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16 Top Colorado National Monument Boondocking Sites

Last updated on May 7th, 2022 at 10:57 pm

16 Colorado National Monument Boondocking Sites 4

Take a look at the Colorado National Monument Boondocking if you’re wanting to participate in an incredible camping experience. This breathtaking national park is located in the heart of Western Colorado and offers visitors some of the most stunning views in the state. Whether you’re a seasoned outdoorsman or this is your first time camping, the Colorado National Monument has something to offer everyone. We visited this national park in the spring, and we’re planning to go back next year. If you haven’t been to the Colorado National Monument or didn’t stay overnight, we highly recommend giving the monument a visit.

History of the Colorado National Monument

The Colorado National Monument was first established as a national monument on May 24, 1911, by President William Howard Taft. At the time, the monument consisted of over 21,000 acres of land. The primary purpose of the monument was to protect and preserve the incredible geological features located within its boundaries. Over the years, additional land has been added to the national monument, although only about 56,000 acres are protected today.

The Colorado National Monument has seen its fair share of visitors over the years. It’s one of the most popular attractions in Mesa County, CO, and attracts people from all 50 states and more than 100 countries around the world each year. If you’ve never visited the monument, we highly recommend adding it to your list of places to see.

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16 Colorado National Monument Boondocking Locations

1. Colorado National Monument Boondocking Locations – Acorn Truck Stop

Address
2222 Hwy 6 & 50; I70
Grand Junction, Colorado
GPS: 39.108986, -108.640694
Elevation: 4531′

Management – Parking Lot – Truck Stop (Unofficial)

The Acorn Truck stop is at exit 26 on I-70 east toward town center. Continue on to Sanford Drive, turn left. Parking on right fuel island ahead and left. Truck stop with driver and office services available. Hazmat Parking on site.

2. Colorado National Monument Boondocking Sites – Colorado Welcome Center Rest Stop

Address
Fruita, Colorado
GPS: 39.153233, -108.736292
Elevation: 4495′

Management – Private – State Welcome Center (Official)

The road in is Paved. Colorado Welcome Center Rest Stop is open year round. There are 6-15 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is unlimited. You may stay 8 hours at Colorado Welcome Center Rest Stop.

3. Colorado National Monument Boondocking Spots – Walmart

Address
Grand Junction, Colorado
GPS: 39.076998, -108.51916
Elevation: 4629′

Management – Private – Retail Store (Official)

Super-center parking lot. RV parking allowed. Signs say no RV parking. There are also a dozen RVs parked here.

4. Colorado National Monument Free Campsites – Miracle Rock

Address
Glade Park, Colorado
GPS: 38.980686, -108.871475
Elevation: 6571′

Management – Public – Bureau of Land Management (Unofficial)

The road in is Dirt. There are 6-15 campsites at this location. Great little spot to camp. Has restrooms, picnic tables and fire rings but no water and trash is carry out. There is a trailhead at the site that goes up to the “Miracle Rock” which is really neat. It is a nice little hike, pretty easy for all ages. If you are so inclined, there is a set of swimming holes a few miles up the dirt road, just be careful as a lot of injuries have occurred there (mostly from drinking and jumping off the cliffs into the pools I believe)

5. Colorado National Monument Boondocking Locations – Grand Valley BLM ORV Area

Address
Grand Junction, Colorado
GPS: 39.155889, -108.541689
Elevation: 4877′

Management – Public – Bureau of Land Management (Unofficial)

The road in is Dirt and 1-7 miles from a paved road. There are 30 or more campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is unlimited. This spot, just outside of Grand Junction below the Book Cliffs, is primarily an ORV area.

I only stayed here one night, getting in near Sunset and leaving at dawn. The spot I had was nothing fancy, there may be better further in. Roads are rough, but not to bad – however I would suspect that the mud gets very bad when wet, including during the summer monsoon.

There are probably areas here worth further effort. It might help to check in with the BLM office which is located near the airport, right near one of the access points.

6. Colorado National Monument Boondocking Sites – 25 Rd Grand Junction

Address
Grand Junction, Colorado
GPS: 39.1763, -108.56631
Elevation: 4902′

Management – Public – Bureau of Land Management (Official)

The road in is Dirt and 1 miles from a paved road. There are 16-29 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is unlimited. You may stay 14 days at 25 Rd Grand Junction. Stayed here on a weekday night and had no problem finding a spot. There were a few groups practicing their marksmanship around 7am but it was a very quiet night. It probably gets a bit rowdier on the weekends but its a great BLM site right next to Grand Junction.

