Five Grand Junction Hiking Trails Perfect for a Valentine’s Day Picnic
Valentine's Day will be here before we know it, and I know that we're all looking for that perfect date.
Sure, you could take your special lady friend -- or guy friend -- out for the classic Valentine's Day date, fancy dinner, some wine, and the memory of this Valentines Day will meld itself with every other year.
On the other hand, you could do something a little outside of the box, something that you will both remember for the rest of your lives. I'm a big fan of hiking, and with such a beautiful outdoor scene here in the Grand Valley, you can turn a simple pass time into a timeless and romantic experience.
When I met my wife, we went hiking for our first date. We hiked up Serpent's Trail, and I had some friends plant a blanket, a cooler with some drinks and food, and a guitar, at an overlook. When we got to the blanket (she had no idea this was going to happen) we sat and enjoyed beverages and food and I sang to her under the stars, while we viewed the city lights as the sun set over the valley.
Don't worry, you don't have to be a musician or a songwriter, to take advantage of this romantic date idea, I've provided a list of the top 5 hiking trails I think would fit your Valentines Day date, perfectly.
Hiking Trail #1 - Otto’s Trail (Very Easy)
Otto's Trail is a very easy, and very scenic hiking trail. It should only take you about 30-45 minutes to hike (even with stopping to take in the views). Otto's Trail is perfect for a scenic moment alone during the date! This trail is perfect if you're looking to hike before, or after dinner. It's short and pretty, and you won't ruin your perfectly gelled hair or makeup.
Both of these trails start at the first parking lot off the Redlands entrance to the Colorado National Monument (off Monument Road, just past South Camp). Devil’s Kitchen is the easier of the two hikes, with a great picnic area, after a short 20-30 minute hike. Devil’s Kitchen offers a some stellar views of both the valley and the Colorado National Monument.
Keep in mind - Valentine's Day is in February and this is Grand Junction, so the sun will not reach the summit of Devil's Kitchen, I highly suggest warm clothing if you choose this trail. However, it is very romantic.
Serpent’s Trail is probably the second toughest hike on this list, but it is also one of my favorites. It offers some of the most beautiful views of the Grand Junction of any of our great hiking trails.
This is the trail that my wife and I shared our first date on like I mentioned above.
The views on this hike are pretty phenomenal and there are plenty of great spots to sneak off trail and share a romantic picnic together.
Hiking Trail #3 - The Audobon River Trail - (Easy)
This trail starts right behind the Albertsons in the Redlands and follows a beautiful, winding, secluded path through the lower Redlands.
The trail winds its way through Connected Lakes and eventually heads off at the Colorado River, looking out toward the Redlands Parkway Bridge. It’s a great little walk, with plenty of beautiful sceneries and plenty of park benches and picnic tables for you to stop and enjoy one another’s company.
This is another trail you could hike before the fancy dinner, or movie, or whatever else you might have planned for the rest of the date.
Hiking Trail #4 - Blue Heron Trail (Easy)
This is a relatively easy hike, and it is part of the Grand Junction's Riverfront Trail System. The trail is about 6 miles long but should only take you 1-2 hours.
This is perfect if you and your date want to truly experience the beauty of the valley and a great view of the river. If you are sharing your beverages and/or dinner on the trail, there are plenty of benches and some picnic tables.
It's also two minutes from the mall and the parking lot for the trailhead is off of the Riverside Parkway, so if you were planning this hike before or after the rest of your date, you're only a few minutes away from just about everything!
Hiking Trail #5 - Liberty Cap Trail
This is one of the toughest hikes in the Grand Junction, but also one of the most rewarding. This is a very challenging hike and I don’t suggest this if you are planning on enjoying a fancy dinner after the hike (unless you plan time to head home and shower up).
Once you reach the top (45- 60 minutes each way) you will see what I’m talking about. The views this hike offers are absolutely breathtaking, and if you can endure the first half, the rest is cake.
If you are in moderately good shape and want to experience the perfect Valentine's Day picnic spot, this is it! If you choose Liberty Cap for your Valentine's Day date, you'll share some of the most romantic views in the Valley and you’ll have a great sense of accomplishment, together. I did warn you though, this hike is not for the faint of heart.
Wherever you choose to share your Valentine's Day in the Grand Valley, we wish you the best, and we would love to hear your creative Valentine's Day Date ideas.
Remember, you don't have to plant a guitar at the top like I did. Just bring your phone and make sure you stream us during your date, we'll handle the rest! ;)