Elevation 5,040 ft.
As you slowly ascend the rolling hillside up to the Grand Mesa, you will pass through Orchard City – a unique agricultural, residential and recreational area nestled between the cities of Delta to the southwest, Cedaredge to the north, and Hotchkiss to the east. Despite being the largest municipality in terms of square miles in Delta County, Orchard City is primarily recognized by the names of three smaller and older areas within its boundaries – Austin, Eckert, and Cory. They all had separate beginnings, but somehow through a unique course of events came together.
The Big E Market is an authentic rural shop, providing great produce and meats. Drost's Chocolates on the corner of Hwy 65 and North Road provides decadent chocolate treats and an impressive antique cash register collection.
Several of the buildings on the highway are constructed using the local volcanic rock. The Eckert Presbyterian Church is over 100 years old and has some fine examples of this rockwork. The Eckert Creamery sold butter to the public until the 80s and now is in remodeling to be a Distillery.
Wander off in either direction from the highway and you will pass through a countryside that produces a variety of apples, cherries, apricots, pears and peaches. It is also well known for its variety of organic farm produce and livestock including cattle, sheep, elk and buffalo.
Hart's Basin (Fruit Grower's Reservoir) has been a birder's heaven for many years and was the first Important Birding Area designated in Colorado. This location is now on the Southwest Colorado Birding Trail.
Annually the Sandhill Cranes return here on their northward migration. Thousands of birds take brief sanctuary with the occasional pelican among them. Eagles soar while cattle egrets pursue their interests on local ranches.
For more information visit Eckert Crane Days
Sponsored by Black Canyon Audubon Society
Town of Orchard City
9661 2100 Rd.
Orchard City, CO 81410