Grand Junction is located 28 miles east of the Utah border at the junction of the Colorado and Gunnison rivers, midway between Denver
and Salt Lake City.
In 1881, the site was settled by ranchers following expulsion of the Ute nation. They first called it Ute, then West Denver, and eventually named it for the river junction. The town grew as a regional irrigated farm and mining center.
Today Grand Junction, population about 40,200, is the area's oil, uranium, gas, shale and coal-mining hub. Electronic equipment is produced here and tourism is significant. The city lies in the Grand Valley, bordered on the east by the Grand Mesa and Colorado National Monument to the west. It is a major fruit-producing area that includes several vineyards. The area also provides abundant recreational opportunities, including the Colorado Riverfront Trail System. Grand Junction hosts the Junior College World Series baseball tournament as well as other cultural and community events throughout the year.