By now, everyone should have heard of Garfield Hall at least once during their stay here at Colorado Mesa University. However, there is another Garfield that is just as cool, and I am not talking about the past president.

Over in Palisade, about ten miles away from CMU, is Mount Garfield, after which I can only assume the dorm is named. If you look eastward, along I-70 East, there are several spots from which one can spot the top of the mountain.

It is one of those plateau type mountains and therefore doesn’t have a typical peak that most mountains do when children, or the artistically impaired, draw them with a smiley sun. This doesn’t mean that the peak is any kind of a letdown though; in fact, it is quite a beautiful view from the top.

From there you can see the various colors of the trees in mid-fall fashion and the glimmer of Grand Junction in the distance. Not only is the view terrific, but the top has a flag of the United States hoisted upon an approximately 15-foot pole.

Mason Moore | The Criterion

Apparently, the huge pole was carried up there by a gaggle of dudes as they bro’d out to make the already deceivingly climb as hard as possible, all to replace the old flagpole that had broken during a storm and sent the flag flying to Canada, for all we know. So now the flag is being flown majestically over the mountain for all to see and enjoy.

The trip up to that flag was alright as well. It was, however, pretty hard in the beginning. Now, I like to consider myself in peak performance shape, Olympic material, but what I like to think and what is true came to a crashing conclusion in the first mile of the hike.

The hike is two miles and goes up 2,000 feet, but it is not spread out evenly whatsoever. The first mile, maybe shorter, is nothing but uphill and steep uphill that offers a great opportunity to feel the burn in your calves.

If this challenge makes you giddy to climb, then do whatever makes your jello wiggle, but if not, know that it ends pretty quick and the rest of the hike is a breeze and could be done in flip-flops.

Besides the very start of the hike, it is an enjoyable and easy mountain to hike up, when you get a couple of hours free and is well worth the sight, especially if you are new to Grand Junction, like me. Mount Garfield offers a chance to connect with the city and surrounding area that we all live in.


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