Grand Junction : Colorado

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What it's Like to Retire in Grand Junction

Grand Junction, Colorado comes up near the top of many people's "best places to retire". For one thing, this fast-growing town perched on the border with Utah has a relatively low cost of living. It is also a college town (Mesa State College has over 4,000 students on campus here). Natural beauty and recreation is abundant with the Rocky Mountains and the Colorado National Monument (see picture above). The town is the unofficial capital of the Western Slope. Although the city population was about 60,000 in 2012, there are over 126,000 in the metro area. Many people are very enthusiastic about the quality of lifestye here.

People who have retired to Grand Junction cite the nice downtown, abundant local fruit and wineries, and many outstanding recreational activities within a short drive. The climate is dry and sunny. Jobs are said to be plentiful here, a plus for anyone considering working in retirement. Nearby Fruita is another popular retirement town.


Where to Retire in Grand Junction and Home Prices

There are at least 5 golf course communities here, including Redlands Mesa (see link to Active Communities at right). Because the area is growing so fast there are many choices for places to live.
Real estate prices in Grand Junction, although increasing, are much more reasonable than in Boulder.  According to, the median sale price of a home was $198,400 in late 2016.


What is special about Grand Junction

Colorado National Monument ; 8 wineries ; stunning desert-mountain scenery and recreation; many golf courses; locally grown fruit; many available jobs; fast growing with new housing and communities; dry and sunny climate. To get a good insight into what it is like to live in Grand Junction (GJ), read the "My take on Grand Junction" post at


What is not special about Grand Junction

Remote; Grand Junction is well over 200 miles to either Salt Lake City or Denver; it can be windy; town could be growing too quickly. 


Who will like retirement in Grand Junction

Mountain lovers. Outdoors people. Wine and agriculture buffs. The average age is 37, a few years younger than the statewide average.


Local economy is driven by

Construction, healthcare, education, agriculture and viticulture, oil and mineral extraction (however, this part of the economy in the area is driven by fluctuations in the oil and gas industry and may not be a consistent viable economic industry)

Climate and Physical Environment

Located at altitude of 4600' with towering mountains above. Grand Junction is at the  junction of the Colorado and Gunnison Rivers in west-central Colorado, near the border of Utah. The climate is dry, sunny, occasionally windswept. Canyons and mesas abound. The average July high temp is 92. The average January high is 37 and the low is 16. The wettest month is March (1").


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

There are a growing number of cultural activities, many of them connected to Mesa State. According to one reviewer, Il Bistro Italiano is the best restaurant in town.  Residents tend to criticize the quality and variety of GJ restaurants.  There is a downtown theater.



Crime in Grand Junction is a bit higher than the national average.


Medical facilities

2 hospitals including Community Hospital and St. Mary's Hospital, plus a highly rated VA Hospital.


Grand Junction Regional Airport offers regional service to several cities; Interstate 70 goes through here; Grand Junction is below average in walkability when compared to other communities.


Valuable Links

Wikipedia on Grand Junction
Grand Junction City-Data
Retirement in Colorado
Grand Junction Visitor Information

What people are saying about Grand Junction

Reviews of Grand Junction
There is a very good discussion of Grand Junction in the Blog under the \"Affordable Places to Retire\" article See the Comments section in
Posted by topretirementseditor on February 11, 2013
Ok, ok! Just read this so give me a break! I have yet to retire, but I have lived in the Grand Valley for 7 years. I love Colorado and you have ready acess to all the natural areas of Colorado and Utah. You could spend anothef lifetime exploring them all! The area is remote yet large enough to be its own metro area. The traffic is relatively light. There are many retirees here who come for the many golf courses and the low housing prices and the climate. Warm and dry. Our weather is more like the Southwest than the rest of Colorado. As I still work full time I haven't had much time to explore the cultural opportunities but they are available. And if you want the Big City of Denver it is only a five hour drive. And you are usually traveling in the right direction, not the same way as the rest of the traffic. I70 goes throught the area, The Amtrak train stops here. You can take it to Glenwood Springs or Denver. Or west to California. The economy is mostly Health Care, which is great for retirees, or construction which is not so good at the moment, or oil and gas which has had it's ups and downs over the decades. Alot of the more well-to-do seem to have jobs they can do from a distance...perhaps over the Internet. House prices are down and there are foreclosures available. (Like much of the rest of the country!) My subdivision has a nice mix of retirees and young families. The retirees usually stay unless they are looking for the active community type environment. I think it would be a great place to have a "base' location if you wanted to travel a lot. I can't think of anything else, so pose any questions and I will try to answer.
Posted by LuluM on March 31, 2011
what grand junction is like
I wish someone who lives in Grand Junction would give us some feedback. Real estate values have fallen in Grand Junction, like they have in most towns. The media value was about $180,000. People on other discussion boards talk about it being hard to find a job, economic setbacks, and cuts in the regional medical center. With the economy starting to come back maybe that will get better in GJ. Check out these discussion boards at City-Data, which is everyone - not just people thinking about retirement. Note that there are always a lot of doomsayers on these boards and good luck!
Posted by topretirementseditor on May 06, 2010

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  • State: CO
  • Environment: College Town,Mountain,Small-mid Sized City,Outdoor Oriented,
  • City Population: 50,001-100,000
  • Median age of Population: 25-44
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 21-40
  • Avg July Temperature: 60-80
  • Median HH Income: 20,001-40,000
  • Average Home Price (MLS): $100,000-$200,000
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: Less than 2000
  • Total Crime Index: 101-110 (slightly above average)
  • Cost of Living Index: 91-100 (slightly below average)
  • Culture Index: 101-110 (slightly above average)
  • State Sales Tax: Yes
  • State Income Tax: Yes
  • Name of the Guide: frank

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1. Rating: 2.9/5 ( 14 votes cast)

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10. Rating: 3.1/5 ( 9 votes cast)


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