Google helps put Grand Valley trails on the map

Mistalyn Meyeraan
Mistalyn Meyeraan

People around the world can now enjoy some of the most popular trails in the Grand Valley without ever having to lace up their hiking boots or peddle their bicycles.

Through the Trekker Loan Program, the Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau has made the trails accessible online on Street View in Google Maps.

“We are thrilled to have been chosen to participate in the prestigious Google Trekker project. We welcome the world to glimpse the amazing trail system that we have to offer within the immense public lands surrounding Grand Junction, and thank all local partners for making this a reality” said Mistalynn Meyeraan, marketing director for the VCB.

The Google Trekker is a camera system that gathers images as its operator walks along trails. That imagery is combined to create 360-degree panoramas on Google Maps. Images from 66 countries around the world have been captured, including the pyramids of Giza and Amazon rainforest.

Images from a number of Grand Valley trails also have been captured through the process, including trails in the Colorado National Monument as well as 18 Road north of Fruita, the Colorado Riverfront Trail, the Lunch Loop and Tabeguache Trails and Palisade Rim Trail. In total, more than 50 miles of trails were mapped in the project.

Meyeraan said viewers can go on self-guided online tours of the trails and gain a better sense of what the landscape around Grand Junction looks like and perhaps the motivation to visit the area in person.

“Working with the Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau to bring the trails and scenic landscapes of Colorado online has been such a treat,” said Deanna Yick, manager of the Google Maps Street View program. “With an office in Boulder, Google is truly a part of the Colorado community, and we are thrilled to bring these beautiful locations to Google Maps for people to explore and enjoy.”

A number of local government entities and other groups joined in the project, including the cities of Fruita, Grand Junction and Palisade and Grand Junction Parks & Recreation Department; Colorado National Monument; Colorado Riverfront Commission; Grand Valley Tails Alliance; Mesa County Parks and Landscape Division; and U.S. Bureau of Land Management and National Parks Service.