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Living a College Town Lifestyle in Grand Junction, Colorado

The fast-growing college town of Grand Junction is perched on the border with Utah. Mesa State College has over 4,000 students on campus here, contributing to a vibrant college scene. Natural beauty is abundant with the Rocky Mountains and the Colorado National Monument (see picture above). The town is the unofficial capital of the Western Slope. Although the city population was about 50,000 in 2008, there are over 126,000 in the metro area.

Visitors to and residents of Grand Junction cite the nice downtown, abundant local fruit and wineries, and many outstanding recreational activities within a short drive. The climate is dry and sunny. There are at 5 golf course communities here, including The Seasons a Tiaro Rado and Redlands Mesa.

Where to Retire in Grand Junction and Home Prices

There are at least 5 golf course communities here, including Redlands Mesa (see link to Active Communities at left). Because the area is growing so fast there are many choices for places to live.
Real estate prices in Grand Junction, although increasing, are much more reasonable than in Boulder.  According to, the median home value in Grand Junction was $367,800 in early 2022.

What Is Special about Grand Junction

Colorado National Monument, wineries, stunning desert-mountain climate, scenery and recreation, and many golf courses make Grand Junction special. There is also locally grown fruit, many available jobs, and is fast growing with new housing and communities.

What Is Not Special about Grand Junction

The town is remote and can be windy. It is well over 200 miles to either Salt Lake City or Denver. Grand Junction could be growing too quickly.

Climate and Physical Environment

Located at altitude of 4600' with towering mountains above, Grand Junction is at the junction of the Colorado and Gunnison Rivers in west-central Colorado, near the border of Utah. The climate is dry, sunny, and occasionally windswept. Canyons and mesas abound. The average July high temp is 92. The average January high is 37 and the low is 16. The wettest month is March (1").

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

There are a growing number of cultural activities, many of them connected to Colorado Mesa University . According to one reviewer, Il Bistro Italiano is the best restaurant in town.  Residents tend to criticize the quality and variety of GJ restaurants.  There is a downtown theater.


Crime in Grand Junction is a bit higher than the national average.

Medical Facilities

2 hospitals including Community Hospital and St. Mary's Hospital, plus a highly rated VA Hospital.


Grand Junction Regional Airport offers regional service to several cities, and the nearest International Airports are in Denver or Salt Lake City, Utah, and are both close to 300 miles from Grand Junction. Interstate 70 goes through here. Grand Junction is below average in walkability when compared to other communities.

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