Updated: Jul 14, 2022
We woke up early on Labor Day to hike the mountain biking trails that surround Highline Lake. The cool morning temperatures with cloudless blue skies made for an impressive five-mile looped walk. Cost of entry to the state park was ten dollars and included a thirty-six-hour access pass. The Park has boat ramps, sheltered picnic areas, a family-friendly beach area suitable for swimming, and bathroom facilities. Plan for a day trip and book your picnic shelter in advance.
Before arriving at Highline Park we stopped in at Bestslope Coffee Company to get our morning caffeine fix. This place did not disappoint. We tried their lavender latte’ and peach oatmeal breakfast bars. Katie’s umami preferences vary from my own and she wasn’t a fan of the oatmeal bar but that just meant more fiber for me!
We parked on the east side of the lake and began hiking north, walking counterclockwise around the lake. If you’re not up for an entire five-mile hike, try walking south, pausing on top of the dam wall to take in the 360 degree views of the lake, mountains and Loma valley before retracing your steps.
As hikers in general, we don’t typically have too many notable experiences with wildlife. However, we were fortunate on this adventure to have spotted a bald eagle perched atop a desert bluff. I’ve only seen bald eagles a few times in my life, never of which were these majestic aerial creatures hunkered down on the ground. The trail was, however, littered with small desert geckos. Keep in mind that hunting with shotguns throughout the week is permitted along much of the mountain biking paths we walked. That said, we didn’t see a single sportsman on our journey. That is, excluding anglers.
If you’re staying in Grand Junction and looking for an enjoyable lakeside experience, Highline is sure to be a crowd pleaser for most of the crowd.
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