Grand Junction : Colorado


What It Is 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 (Colorado Mesa University has over 10,000 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 65,560 during the 2022 census, 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.

Watch this short Youtube video presented by Grand Junction Visitor Center (Visit Grand Junction)


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 left). 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 home value in Grand Junction was $367,800 in early 2022.


What Is Special about Grand Junction

Colorado National Monument ; 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.


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. Colorado Mesa University offers Lifelong Learning and a Golden Scholars Program for seniors with access to their library, computers, and discounts to programs.


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 Colorado Mesa University . 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

Grand Junction
I have been coming to Grand Junction since 1969. The first time was as a student participating in a speech & debate competition at Mesa College. My wife also has relatives in GJ so we came on a vacation in 1976. In 1979 my wife\'s mother moved back to GJ (she grew up in the area) after being widowed. Up until her death in 2016, our family made a yearly (sometimes twice) trek to GJ so the grandkids could visit their grandma and we could enjoy the community. I\'ve played all the golf courses in GJ except for the country club. Over the years, we\'ve noticed small changes to the town as it grew. Traffic is much worse, especially on North, Patterson and around the mall. The amount of humidity, particularly in August has increased so the \"dry climate\" is not so dry any longer. It\'s hard to get on the golf courses because of the increase in population and retirees. Our daughter moved to GJ in 2003 and returned to Arizona in 2017. She, and later her husband, found it difficult to find quality jobs in town since wages are very low. Finally, the medical care from local doctors and hospitals is suspect. My wife\'s mother was treated for pain in her back for several years which turned out to be a misdiagnosed kidney cyst and kidney stones. This misdiagnosis complicated by her age led to her early death in 2016. My wife and I considered GJ as a place to retire, based on our perceptions during the 1970s & 1980s. However, the remoteness of GJ, the expense of air travel from there to other destinations, the low quality of health care caused us to rethink our decision on where to retire. For those considering GJ for retirement, you might examine your choice in greater depth. If none of these issues bother you, GJ may be a good fit.
Posted by RetCop on July 31, 2019
Grand Junction Update
Mesa State College is now named Colorado Mesa University. This fast-growing school hosts more than 8,000 students, with a slew of new buildings. The student enrollment goal is 20,000 in the next few years. The university has a full slate of athletic competitions to attend as part of the RMAC conference. The Grand Valley is experiencing steady growth in the retirement population. There are many new assisted living centers throughout the valley. Saint Mary\'s Regional Medical Center built a huge new addition just a few years ago. Community hospital moved from an older facility on 12th Street to a beautiful modern facility at the far west end of Grand Junction. The booming tourist industry welcomes people from around the globe who come to see the spectacular red rock of eastern Utah and the nearby Colorado National Monument. The Grand Junction Symphony and a very active Arts inbound program keeps patrons awed and entertained. The Grand Junction Rockies minor league baseball team makes their home here. As the largest population center between the Wasatch Front of Utah and the Front Range of Colorado, Grand Junction is an ideal location for retirees.
Posted by lindycindy2004 on July 27, 2017
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
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