It’s just peachy in Palisade, CO

Our refreshed new look has received a lot of positive nods, thank you 🙂  I had fun going through several WordPress themes and testing each before finally settling on this one, Vagabond.

In my previous post, it appeared that we stayed at James Robb State Park for more than 14 days.  The reality was we moved to Junction West RV Park in Grand Junction for a week after reaching the 14-day limit, then we returned to James Robb for our final 14 days.  Staying at Junction West was nice, for it was closer to the town of Palisade where we made several visits.

Known as the peach and wine capital of Colorado, Palisade is nestled along the Colorado River and flanked by majestic cliffs and mesas.  It’s also home to an array of fruits and vegetables, but the star of that group is the sweet and luscious peach!  We arrived at the height of peach season, and Palisade, along with the nearby cities of Grand Junction and Fruita, are dotted with roadside stands filled with fresh, local produce.

One Sunday morning found us strolling through the Palisade farmers market in the heart of fruit and wine country.  Everywhere we looked there was a peach concoction of some sort, and we liked all of them!  Palisade lived up to being called a peach of a town.

We drove the Palisade Fruit and Wine Byway while wine tasting.  Kevin and Laura first introduced us to Palisade wine when we had dinner and a bottle of Maison la Belle Vie with them at Island Park, Idaho.  We liked it so much that we vowed to visit the winery when we got to Palisade.  But one winery wasn’t enough, so we checked out Hermosa Vineyards a few miles down the road as well.  While smacking our lips appreciatively of the wines, we thought Palisade red wines could go toe to toe with the high-end reds we’ve had in California!

This vineyard’s grapes are covered just before harvest to protect them from birds
One of many fruit stands along the byway

Besides peaches and wine, Palisade also has lots of options for outdoor fun.  For us that meant several good hiking trails to keep our blood flowing – when we weren’t drinking wine or beer.  Two trails offered great vistas of Palisade and Grand Valley, along with the surrounding cliffs for which the town is named.

Palisade Rim Trail

This beautiful trail at the base of Little Book Cliffs took us up and around the southern edge of the cliffs, with phenomenal views of the wine country and the Colorado River.  As a bonus we discovered some petroglyphs along the trail:

Colorado River
Looking northeast at I70 crossing the Colorado River through Debeque Canyon

Looking down at the vineyards and orchards in Palisade

A few petroglyphs on the canyon wall
Mount Garfield
Looking west, the Book Cliffs with Mount Garfield to the left
Dirty Hippies
Our post-hike reward – Dirty Hippie dark wheat beer at Palisade Brewing Company
We liked it so much we came back with our growler!

Mount Garfield

We would not have known there’s a hiking trail on Mount Garfield, or even the name of the mountain, had it not been for the owner of an Asian market where we shopped.  When we mentioned to her that we’re hikers she suggested Mount Garfield and Lunch Loops trails.  So that’s the name of that big mountain that can be seen from every vantage point in the valley.  Duh!

Mount Garfield
Mount Garfield and the Book Cliffs rise about 6,800′ above sea level

When we returned home we immediately researched the trail and learned that it’s rated as difficult, with a 2,000′ elevation gain in 2 miles and some hazardous sections.  Steve and I looked at each other and blurted out, “let’s do it!”

The trail begins as a steep ascent up a mancos shale spine
Looking back at the first mile of the spine, our car is in that lot at the upper left

The hike along the ridge was steep and strenuous.  Once we reached the rocky hillside after the ridge, we crossed a nice meadow and began another ascent.

Wild mustang
A wild Mustang came along as we caught our breath on the second mesa ledge
Mount Garfield
The trail continued upward along the base of the upper cliffs
Taking a pause to look out over Palisade and Grand Valley
Looking down at I-70 beyond unique boulders protruding from the ridge
Looking east at the Book Cliffs

We were the first of the day to arrive at the official summit
I was tired but exhilarated that I made it!

After the excitement of making it to the top, we enjoyed lunch with spectacular views of the nearby badlands, the valley to the south, Grand Junction to the west and Colorado National Monument in the distance:

Taking it all in, the reward of unique unparalleled views – it was worth the pain!

