Crocodile Reef educates hobbyists in Grand Junction |

Crocodile Reef educates hobbyists in Grand Junction

Brittany Markert
Bogeda the tortoise greets visitors of Crocodile Reef at the door.
Brittany Markert / | Free Press


WHAT: Crocodile Reef

WHEN: Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 .m.,

WHERE: 1119 N. First St., Grand Junction

COST: Varies

INFO: 970-241-1525, Facebook at Crocodile Reef

Crocodile Reef is more than just a pet store; it is a place to visit for education about reptiles, amphibians and aquatic life. It can also host birthday parties, class field trips and drop-in visits.

The shop was recently opened by Dylan Hazelhurst, a Grand Junction resident, and it’s located at 1119 N. First St. When entering the store front, customers may even be greeted by Rosy, a red tegu (lizard) or Bodega, a tortoise.

“I really want to educate the children in the Grand Valley,” said Hazelhurst, who has been involved with reptiles for more than 20 years, salt-water tanks for 10 years and fresh-water tanks for 15 years.

Crocodile Reef will travel to set up and maintain custom tanks as well, and Hazelhurst’s knowledge of exotic pets brings his business throughout the Grand Valley and into Vail, Aspen and Montrose.

“I do everything from high-end aquariums to desk-top aquariums,” he said.

One of the tanks he manages is located next door at No Coast Sushi.

“Our tanks look great,” No Coast Sushi spokeswoman Vanessa Gross said. “Dylan is very attentive. Any concerns or questions he responds to quickly.”


According to Hazelhurst, good reptiles to start with include a crested gecko or chameleon. And new fish enthusiasts can easily start with both salt-water and fresh-water fish. Salt water tanks are a bit more expensive, but they are often more pleasing to the eye due to vibrant colors. Fresh water is less expensive.

“I specialize in everything from fresh water fish to hedgehogs,” he said. “I have a vast knowledge and can help set it up right, along with what should and shouldn’t be put in a tank.”

A desk-top aquarium with living coral, totaling 2.4 gallons, costs around $250.

For more information, call 970-241-1525 or find them on Facebook at Crocodile Reef.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.