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Hiking Mount Garfield

Hike to the top of Mount Garfield to see what locals call Grand Junction’s “Best view in town”

Mount Garfield in the Book Cliffs of Grand Junction after a light snowfall
You can’t come to Grand Junction and not notice the interesting cliffs on the north side of the city, called the Bookcliffs, they extend for over 200 miles from Grand Junction all the way into Utah.  The promontory rising above them all is Mount Garfield (6637 feet), named after President James Garfield.
The cliff faces resembled “books on a shelf” as first noted in 1853 during John Gunnison’s expedition through the Grand Valley and the name stuck.
If you want to explore them, one of the best ways is to hike to the top of Mount Garfield, two thousand feet above the highway roaring by at their base.
The relatively short two miles to the top is a good workout due to the steepness of the journey, but you will be rewarded with great views over the Grand Valley, Grand Junction, and Palisade with its vineyards.
View from the top of Mount Garfield Grand Junction Colorado
Kyle Scheve


3.6 miles round trip out and back with 2000 feet of elevation gain


  • Hiking Poles
  • Dogs okay
  • No shade, a hot trail in the summer
  • Watch out for water in the tunnel beneath I-70
  • After snow or rain, the trail can be slick and dangerous
  • If you see piles of horse manure on or near the trail keep your eye out for wild horses


Photo Notes

  • Best photographs are from the top at sunrise or sunset, afternoons can be hazy over the valley

Getting there

Culvert Route (Culvert can be impassable due to wet weather)
  • From I-70 take exit 42, head south to G 7/10 Road and follow it west for 1.5 miles to where it turns north and passes under I-70 through a culvert to the parking lot
Alternative Route (Dirt roads can be impassable due to wet weather)
  • From I-70 take exit 42, head south 0.8 miles to G Road and follow it west for 4.4 miles.
  • Turn right on 33 Road and cross over I-70, take your first right onto the good dirt frontage road for 1 mile, when the road turns left (north) continue onto a poor dirt road, continue for 2 miles to the trailhead. 
Mount Garfield Hike Map

Parking ( 39.118992, -108.388778 )

Large dirt parking lot

Hiking Route for Mount Garfield

  • Look for the trail heading uphill from the north side of the parking area.
  • It is a strenuous climb, especially so at the beginning, staying on the spines of the ridgelines of the highly eroded fingers extending from the mesa top.
  • You will come to a cleft in the cliff face as the trail transitions from the fingers to travel along the mesa toward the top.
  • Along the way, you will have great views over Grand Junction.

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Mount Garfield Hike

Hike to the top of Mount Garfield, the highest point of Grand Junctions Book Cliffs for the best view in town

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