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Naperville, Illinois
Level Contributor
267 posts
27 reviews
19 helpful votes

At the end of August we will be spending one night in Vernal and plan on spending part of the day to visit Dinosaur National Monument before heading to the Grand Junction area for another night or two. We hope to spend some time the following day at the Colorado National Monument sightseeing and doing a little hiking. Where would be the best place to base ourselves - Fruita or Grand Junction? Is there any advantage of one area over the other?

3 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
1,089 posts
11 reviews
1 helpful vote
1. Re: Lodging

As far as the Monument goes, there is an entry at GJ and one at Fruita so not too much of a difference.

GJ is a much larger town with more lodging, dining, etc. Either could work, your preference.

Albuquerque, New...
Destination Expert
for Fruita, Grand Junction
Level Contributor
12,924 posts
267 reviews
189 helpful votes
2. Re: Lodging

I would say Fruita because the entrance to the Monument from the Fruita side has two benefits. One is that it is where the visitor's center is located. It has a good short video that explains the geology of the area, history, etc. Secondly, if you are at all afraid of heights, you will be driving the road with the mountain wall next to you, not the edge without guardrails and a sheer drop-off. Plus, many more of the interesting views can be seen on the Fruita side so if you have a short time and want to hop back on I-70 then you can turn back easily.

Fruita has some good lodging options, everything from chains to mom and pop to vacation rentals. Plus a lot of stuff in town is within walking distance. https://gofruita.com/

Mercer Island...
Level Contributor
8,975 posts
7 reviews
3 helpful votes
3. Re: Lodging

Fruita is a small town with limited choices for food and such. We've stayed at the state park campground there. Grand Junction is a bigger town with more choices for food and shopping.

Agree about starting on the Fruita side of Colorado National Monument and stopping at the visitors center. If you continue on through the park you'll end up in Grand Junction.

It will be hot that time of year. We ended up bailing out of our camping a day early and headed back to Denver. This was the tail end of a 10 day trip and it was just miserably hot in this area.

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