Crag Crest

Crag Crest's upper trail takes hikers high enough to view distant mountains and lakes of the Grand Mesa.

By Lucas Vader

Staff Writer

Earlier this year, a bike shop called Silent Custom Cyclery showed up in Cedaredge. And at the end of last year, the town saw the birth of Grand Mesa Outdoors at the corner of Main Street.

For 12 years, from 2007-2019, Leisure Time Sports, Inc. sat off the highway where residents can now find the Shelter Shoppe Thrift Store. Leisure Time closed when the owners decided it was time for a change.

The town with a population of just under 2,200 people and one stoplight has more than four restaurants and a number of motels, none of which are far from Highway 65, which runs through it.

This is a town with a golf course. It’s a town where students who grew up in the area regularly complained about there being nothing to do.

Cedaredge, however, has its main attraction for those who can hop in the car and take a quick road trip, as Cedaredge is the “Gateway to the Grand Mesa.”

Residents of Cedaredge are able to spontaneously partake in the following activities:

Bikers can bike a number of trails around town and on the Grand Mesa’s large number of recreational locations. The Grand Mesa Visitor Center has the maps, and those maps can be found online. Silent Custom Cyclery has the bikes. Each bike is a fully restored and repaired vehicle at a fair price. The shop offers repairs and will accept donations of any bicycle in any condition. On June 22, The Denver Post published a list of the top six mountain bike trails which included the Old Grand Mesa Downhill trail. Anyone wishing to learn about that can visit our recently published Staycation Guide or see the Denver Post article, “6 of the best mountain biking trails on the Western Slope.”

Hikers can hike all over the place. The Grand Mesa alone is over 500 square miles and features extensive trail systems. One of the most noteworthy is that of Crag Crest. The upper trail is around six miles long while the lower trail is about four. They both connect to each end, leaving hikers with the option to coordinate and bring two vehicles (one for each end) and hike one way, or to hike the full 10 mile loop. Anyone up for a quick hike in town can take a journey down the locally famed Surface Creek Trail down Southeast Independence Avenue.

Those who like water can stand on the water. Western Slope SUP in Hotchkiss has become well known in the county for its Stand Up Paddle board (SUP) rentals, but Grand Mesa Outdoors has more recently started offering the same service. Anyone aching for an adventure can rent an inflatable, quality board from the store, take it on a trip up the mountain and pick a lake.

Grand Mesa Outdoors will also not only sell residents fishing poles and bait, it has fishing licenses available there as well. The store also holds regular fly-tying classes, which are announced beforehand on social media.

In an area as unique as this one, the iconic Cedaredge apple orchards around town have a backstory. This time of year, residents can check out the Pioneer Town Museum to learn about the pioneers of fruitgrowers and settlers alike. The area has a bountiful culture behind it.

With great options comes great response ability.

Load comments