History of Palisade

Palisade was named for the austere and dramatic palisades of Mancos Shale north of town. The sculptured appearance of these geologic formations was created by the uplifting of the area combined with localized erosion and the downcutting of the Colorado River.

The first inhabitants of the Grand Valley were Ute Indians, followed by white settlers who began arriving in l881. By l894, the first peach, pear, apple and grape orchards appeared in the area now known as the Vinelands. The soil was rich but rainfall was scarce, so barrels of water were hauled by wagons from the river to water young trees.

In l913 the U.S. Reclamation began construction of a system of irrigation canals to support agricultural efforts. Water from a 480 ft. wide roller dam across the Colorado River diverts water into the 80 miles of irrigation canals which comprise the Highline Canal and Price and Stub Ditches. Click here for the Palisade Historical Society

The local climate is often referred to as “The Banana Belt.” The mild climate and unique terrain create near-perfect peach and grape growing conditions. Winds moving through DeBeque Canyon are compressed and warmed to prevent crop killing frosts in the spring. The climate, a 182-day growing season, and an average 78 percent of sunshine makes Palisade “The Peach Capital of Colorado.”