A guide to Parachute Colorado

The small community of Parachute (population 1,085) sits close to Interstate-70 in Garfield County. A friendly residential town of nearly 400 dwellings and several small businesses, it lies within the westernmost part of Colorado. The large city of Grand Junction (population 49,688), located 30 miles to the west, dominates the regional economy.

Parachute’s proximity to Grand Junction and Garfield County

The busy I-70 corridor serves as the major east-west route through mountainous Colorado. Quiet Parachute benefits greatly as a result of its proximity to this major thoroughfare. 

Situated near the gateway to Grand Junction, the town accommodates many travelers journeying overland between the city and points further east, including Rifle and Glenwood Springs (the county seat). The community occupies a pivotal location near the point where Parachute Creek flows into the Colorado River.

A frontage road leading into U.S. Highway 6 runs parallel to the interstate for several miles along the north bank of the scenic Colorado River.  It crosses through downtown Parachute. Battlement Mesa, an area of ranches and resort facilities, lies across the waterway on the southern shore.

Most of surrounding Garfield County remains rural in character.  It extends for many miles west and north, all the way to the Utah border. This setting allows Parachute to retain the atmosphere of a small town, while also providing amenities to numerous visitors.

Facilities in Parachute

Many of Parachute’s residents commute to nearby communities frequently. The town possesses a handful of businesses, including several firms which provide important amenities for travelers. Auto parts, gasoline, food, restaurant and hotel accommodations can all be found within the environs. Additionally, homeowners can access construction supplies and many consumer electronic items in Parachute.

Several rural elementary schools exist within the community. In addition, in 2002 the local school district (Garfield County District No. 16) opened a state-of-the-art high school facility in Parachute. Grand Valley High School can accommodate some 400 students, and plans have been proposed to further expand educational facilities in the area in the future.

Recreational areas in Parachute

A small picnic area lies just one block north of the frontage road on the east side of town. Motorists reach it by heading towards Parachute Creek Road. 

In addition, visitors crossing south onto Battlement Mesa can enjoy recreational facilities at Cottonwood Park, a scenic landscaped tract overlooking the Colorado River. Residents conduct an annual Oktoberfest celebration there in early October.

Adjoining Cottonwood Park, the Callahan Ball Field Complex offers a place for outdoor sporting activities. Parachute belongs to a parks and recreational district encompassing Battlement Mesa. The town maintains a 27 acre skate park on Battlement Mesa north of the elementary school.

Parachute as a recreational center

The region surrounding Parachute offers numerous opportunities for outdoor recreational pursuits. Hiking, biking, horseback riding, camping and rock climbing draw many people to Garfield County. Parachute has attracted some retirees because of these activities.

Nearby Battlement Mesa maintains both an Activity Center, and a golf club with landscaped links. People in search of rigorous physical pursuits can participate in rafting trips along the Colorado River and in winter can find numerous opportunities for downhill and cross country skiing in the vicinity.

In conclusion, the beauty of the rugged western Colorado region continues to draw both residents and visitors. Parachute benefits as a result of its choice location in the heart of this wonderful region.