7. Colorado National Monument Boondocking Spots – Haypress Dispersed Campground

Address
16 5/10 Rd
Glade Park, Colorado
GPS: 38.854921, -108.78024
Elevation: 8951′

Management – Public – Forest Service (Official)

You may stay 14 days at Haypress Dispersed Campground. Nice spots for camping. Mostly cleared areas with built fire pits, not entirely level but workable. We camped with friends, and had two campers, and we had lots of room. There are hiking trails (look for signs marked “turkey flats”) and lakes close by some mediocre fishing. Spots are on road, so you will likely see other campers, ATVs, and occasional truck of screaming high schoolers. We also had a very social deer wandering near our site, which was thrilling for the children.

8. Colorado National Monument Free Campsites – BLM North Fruita Desert

Address
Fruita, Colorado
GPS: 39.264312, -108.702145
Elevation: 4839′

Management – Public – Bureau of Land Management (Official)

The road in is Dirt and 3 miles from a paved road. This was our first ever dispersed camp stay. It was amazing. It’s close to mountain bike trails, has lots of space between other campers so you feel like you are out there alone. Easy to get to and the road in was easy to navigate in our sprinter van.

9. Colorado National Monument Boondocking Locations – Divide Road

Address
Divide Road
Grand Junction, Colorado
GPS: 38.830188, -108.578436
Elevation: 7178′

Management – Public – Bureau of Land Management

In a pinch to find a spot I stayed here one night on Nov 17th. Beautiful area with red rocks, rock cliffs, among junipers. The spot I camped at was just inside BLM land and right next to road. Lots of traffic late at night and early but still was nice. It met my needs for the night.

10. Colorado National Monument Boondocking Sites – North Fruita Desert BLM

Address
Fruita, Colorado
GPS: 39.299472, -108.706203
Elevation: 4987′

Management – Public – Bureau of Land Management (Official)

The road in is Dirt and About 4 miles from a paved road. There are 16-29 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is unlimited. You may stay 14 Days at North Fruita Desert BLM. Nice campsite that is easy to get to. Sign says that in early fall 2021 they are going to start requiring reservations for the established camp sites. Bathroom available with Punic benches and fire pits at each spot.

11. Colorado National Monument Boondocking Spots – Kokopelli’s Trail – Knowles Canyon Campground

Address
Unnamed Road
Mack, Colorado
GPS: 39.136836, -109.026897
Elevation: 4675′

Management – Public – Bureau of Land Management (Official)

The road in is Dirt. There are 6-15 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 15 feet. You may stay 7 days at Kokopelli’s Trail – Knowles Canyon Campground. Currently staying here. This place is phenomenal! They are currently putting in all new picnic tables, fire rings and tent pads in all of the camping sites. Road coming in was not bad at all. I would highly recommend this free campsite.

12. Colorado National Monument Free Campsites – McInnis Canyons NCA – RV Area

Address
Interstate 70
Mack, Colorado
GPS: 39.192952, -108.996312
Elevation: 4682′

Management – Public – Bureau of Land Management

Free Dispersed camping in the Bureau of Land Management Grand Junction District. First come / First Camped. Reservations not accepted. This area was so pretty. Big enough for our 45 foot RV and tow vehicle. The access road was dusty but taking it slow and easy was all good. Some highway noise, but otherwise very quiet and amazingly private. We got one of the dispersed sites off the county road, and can’t see anyone else from the site. Very convenient to the highway, no problems with the road in a Honda Fit. Beautiful countryside! If you get a dispersed site, you must have a portable toilet or use the vault toilets by the staging area.

13. Colorado National Monument Boondocking Locations – Jouflas Campground – Rabbit Valley

Address
Rabbit Valley Road
Mack, Colorado
GPS: 39.176323, -109.02183
Elevation: 4688′

Management – Public – Bureau of Land Management (Official)

The road in is Gravel. Jouflas Campground – Rabbit Valley is open March to mid-December. There are 6-15 campsites at this location. You may stay 7 days at Jouflas Campground – Rabbit Valley. Designated sites, areas to pull off to park, benches at each and tent spaces built up, plus a vault toilet! Couldn’t ask for better for a free site. Road slightly bumpy on the way in, but easier to avoid the dips in most places.

14. Colorado National Monument Boondocking Sites – Rabbit Valley Recreation Area

Address
I-70 Exit 2
Grand Junction, Colorado
GPS: 39.183769, -109.017632
Elevation: 4627′

Management – Public – Bureau of Land Management (Official)

The road in is Gravel and 0.5 and up miles from a paved road. There are 30 or more campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is none. You may stay 7 days at Rabbit Valley Recreation Area. Excellent campsites with tables and fire pits, so campfires year round. Great place to camp at the beginning and end of the season, but gets hot during the summer. Can be crowded at weekends and suffers from the usual ATVs racing along the gravel road and trails. Beautiful desert scenery, good hiking and biking trails. No TV but cell and data reception is very good. I’ve heard that the BLM is turning this to a pay site. Perhaps, but as of Sept 2021 it is still free.

