Grand Junction, CO
The City of Grand Junction is the largest city in western Colorado. It is a city with a council–manager government form that is the county seat and the most populous city of Mesa County, Colorado, United States. Grand Junction is situated 247 miles (398 km) west-southwest of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. According to 2010 census City of Grand Junction and Mesa County, the population of the city is 58,566. Grand Junction is the 15th most populous city in the State of Colorado and the most populous city on the Colorado Western Slope. Grand Junction serves as a major commercial and transportation hub within the large area between the Green River and the Continental Divide. It is the principal city of the Grand Junction Metropolitan Statistical Area which had a population of 146,723 in 2010 census.
The city is located along the Colorado River, where it receives the Gunnison River from the south. The name "Grand" refers to the historical upper Colorado River until renamed in 1921, and the word "Junction" is from the joining of the Colorado and Gunnison rivers. Hence, Grand Junction has been given the nickname "River City". The city sits near the mid-point of a 30-mile (48 km) arcing valley, known as the Grand Valley, a major fruit-growing region, historically home to the Ute people and settled by white farmers in the 1880s. In recent years, several wineries have been established in the area as well. The Colorado National Monument, a unique series of canyons and mesas, overlooks the city on the west, while most of the area is surrounded by public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The Book Cliffs are a prominent series of cliffs that define the northern side of the Grand Valley. Interstate 70 connects the city eastward to Glenwood Springs and Denver and westward to Green River, Utah; Salt Lake City (via Interstate 70 and U.S Route 6); and Las Vegas (via Interstate 70 and Interstate 15)
The Country Jam Ranch is located near Grand Junction just north of I-70 at the Mack exit. This is a permanent festival site built for music festivals, including Country Jam, an event that has been held since 1992 and one that draws thousands of country music fans to the area.