Fruita is a city of 11,535 people built on the banks of the Colorado River in Grand Valley. The river flows by on the south side of town, and beyond it the jagged cliffs and canyons of Colorado National Monument form the southern rim of the valley. In the distance to the north, the Book Cliffs line the northern horizon. The valley extends for many miles to the east and northwest. The city of Grand Junction is a short distance to the east of Fruita, being one of the major cities of Colorado.
Fruita was settled by homesteaders who started arriving around 1882, with Albert Lapham and his wife possibly being the first permanent ones. On May 1, 1884, William E. Pabor formed the Fruita Town and Land Company and began marketing the location as an agricultural resource for growing fruit. Fruita was incorporated in 1894. Irrigation water was brought to Fruita from the Colorado River in 1907 and in 1909, electricity reached the town.
Dinosaur fossils have been found around Fruita. At Dinosaur Hill, just off State Highway 340, palentologist Elmer Riggs remove one of the best brontosaurus skeletons ever found in 1901.
The railroad passes through Fruita on a diagonal from southeast to northwest. U.S. Highway 6 parallels it on the north side, and Fruita began on the north side of the highway. Today Interstate 70 passes along the south side of the tracks and Fruita has expanded into the space between it and the Colorado River. The elevation ranges from 4,480 feet near the river to 4,540 at the east end of town, the ground being nearly flat.
State Highway 340
U.S. Highway 6