Sizzling Summer Fun!

Beat the heat by chilling out in Delta County. Here are just five reasons why you should choose "Our Side of the Divide" for your summer getaway.

1. Tasty Tours and Treks

A visit to Delta County just wouldn't be complete without a taste of this region's roots–the fresh produce that is grown here. From late June through October roadside stands will treat you to cherries, peaches, apricots, apples and more. Bison, beef, ostrich and elk are all raised and sold in Delta County. The area also boasts 11 wineries, five tasting rooms, two distilleries and a new hard cider mill.

2. Park it Here

There are enough reservoirs, parks and forests in Delta County to keep the adventurer busy for days! The north rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, near Crawford, features spectacular views and unprecedented heights, which you can view from the park's many trails. Bordering the Black Canyon is the Gunnison Gorge, a designated National Conservation Area. This is the place to go for Gold Medal fishing and unparalleled whitewater rafting. Get a Guide and Go!

The Crawford, Paonia and Sweitzer Reservoirs offer great opportunities for picnicking, boating, water skiing, camping, swimming and fishing. Nearby, Crawford State Park provides a scenic refuge from the everyday, with fishing, hiking and water sports. In Paonia State Park you can picnic near a babbling stream and water-ski on a mountain reservoir. The park's many wildflowers make it the perfect place to snap a family photo. Confluence Park in Delta boasts 265 acres dedicated to trails, a bike path, picnic sites, fishing lakes, river access and a fitness course.

The Grand Mesa National Forest, West Elk Wilderness Area and the Uncompahgre National Forest are also part of Delta County. Hunting, fishing, backpacking, hiking, mountain biking, camping and horseback riding are all available here.

3. Reel Fun

There are many places in Delta County to cast your line to try to hook a big one. The Gunnison, Uncompahgre and North Fork Rivers are an angler's paradise. The more than 300 lakes on Grand Mesa provide ample room to find your own favorite fishing hole. And the Hotchkiss National Fish Hatchery is a great place for kids to learn the sport. The hatchery consists of a hatchery building with a small visitor center and tank room, residences, 32 outdoor concrete raceways, 24 nursery tanks, and 6 earthen ponds. To purchase licenses online visit the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Don't forget those Gold Medal Waters in the Gunnison Gorge.

4. Driving it Home

Delta County enjoys three scenic byways. Dinosaur Diamond features the paleontology of the area. Dinosaur bones, evidence of early man's inhabitance and geographic timelines are all part of the experience. The West Elk Loop is a 205-mile trek that links the recreational, historical and conservationist aspects of the Delta County communities. The Grand Mesa National Scenic and Historic Byway features more than 300 lakes, providing easy access to camping, fishing and boating.

If driving a golf ball is more your speed check out our two 18-hole golf courses, Deer Creek Golf Course in Cedaredge and Devil's Thumb Golf Club in Delta. Deer Creek stretches from 5,100 to 6,450 yards allowing golfers of all abilities to test their skills. Devil's Thumb is described as a "prairie style" course with no trees and only one water hazard.

5. Family Festivals

Delta County's festivals pay homage to the area's proud heritage and history. Here's a look at some of the signature summer events.

June – Crawford Pioneer Days

This celebration pays homage to Crawford's heritage. The weekend festivities include a parade, old-fashioned melodrama, elk calling contest and a fireworks finale. Call 970-921-4000 for more information.

July – Paonia's Annual Cherry Days

Showcasing the "best cherries in Colorado", this celebration also includes a parade, arts, crafts, a carnival, music and fun for the whole family. Visit The Paonia Chamber or Commerce for more information.

July – Deltarado Days, Delta

This authentic Western fiesta dates back to 1936 and includes food, live music, mule and donkey races, a rodeo, tractor pull and coal shoveling just to name a few! Visit the Delta Area Chamber of Commerce for more information.

Summer Events Celebrate Agricultural Bounty

Since its founding in 1883, Colorado's Delta County has been a center for ranching, farming, viniculture and orchard crops. During the summer, towns throughout the county celebrate this legacy with plenty of tasty, fun and educational events.

