A portion of the Grand Valley at dusk,
|States||Colorado and Utah|
|County||Mesa County, CO and Grand County, UT|
The Grand Valley 30 miles (48 km) long and 5 miles (8.0 km) wide, located along the Colorado River in Mesa County (and slightly into Garfield County) in western Colorado and Grand County in eastern Utah in the Western United States. The valley contains the city of Grand Junction, as well as other smaller communities such as Fruita and Palisade. The valley is a major fruit-growing region that contains many orchards and vineyards, and is home to one of two designated American Viticultural Areas in Colorado: the Grand Valley AVA. It takes its name from the "Grand River", the historical name of the Colorado River upstream from its confluence with the Green River that was used by locals in the late 19th and early 20th century. The valley is the most densely populated area on the Colorado Western Slope, with Grand Junction serving as an unofficial capital of the region, as a counterpoint to Denver on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains in the Colorado Front Range. Interstate 70 and U.S. Highway 6 run through the valley from west-to-east. The Grand Valley is part of the larger Colorado Plateau desert lands.is an extended populated valley, approximately
The valley begins where the Colorado River widens at the mouth of De Beque Canyon to the east of Palisade, then follows a wide arc bending to the west. The Colorado receives the Gunnison River, one of its major tributaries, just south of Grand Junction near the midpoint of the valley. The valley is surrounded by large plateau formations, including the Book Cliffs along the north side, the Grand Mesa along the southeast side, and the Uncompahgre Plateau to the southwest. Colorado National Monument sits on a ridge on the southwest side of the valley west of Grand Junction. Much of the surrounding table land areas rimming the valley are public lands controlled by the Bureau of Land Management.
The valley was an area historically occupied by the Ute people (Parianuche band). White settlers began to arrive in the 1880s, farming the valley for a variety of grains and fruits. In the 1890s, it was discovered that sugar beets grown in the valley had a high sugar content, leading to widespread cultivation of that crop. At the turn of the 20th century, evaporation techniques allowed fruit-growers to ship their products more efficiently to distant markets, yielding an expansion of fruit growing in the valley. In 1918, the Government Highline Canal was completed to provide water to cultivate 50,000 acres (20.0 km²) in the valley. The project included a roller dam in De Beque Canyon, the largest of three such dams of this type in the nation.
Grand County is a county on the east central edge of Utah, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 9,225. Its county seat and largest city is Moab.
Mesa County is one of the 64 counties of the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 146,723. The county seat is Grand Junction. The county was named for the many large mesas in the area, including Grand Mesa.
The Town of De Beque is a Statutory Town in Mesa County, Colorado, United States. It is part of the Grand Junction Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 504 at the 2010 census. The town consists of a small grid, including a historic downtown featuring a town hall, a tavern, and several commercial businesses in historic structures. The surrounding streets include houses, several churches, and a school.
The City of Fruita is a Home Rule Municipality located in western Mesa County, Colorado, United States. Fruita is part of the Grand Junction Metropolitan Statistical Area and within the Grand Valley. The geography is identified by the bordering Colorado River on the southern edge of town, the Uncompahgre Plateau known for its pinyon-juniper landscape, and the Book Cliffs range on the northern edge of the Grand Valley. The population was 12,646 at the 2010 census. Originally home to the Ute people, white farmers settled the town after founder William Pabor in 1884. Ten years later, Fruita was incorporated.
Grand Junction is a home rule municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Mesa County, Colorado, United States. The city has a council–manager form of government, and is the most populous municipality in all of western Colorado. Grand Junction is 247 miles (398 km) west-southwest of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 58,566. Grand Junction is the 15th most populous city in the state of Colorado and the most populous city on the Colorado Western Slope. It is a major commercial and transportation hub within the large area between the Green River and the Continental Divide. It is the principal city of the Grand Junction Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a population of 146,723 in 2010 census.
The Western Slope refers to a region of the state of Colorado incorporating everything in the state west of the Continental Divide. Bodies of water west of the Divide flow toward the Pacific Ocean. Water that falls and flows east of the Divide heads east. The Western Slope encompasses about 33% of the state, but has just 10% of the state's residents. The eastern part of the state, including the San Luis Valley and the Front Range is the more populated portion of the state.
The Colorado Plateau, also known as the Colorado Plateau Province, is a physiographic and desert region of the Intermontane Plateaus, roughly centered on the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States. This province covers an area of 336,700 km2 (130,000 mi2) within western Colorado, northwestern New Mexico, southern and eastern Utah, northern Arizona, and a tiny fraction in the extreme southeast of Nevada. About 90% of the area is drained by the Colorado River and its main tributaries: the Green, San Juan, and Little Colorado. Most of the remainder of the plateau is drained by the Rio Grande and its tributaries.
Plateau Creek is a tributary of the Colorado River, approximately 50 miles (80 km) long, located in western Colorado in the United States. It drains a cattle ranching valley, known as Plateau Valley, north of the Grand Mesa and east of Grand Junction.
