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Grand Junction, US

Grand Junction, a thriving town lying between fertile mountain valleys and open desert, owes its existence to the railway that was built here in the 1880s. Today the oil and gas industries are the main employers, and the heart of the town is packed with tree-lined boulevards and a sculpture-adorned shopping district.

Grand Junction lies close to the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness Area but the highlight of any stay is the nearby Colorado National Monument. Here more than 200 million years of wind and water erosion have gouged out brightly coloured rock spires, arches, domes, pedestals and balanced rocks along a line of stunning cliffs. The warm reds, oranges and purples of the rock contrast beautifully with the arid vegetation of pine, yucca and sagebrush making it a very photogenic region.

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