Picture it: You and your partner have just spent the day checking out some of the most gorgeous views in Western Colorado, sipping local wine, and maybe stretching your legs on a heart-pounding hike. Now, you’re cozied up in front of one of the best sunsets you’ll find anywhere. Thank you, Delta County, CO.

This hub for Colorado history, agrotourism, and serious recreation on land, water, and in the air, is the perfect spot for an adventurous weekend with your special someone. For the best weekend-long date you’ve been on in recent memory, this is the place to be. Here are seven things to include in your next weekend away to ensure that your weekend is a nice mix of outdoor adventure and romance.

1. Catch a Sunset

There is no doubt that catching a sunset with your sweetheart can be pretty romantic, but what about bringing along a picnic to enjoy as you catch the last rays of the day? Local cheese and wine stashed in a backpack make for the perfect low-key romantic gesture. To catch the best views of the waning daylight, head to Grand Mesa, the largest flat-topped mountain in the world, that has plenty of vantage points to take in the sunset. For best results, head out to Land’s End Observatory. The drive out is beautiful, and since the observatory is right on the rim, you’ll get a panoramic view.

2. Push Your Limits


Sometimes the best date is a trust-building adventure. Rock climbing together will push you outside your comfort zone, and Black Canyon of the Gunnison is a prime destination. At depths as low as 2,700 feet, it’s a trad climbing paradise with more than 130 developed routes ranging from an approachable 5.7 grade to an experts-only 5.12. If you’re not an experienced climber but still want to experience the Black Canyon, consider hiring an outfitter like San Juan Mountain Guides.

3. Work Up A Sweat

For a major physical challenge, give mountain biking a shot. Delta County’s burgeoning mountain bike scene means there are trails to suit new riders and tried-and-true experts. The Jumbo Mountain trail system in Paonia features 23 miles of purpose-built trails ranging from beginner to advanced. There’s also the 18.6-mile Sidewinder Trail near Delta, where you and your date will be challenged by technical desert singletrack. You can also check out the Escalante Rim Tour, just outside of Delta, for an approachable way to check out the local trails.

4. Explore Agritourism


Delta County’s agrotourism scene is worlds apart from other entertainment options of the Front Range. From picking your own fruit at one of the county’s many orchards to exploring Western Colorado wine country, there’s so much to see (and taste). Visit Orchard Valley Farms near Paonia to pick seasonal fruits, herbs, and veggies between Memorial Day and Halloween—and, when you’re done, sip vino from the on-site Black Bridge Winery. The market sells local snacks and cheese, balsamic vinegars, and infused olive oils. This is the perfect spot to stock up for your sunset picnic!

5. Snap a Cute Couples’ Photo

No romantic trip would be complete without a cute selfie in front of one of Delta County’s natural wonders. Needle Rock, one of the area’s most iconic sights, is a good place to start. This enormous geologic formation is perched on the outskirts of the West Elk Mountains and is a remnant of an ancient volcanic plug. You can squeeze it into a selfie from the road to get the whole formation in view or hike just a little under a mile each way to get right up to it. If you visit in the fall, you can also catch a leaf-peeping selfie with Grand Mesa’s colorful aspens—entire groves of which are one gigantic, interconnected organism.

6. Find Your Inner Daredevils


Adrenaline junkies will delight in a skydiving excursion with Ultimate Skydiving Adventures—the only outfitter of its kind on the Western Slope. If jumping out of a plane isn’t quite what you’re looking for, take a trip down the exciting Gunnison River. Black Canyon Anglers will make sure you come home with a catch (you know, in addition to your sweetie), while Gunnison River Expeditions will guide you through the fast Class IV and V rapids on the Gunny in the early season runoff.

7. Stay Somewhere Romantic

The Fairlamb House Bed & Breakfast is the perfect launching point for adventuresome couples who want local knowledge and a cozy night’s sleep. The farm-to-kitchen dining experience (including picking your own tomatoes) and knowledgeable owners make for an ideal place to rest up for the next day’s adventure. The Agape Farm Retreat in Paonia is another romantic stop, as is the Leroux Creek Inn and Winery in Hotchkiss. Both have on-site chefs, gardens, and other amenities.

Written by Emma Walker for Matcha in partnership with Delta County Colorado.

Featured image provided by Delta County Colorado

[+] Site Map