Fruita

Thanks to the invention of the mountain bike and an abundance of natural slick-rock trails, Fruita is finally gaining much-deserved recognition as an outdoor paradise. Along with Fruita's extensive trail system, this Western Slope town also has rafting for all types, be it a leisurely float down Ruby and Horsethief canyons or a heart-pounding surge through Westwater Canyon.

Downtown Fruita features a walking tour of 16 historic buildings. Also near here are free self-guided tours of dinosaur excavations at Riggs Hill and Dinosaur Hill, while The Dinosaur Journey Museum combines fossils and skeletons with robots and interactive exhibits.

Stop by the Colorado National Monument Visitor Center for a better understanding of the history and geology of the rock plateaus and canyons in this stunning 32-square-mile monument. Then fill a water bottle or two and see them for yourself.

Visitors at the Fruita Fat Tire Festival in late April/early May can watch bike races and even a bike rodeo, or just kick back and listen to the live music. Each May, Mike the Headless Chicken Day celebrates the story of one Fruita chicken who lived without his noggin for two years.

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