De Beque Canyon is a narrow canyon on the Colorado River in western Colorado in the United States. It is approximately 15 miles (24 km) long, located on the river downstream from the town of De Beque, in eastern Mesa County. The canyon forms a narrow passage where the river passes along the western end of the Grand Mesa. At its lower end, the canyon opens out on the eastern end of the Grand Valley at the town of Palisade, approximately 10 miles (16 km) east of Grand Junction. Interstate 70 follows the river through the canyon.
The Roan Cliffs are a series of desert mountains and cliffs in eastern Utah and western Colorado, in the western United States that are distinct from the Book Cliffs.
Wayne Norviel Aspinall was a lawyer and politician from Colorado. He is largely known for his tenure in the United States House of Representatives, serving as a Democrat from 1949–1973 from Colorado's Fourth District. Aspinall became known for his direction of the House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, of which he was the chairman from 1959–1973. Aspinall focused the majority of his efforts on western land and water issues.
The geography of the U.S. State of Colorado is diverse, encompassing both rugged mountainous terrain, vast plains, desert lands, desert canyons, and mesas. In 1861, the United States Congress defined the boundaries of the new Territory of Colorado exclusively by lines of latitude and longitude, stretching from 37°N to 41°N latitude, and from 102°02'48"W to 109°02'48"W longitude. Starting in 1868, official surveys demarcated the boundaries, deviating from the parallels and meridians in several places. Later surveys attempted to correct some of these mistakes but in 1925 the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that the earlier demarcation was the official boundary. The borders of Colorado are now officially defined by 697 boundary markers connected by straight boundary lines. Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah are the only states that have their borders defined solely by straight boundary lines with no natural features. The southwest corner of Colorado is the Four Corners Monument at 36°59'56"N, 109°2'43"W. This is the only place in the United States where four states meet: Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah.
The Book Cliffs are a series of desert mountains and cliffs in western Colorado and eastern Utah, in the western United States. They are so named because the cliffs of Cretaceous sandstone that cap many of the south-facing buttes appear similar to a shelf of books.
Interstate 70 (I-70) is a transcontinental Interstate Highway in the United States, stretching from Cove Fort, Utah, to Baltimore, Maryland. In Colorado, the highway traverses an east–west route across the center of the state. In western Colorado, the highway connects the metropolitan areas of Grand Junction and Denver via a route through the Rocky Mountains. In eastern Colorado, the highway crosses the Great Plains, connecting Denver with metropolitan areas in Kansas and Missouri. Bicycles and other non-motorized vehicles, normally prohibited on Interstate Highways, are allowed on those stretches of I-70 in the Rockies where no other through route exists.
U.S. Route 50 (US 50) is a part of the U.S. Highway System that travels from West Sacramento, California, to Ocean City, Maryland. In the U.S. state of Colorado, US 50 is a major highway crossing through the lower midsection of the state. It connects the Western Slope with the lower Front Range and the Arkansas Valley. The highway serves the areas of Pueblo and Grand Junction as well as many other smaller areas along its corridor. The long-term project to upgrade the highway from two lanes to a four lane expressway between Grand Junction and Montrose was completed in January 2005. Only about 25% of the remainder of highway 50 in Colorado is four lane expressway.
Colorado wine refers to wine made from grapes grown in the U.S. state of Colorado. Most of Colorado's vineyards are located on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains, though an increasing number of wineries are located along the Front Range.
The Grand Valley AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in Mesa County, Colorado, primarily in Grand Junction and Palisade. It is located roughly 200 miles West-Southwest of Denver. The high-desert AVA - with an average elevation of between 4,000 and 5,000 feet above sea level - is defined by the irrigated agricultural area served via canals within the Grand Valley of the Colorado River. The AVA was established in 1991 as the first of two Colorado wine regions. The West Elks AVA is the second federally designated AVA in Colorado.
The Roan Plateau, located in western Colorado, USA, near Rifle, contains a variety of natural resources and scenic terrain: high ridges, deep valleys, desert lands, waterfalls, cutthroat trout, mountain lions, bears, rare plants, and oil and natural gas. On September 25, 2008, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image of the region through nearly cloud-free skies.
The Colorado River is a major river of the western United States and northwest Mexico in North America. Its headwaters are in the Rocky Mountains where La Poudre Pass Lake is its source. Located in north central Colorado it flows southwest through the Colorado Plateau country of western Colorado, southeastern Utah and northwestern Arizona where it flows through the Grand Canyon. It turns south near Las Vegas, Nevada, forming the Arizona–Nevada border in Lake Mead and the Arizona–California border a few miles below Davis Dam between Laughlin, Nevada and Needles, California before entering Mexico in the Colorado Desert. Most of its waters are diverted into the Imperial Valley of Southern California. In Mexico its course forms the boundary between Sonora and Baja California before entering the Gulf of California. This article describes most of the major features along the river.
The Grand Valley Diversion Dam is a diversion dam in the De Beque Canyon of the Colorado River, about 15 miles (24 km) northeast of Grand Junction, Colorado in the United States. It is a 14-foot (4.3 m) high, 546-foot (166 m) long concrete roller dam with six gates, which were the first and largest of their kind to be installed in the United States.