Some of the western slopes best hikes are within a few miles of Grand Junction.

Saturday is National Take a Hike Day! Did you know that there are over 60,000 miles of trails in the National Trail System? Some of Colorado's best hiking is right around us.

Most know that hiking is good for you. Just how good? You can burn between 400-550 calories per hour on your average hike With the holidays and all that great food just days away, why not start the season with a hike? Grab a friend and head out. Don't forget water, proper foot attire, snacks, and of course your phone to snap a picture. Post your hiking pic using the hashtag #NationalTakeAHikeDay!

Grand Junction's Best Hikes...

RATTLESNAKE CANYON ARCHES TRAIL- You'll find this trail just off I-70 near Loma. This trail is famous for having the highest concentration of natural arches outside of Arches National Park. If you own a 4-wheel drive truck, you can drive up closer to the trailhead inside the Colorado National Monument. If not, you'll need to hike in from the Pollock Bench Trailhead in McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area.

SERPENTS TRAIL- I've done this one. I see people on this trail just about every time I'm there. It's popular because it's just inside the Colorado National Monument and you're hiking what was once an actual road. Not just any road but "The Crookedest Road in the World." It's just inside the park entrance on Monument Road near Devil Kitchen.

DEVILS KITCHEN- Right there too is the  Colorado National Monument's most popular hike. It's an easy hike and perfect for the whole family. The "kitchen" is a rock formation of giant boulders with amazing views of the valley. There are several trails near this trailhead so give yourself some extra time to try them all!

RIVERFRONT TRAIL- Anytime you need some fresh air or a little exercise this trail is convenient and easy for anyone to walk. The path rolls along the Colorado River. The trail is part of an ongoing project to connect Palisade to Fruita in one long uninterrupted path. Being close to water means you'll see lots of birds so plan to take pictures.

ESCALANTE PETROGLYPHS- In the beautiful Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area just 30 miles south of Grand Junction off of highway 50 is a short hike where you can see not one but two sets of ancient petroglyphs. As a bonus, this area is out of town and somewhat remote so you just may have the trail to yourself.

The fall is the perfect time to get out and take a hike. It's cooler and there are fewer hikers on the trails. This weekend's weather forecast looks great too.

Partly sunny, with a high near 51. East southeast wind around 5 mph becoming west northwest in the afternoon.
Sunny, with a high near 49. Calm wind becoming east around 5 mph.

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