Tag: Recreation

Subdivision Walking Paths Lead up to Canal Banks, Beckoning Walkers/Bikers

In housing subdivisions across the Grand Valley, concrete pathways have been constructed leading up to the banks of the Grand Valley's irrigation canals, beckoning people to use the banks for non-motorized, recreational use, even though such use is technically deemed illegal

WARNING: DO NOT USE: In housing subdivisions across the Grand Valley, concrete pathways like the one running between the houses in the above photo, lead onto the banks of the Grand Valley’s irrigation canals, beckoning residents to enjoy the areas for non-motorized recreation. Oddly, despite these pathways, in 2015 recreational use of the canal banks remains technically illegal. Formally opening the canal banks to non-motorized public recreation would almost overnight create one of the most extensive, beautiful and useful off-road trail systems in the western United States. It could also be a huge tourism asset and a particular boon to Grand Junction’s urbanizing areas, where safe bikeways and pedestrian amenities like sidewalks and foot bridges over canals are still sorely lacking. 

Spring has Sprung

People enjoy a morning stroll by the Government Highline Canal as it fills the valley's massive, government-built irrigation system with water, marking the beginning of the 2015 growing season in the Grand Valley

People enjoy a morning stroll along the Grand Valley Highline Canal as it fills the valley’s extensive, government-funded irrigation system with water, marking the beginning of the Grand Valley’s 2015 growing season. The Grand Valley Highline Canal, also called the Government High Line Canal, is a federally-funded irrigation project that made settlement of the Grand Valley possible. It was completed in 1917 and is 55 miles long. Technically, walking or biking on the canal banks is trespassing, but according to former three-term Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey, not one single case of canal road trespassing was ever prosecuted in the valley in the 28 years served on the Sheriff Department. “Maybe someone has gotten a ticket,” said Hilkey, but basically MCSO considers it “the lowest priority misdemeanor there is.” Every farmer in the valley owes his or her living, and a big debt of gratitude, to the federal government for creating the canals.




Jumpin’ Without Jesus: Get Air at the Silo to Open Soon in Grand Junction

The old Mesa Feed building on south 7th Street in LoJo is being rebuilt into a climbing and trampoline amusement park.

The old Mesa Feed building on south 7th Street in LoJo is being rebuilt into a climbing and trampoline amusement park.

A controversy arose in Grand Junction last month after a parent complained about a video shown to Grand Mesa Middle School students that promoted Fellowship Church’s new youth indoctrination center, “4640.” The video boasted that 4640 had a foam pit, a ledge swing, a “spider jump center” and a delicious food court “filled with more junk food than you can imagine.” The only problem was that kids going to 4640 get pressured to become Christian.

But Fellowship Church is about to get some secular competition for the minds and bodies of local recreation-starved youth.

A trampoline and climbing amusement park called Get Air at the Silo is getting ready to open in the old Mesa Feed building at 715 S. 7th Street in LoJo (lower downtown Grand Junction). Word is the silo on the property is getting remade into a climbing course.

Attractions will include a foam pit, a series of pit trampolines that allow people to jump like rabbits from one to the next, dodge ball, gymnastics training, “Extreme Air Training,” an angled trampoline you can run up to do flips, “air jam basketball” (a tramp for slam-dunking basketballs into a hoop), a course for smaller kids and a snack and party room. The facility will be equipped with delayed-view recording cameras and a giant, flat-screen monitor that lets patrons and their friends review their jumps.

The facility is a franchise of Get Air Management, which operates large trampoline parks worldwide. Get Air has parks in Tucson, AZ, Kennewick, WA, Temecula, CA, Huntington Beach, CA, Kaysville, UT, Nicholasville, KY, Poway, CA, and has more parks set to open this summer in Oregon, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Washington and Maine.

A similar Get Air facility in Tucson, AZ charges $10 for one hour of jumping, but some cities in California charge up to $14/hour.  The facility will be available for parties, and passes will be available. For the fee, patrons can jump all they want with zero pressure to become Christian.

Get Air Management requires users to sign legal waivers regarding injury and follow specific safety rules. Users of recreation facilities like foam pits and trampolines, whether they are in secular or religious facilities, need to be aware of the potential for serious injury from these activities. 

Get Air Silo is located at 715 S. 7th Street in Grand Junction, near the Daily Sentinel building.

The Grand Valley Canals Double Message

The beautiful banks of the Grand Valley Canals have beckoned locals for recreation for generations.

The beautiful banks of the Grand Valley Canals have beckoned locals for recreation for generations.

Updated September 8, 2016 – Author’s note: On September 5, 2016, The Daily Sentinel published a front page story about the possibility of opening up the Orchard Mesa canal banks to public recreational use. The story quoted former Colorado State Representative Tim Foster, now President of Colorado Mesa University, who called landowners’ claims that they fear legal liability from opening the canals to public recreation a “red herring.” Here’s the quote:

[Colorado Mesa University President] Tim Foster…served as a Colorado state representative between 1988 and 1996 and helped carry a bill in the early 1990s that would transfer liability of canal banks to the state, paving the way to combine trails with canals. The law was passed to help complete the current High Line Canal Trail in Denver that spans more than 70 miles, though that ditch doesn’t usually contain much water.

“The bill gave them protections from liability,” Foster said. “The liability argument is a complete red herring. Me and Tillie (Bishop) carried it, and it gives them immunity. At the end of the day, these guys got stuck on not letting anybody on the canals.”


Grand Junction, Colorado area citizens can often be seen walking dogs, running, biking and even cross-country skiing on the beautiful banks of the Grand Valley’s irrigation canals. The maintenance roads along the canals offer expansive vistas, blissful quiet and a feeling of safety for recreators because of the absence of motor vehicles. Newer subdivisions across the valley even have concrete pathways leading straight up onto the canal banks, beckoning residents to take peaceful walks there.

But at the same time signs posted along the canal roads warn that they are “No Trespassing” zones.

So, which is it? Are the canal roads off limits, or is it okay for the public to walk, run or bike on them?

The answer is both, and neither.