offers 23,000 square feet of event space and is host to hundreds of events, including meetings, banquets, concerts and special events.


Colorado National Monument is considered one of nature’s most magnificent treasures. It is filled with dramatic sandstone forms, sheer cliffs and deep canyons. It is also home to eagles, mule deer, big horn sheep, and mountain lions. There are numerous hiking trails in the park.

Grand Mesa National Forest encompasses the “Grand Mesa,” which is one of the world’s largest flattop mountains. Located 40 miles southeast of Grand Junction, the mesa has an average elevation of 10,000 feet and is dotted with more than 300 lakes and reservoirs. Its 53 square-mile area offers excellent fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and auto touring.

Redlands Mesa Golf Course is a championship 18-hole layout in a magnificently beautiful setting, nestled between towering rock formations.

Lincoln Park Golf Course (9 holes) and Tiara Rado Golf Course (18 holes) are operated and maintained by the city. Lincoln Park is in the city and the Tiara Rado course is located at the base of the Colorado National Monument, which offers spectacular views. The course hosts a number of tournaments each year.

The Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association builds and maintains trails, works to preserve singletrack trails, and promotes responsible riding. The mountain and surrounding desert terrain make Grand Junction an outstanding year-round biking location. Powderhorn

Ski Resort is just 35 miles southeast of Grand Junction.

The city maintains an extensive system of trails (18 miles of paved trails) for walking, biking or hiking throughout the year.

Colorado has thousands of miles of streams, lakes and reservoirs. In the Grand Mesa area alone there are 200 lakes and a great many streams. There are cutthroat, brook, brown, rainbow, and lake trout, along with walleye, bass, catfish and bluegill.

Rafting on the Colorado has become a very popular recreation activity.

Colorado River State Park offers great scenery and is popular for hiking, biking, fishing, swimming, and river rafting.

Highline Lake Park is the center for much of the water sports activity in the area. There are two lakes in the park: Highline Lake, which is designated for water skiers and boating, and the Mack Mesa Lake that is used for “no wake boating” only. Both offer good fishing.

Black Canyon of The Gunnison features very deep, narrow walled canyons.

Arches National Park contains thousands of natural sandstone arches. Its most famous arch is Delicate Arch. It also features balanced rocks, fins and pinnacles with contrasting colors.

Dinosaur National Monument contains dinosaur bones at the Dinosaur Quarry, but it also contains 210,000 acres of rugged and beautiful canyon country. Activities include camping, climbing, cross-country skiing, fishing, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting and much more.

Canyonlands National Park in Utah preserves a landscape of sedimentary sandstones that have been eroded into canyons, mesas and buttes of the Colorado River and its tributaries. This 337,000-acre park offers backpacking, biking, hiking, boating, camping, climbing, guided trips and interpretive programs.


Mesa State College is a liberal arts college with an enrollment of 4,600 students.

Colorado Christian University has campuses in Grand Junction, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, and Lakewood (Denver). The main campus is in Lakewood.

Senior Programs

The Senior Recreation Calendar shows a very busy schedule of activities including everything from learning basic computer skills, to card games, pool tournaments, and dancing to live music.
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St. Mary’s Hospital is a 300-bed medical center that is the largest such facility between Denver and Salt Lake City.


Walker Field Airport offers over 19 daily departures to Denver, Phoenix, Salt Lake City and one- stop connections to many cities.


Grand Junction has a pleasantly mild and dry climate. Average temperatures for January are a high of 34 degrees and low of 12 degrees with just 0.6 inches of precipitation. The July average temperatures are high 91 degrees and low 60 degrees with 0.7 inches of precipitation.


The Daily Sentinel –

Property Taxes

Grand Junction Assessor’s Office –

State Taxes

Chamber of Commerce

State Aging Agency

Colorado Department of Human Services –


Glenwood Springs – 86 miles
Eagle – 117 miles
Snowmass – 113 miles
Gunnison – 126 miles
Telluride – 127 miles
Aspen – 127 miles
Vail -147 miles
Durango – 169 miles
Denver – 243 miles
Boulder – 249 miles
Salt Lake City – 283 miles
Colorado Springs – 309 miles

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