Kids Pasta Night (Hotchkiss, ongoing)

Every Monday evening during the summer, kids from different schools in the North Fork Valley, together with their parents, create and serve meals using local produce and products. Proceeds go to nonprofit organizations chosen by the kids. Email for more information.

French Cooking Classes (Hotchkiss, call for schedule)

Monday evenings at Leroux Creek Inn are devoted to the art of easy French cooking. Call 970-872-4746 or visit Leroux Creek Inn & Vineyards for more information.

Mountain Valley Winefest (Cedaredge, June 20)

This benefit for the Delta County Memorial Hospital features the products of local vineyards and wineries.

Paonia Cherry Days (Paonia, July Fourth)

Held annually on the Fourth of July, Cherry Days is one the oldest continuously-running, annual outdoor festivals in Colorado. In addition to a parade and fireworks, the festival includes food, live entertainment, arts and crafts, and a family carnival. Visit The Paonia Chamber or Commerce for more information.

Little Britches Rodeo (Cedaredge, July)

During this week-long event, future rodeo stars compete in one of the oldest Little Britches Rodeos in the country. Other activities include a classic car show and rodeo parade. Call 970-856-6676 or visitthe Cedaredge Chamber or Commerce for more information.

31st Annual Pioneer Days (Crawford, July)

The area's western heritage is celebrated with a parade, old-fashioned Melodrama, fireworks and more. Call 970-921-4000 for more information.

West Elks Premier Vintage Wine Festival (Paonia, August)

Delta County is part of the West Elks American Viticulture Area. This festival features tastings of new releases, as well as wine maker dinners, food and wine pairings sessions, music and more. Visit The Paonia Chamber or Commerce for more information.

Delta County Fair (Hotchkiss, August)

Enjoy live entertainment, great food and a rodeo, as well as such typical county fair competitions as livestock, produce, canned goods, quilts, and sewing. Call 970-874-9197 for more information.

Tomato Canning Class (Paonia, August)

Learn the secrets of canning fresh tomatoes and try your hand at making salsa, tomato sauces and stewed tomatoes. Class fee includes a gourmet sandwich lunch, recipes and a jar or two of each product. Call 970-527-4374 or visit Fresh & Wyld Farmhouse Inn for more information.

Food, Farm, Film & Wine Festival (Paonia, August)

Fresh & Wyld, the area's local and organic produce organization, hosts a weekend full of movies, farm and winery tours, a Farm Dinner and brunch. Call 970-527-4389 or or visit Fresh & Wyld Farmhouse Inn for more information.

Taste the Valley (Paonia, August)

Cooking demonstrations and tastings featuring the best local ingredients is what this foodie festival is all about. Sponsored by the Black Canyon Land Trust and Leroux Creek Inn. Vist the Black Canyon Land Trust for more information.

Dinner in the Vineyard (Paonia, August)

Enjoy five courses, five wines, local produce, music, and beautiful scenery at Stone Cottage Cellars. Visit Stone Cottage Cellars for more information.

Peach Canning Class (Paonia, September)

Learn the secrets of canning fresh peaches and try your hand at peach salsa, peach jam and Peaches in Champagne Sauce. Class fee includes a gourmet sandwich lunch, recipes and a jar or two of each product. Call 970-527-4374 or visit Fresh & Wyld Farmhouse Inn for more information.

A Celebration in the Field (Paonia, September)

Chefs and students from the Culinary School of the Rockies prepare an amazing farm feast under the stars at Zephyros Farm. Visit Zephyros Farm and Garden for more information.

9th Annual Mountain Harvest Festival (Paonia, September)

This is the area's premier agricultural celebration. In addition to live entertainment, arts and crafts, farmers market and food vendors, there is a pie contest, chili cook-off, organic farm tours, and workshops on beekeeping, livestock and poultry. Visit The Mountain Harvest Festival or call 970-527-3424 for more information.

Make Your Own Tour

The Delta County Tourism Web site has made self-guided tour maps available for download. Here you'll find maps for farm/ranch tours, wineries, bike tours and even birding.