North Fork Valley - Northwest Colorado

Includes Hotchkiss, Paonia, Somerset

The North Fork Valley is a land rich in history of coal, fruit and cattle. The first settlers came to the North Fork Valley from Lake city in 1880. Soon Ira Quimbly Sanborn discovered coal in the Somerset area of the upper North Fork in 1899. Then, when the railroad came to the area in 1902, the railroad changed the commercial scale of the fruit industry. Today, the area is known for the worlds best apples, along with peaches, cherries, wine grapes, apricots and pears.

A North Fork Valley Farm with mountain in background in Colorado
The North Fork Valley is known for its Fruit
A bunch of green apples grown from the the North Fork Valley in Colorado
The Best Apples in the World are Grown Here

The close by West Elk Wilderness is a magnificent place for hiking and hunting. The entire area is a focal point of back roads and trails leading into the wilderness. Take a drive along the West Elk Loop Scenic Byway and record some of this area's uniqueness with your camera.

A black and white sheep dog herds sheep in tall grass at the Sheep Dog Trials in the Town of Hotchkiss, Colorado
May is Sheep Dog Trials Time, See These Amazing Work Dogs in Action
Hunter leads two pack horses into the snowy mountains of the North Fork Valley, Colorado
The Abundance of Elk Bring in Hunters to The West Elk Wilderness Area

The town of Hotchkiss contains many orchards, farms and small ranches. Hotchkiss hosts several events throughout the year, such as the Delta County Fair in August, the North Fork Valley Bluegrass Festival and Black Canyon Art Exhibit in June, and the Sheep Dog Trials in May.

Classic cars parked in front of Snow Dogs Hot Dogs, Chicago Style Hot dogs in Colorado
Illinois Natives Brought Tasty Chicago-Style Hot Dogs and Polish Sausages To Western Colorado
Bluegrass Musicians at the North Fork Valley Blue Grass Festival in Hotchkiss, Colorado
Come to the Town of Hotchkiss for The North Fork Valley Bluegrass Festival in June

Nearby, in Paonia, you'll find abundant orchards filled with sweet and sour cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, pears, nectarines and a large variety of apples. Samuel Wade founded the town of Paonia in 1882 when he brought the first fruit trees into the valley. In addition to Paonia's farmers, the area's economy is based on coalmines and ranching. The area is now known as a New Age community.

North Fork Valley is near: Crawford, Delta, Grand Junction & Grand Mesa Area

Featured North Fork Valley Businesses

Hotchkiss Inn Motel
Hotchkiss is in the North Fork Valley. Stay in elegant rooms with the comforts of a BIG CITY motel: WiFi, DirecTV, deluxe breakfast. Family owned and operated for families and pets. Walk to fly-fishing river.

 Web page link icon Hotels and Motels Fishing 

Redwood Arms Motel and RV Park
Walk to river fishing! Redwood Arms Motel is 4 minutes from Paonia along The West Elk Scenic Loop Byway. Country quaint rooms: spacious, air conditioned, DirecTV, HBO, WiFi. RV Park: full Hookups.

 Web page link icon Hotels and Motels RV Parks and Resorts Scenic Byways and Drives Fishing 

For more travel information contact:

North Fork Valley Activities & Maps

Scenic Byways:
West Elk Loop Scenic Byway

Black Canyon Snowmobile Trails

Local Area Maps:
Delta, Montrose & North Fork Valley Area Map


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