The trek to Mount Garfield was short but challenging.  For us it was the gnarliest and most gratifying hike we’ve done since Picacho Peak kicked our butts in 2013.

Twenty years ago today Steve and I first set eyes on each other, and seven years later to the day we were married.  So this post is a dual anniversary for us – here’s to another wonderful 20 years!




  1. Happy anniversary! Thanks for another great post full of amazing pictures! We can’t say we’ve really hiked now compared to this one! There just aren’t those kinds of hikes on the east coast-that we’ve found yet. But we’re looking!

  2. Happy Anniversary!! May your next 20 years together be just as wonderful, filled with adventures, love, and fun! 🙂
    The food and drink inspired by the peach harvest look fantastic—peaches are one of my favorite fruits, so now we definitely need to spend time in Palisades. You know we love to hike, but I’m not so sure about that Mount Garfield trail—that looks like a tough one!

  3. Happy anniversary, and thanks for another inspiring and informative post. Palisade and the Grand Junction area look like a lot of fun!

  4. Wishing you both many more happy years of travel together. I love the action photo of the Mustang. Well done on making it all the way up to the top in order to enjoy those spectacular views. You’ve discovered the ultimate way of keeping fit. 🙂

  5. Happy Anniversary! Wishing you twenty more fun filled years together:) What an awesome hike to celebrate! Mount Garfield sounds like a perfect challenge. Isn’t getting to the top of a difficult hike such a great feeling! I’m not sure will be ready for this challenge since we haven’t hiked since May. We’ve been swimming lots and walking but hiking is a whole different ball game. Hope they still have peaches when we get there next week!

  6. Happy Anniversary, you crazy kids!!!! Ya’ll are living life right and I hope you keep it up for another 20 years!! Every couple should aspire to be as fun, adventurous, active, and kind as you guys!

    The wine and fruit from Palisade and Grand Junction were just awesome and I may have drooled a bit on my computer just now looking at all your pics. We look forward to getting back there at some point and trying out the other wineries. We kind of got stuck at that first one and just stayed there, but I know there are several good ones in the region. Next time….

    Nice work on that hike. And of course you captured a fantastic photo of a wild horse at the top! What are the chances? So cool!

    • Thank You, Laura. WE tried to be adventurous and fun so we can drink as much wine as we can. And we did another wine tasting in Paonia and the Pinot Noir were delicious. We are really impressed with Colorado wines. The hike was a surprise one not knowing about it until that lady told us. That was really tough hike!

  7. Happy anniversary! I loved all the fruit stands in Palisade and also enjoyed visiting an alpaca farm. Fun little community. Glad you enjoyed your time in GJ.

  8. Another great post filled with beautiful pictures! Happy Anniversary….there’s nothing better in all the world than being married to your best friend. The photos from the top of Mt. Garfield are fantastic, I’m glad someone gets up that high to give me a birds eye view……We look forward to crossing paths with you and perhaps tasting a bit of that Colorado wine????

  9. Happy anniversary and thank so much for letting us all tag along vicariously on your wonderful road trip. Wishing you many, many more years of joy together!!

  10. Oh my that giant peach picture made my mouth water. Being anywhere, be it Colorado or Georgia, at the height of peach season is an outstanding plan. One of the things I love the most about the west is the chance to find Petroglyphs. Thanks for the pictures. Gorgeous shot of Mt Garfield. I suppose it’s named after the president. It’s fabulous looking anyway. LOL at you guys psyched up to head for a difficult trail. Definitely looks like a very challenging hike. Love your exhilarated photo. You guys are in great shape. Hats off to you two for 20 years and very best wishes for the next 20.

  11. Happy anniversary! Loved the view shots and sure like to try the bacon, lettuce, and peach dish. Prosciutto also pairs well with peaches.

  12. Happy Anniversary to the two of you! Here’s to 20+ more years of adventures together. Love that you have taken us along on your journey. Congratulations on tackling that grueling hike!

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