15. Colorado National Monument Boondocking Spots – Castle Rocks Campground

Address
Mack, Colorado
GPS: 39.159694, -109.034931
Elevation: 4514′

Management – Public – Bureau of Land Management (Official)

The road in is Dirt. There are 1-5 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 25 feet. You may stay 7 days at Castle Rocks Campground. Lots of sites with toilets. I drove about 1 mile in and stopped at castle campsite. Had cell service. Stayed at the Castle Rock campsite. Good campsite, has mountain biking trail #2 go right by the site.

16. Colorado National Monument Free Campsites – Rabbit Valley North Campground

 

Address
Mack, Colorado
GPS: 39.19371, -109.02999
Elevation: 4967′

Management – Public – Bureau of Land Management (Official)

The road in is Dirt and 1.5 miles from a paved road. Rabbit Valley North Campground is open year round. There are 6-15 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is unlimited. You may stay 7 days at Rabbit Valley North Campground. This is our first time boondocking and we couldn’t have picked a better place. We exited at Rabbit Valley and went north of the interstate. Follow the sign for North Campground up the well maintained dirt road for less than a mile. You will first see the turn to the right for the first 3 sites. Continue on up the road for the rest of the sites. What a view. The sun was just setting and it was amazing. To the East, we had a fantastic view of the valley and I 70. It was quiet. No table or restroom but there was a fire ring. I wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again.

 

The top 10 Hiking Trails in the Colorado National Monument

Look at the best hiking trails in the Colorado National Monument, with the wide variety of hiking trails to pick from. These hiking trails can range from easy to more advanced, but can still be accessible to all skill levels, beginner to pro!

Colorado National Monument Hiking Trail #1 – Devils Kitchen Trail

1 Devils Kitchen Trail - Colorado National Monument Hiking Trail

This is one of the most popular trails in the monument and can get very crowded during peak seasons (spring and summer). We loved this trail because of the views, some of the best in the entire park. The trail is 1.9 mi long and can take anywhere from 2-3 hours to complete. It’s definitely worth the hike! We loved this trail because of the views, some of the best in the entire park.

Length: 1.9 mi
Elevation gain: 403 ft
Route type: Out & back

Kid friendly, Hiking, Nature trips, River, Views, Wildlife, Bugs, Rocky, Scramble, Fee, No dogs

Colorado National Monument Hiking Trail #2 – Serpents Trail

2 Serpents Trail - Colorado National Monument Hiking Trail

This is another popular hike in the monument that offers spectacular views of the colorful rocks. We were amazed by the views from this trail and would recommend it to anyone visiting the park. The hike is about 3.4 mi round-trip and takes about 2 hours to complete. The trail also has some steep sections near the end, but it’s not too difficult for those who are moderately active hikers. This trail will take you about an hour to complete round-trip.

Length: 3.4 mi
Elevation gain: 780 ft
Route type: Out & back

Kid friendly, Hiking, Nature trips, Walking, Bird watching, Running, Views, Wildflowers, Fee, No dogs

Colorado National Monument Hiking Trail #3 – Canyon Rim Trail to Window Rock

3 Canyon Rim Trail to Window Rock - Colorado National Monument Hiking Trail

Another trail that we had the chance to hike on was the Canyon Rim Trail to Window Rock. This is an excellent trail for those who want to see some fantastic views without strenuous hiking. The trail is 1.8 mi long and takes about an hour to walk round-trip. The trail starts easy but gets more difficult as you approach Window Rock. It’s about a 2-hour hike round-trip and is moderately strenuous.

Length: 1.8 mi
Elevation gain: 246 ft
Route type: Out & back

Kid friendly, Hiking, Nature trips, Walking, Bird watching, Running, Forest, Views, Wildflowers, Wildlife, Fee, No dogs

Colorado National Monument Hiking Trail #4 – Monument Canyon Trail

4 Monument Canyon Trail - Colorado National Monument Hiking Trail

The next trail we tried out was the Monument Canyon Trail. This is an 11.6 mi long hike that takes you across the rim of Monument Canyon, giving you some great views of the gorge. We recommend this for families with small children who want to experience hiking in a national park. The trail is moderately strenuous and offers some fantastic views of the canyon.

Length: 11.6 mi
Elevation gain: 1,873 ft
Route type: Out & back

Hiking, Nature trips, Rock climbing, Running, Views, Wildflowers, Wildlife, Rocky, Fee, No dogs

Colorado National Monument Hiking Trail #5 – Otto’s Trail

5 Otto's Trail - Colorado National Monument Hiking Trail

This is another great hike that offers spectacular views and does not forget the wildlife. This trail is 0.7 mi long and starts easy but becomes difficult halfway through. You’ll have to climb over some rocks near the end, which can be a challenge for some hikers, but this is still one of our favorite trails here at the Colorado National Monument.

Length: 0.7 mi
Elevation gain: 124 ft
Route type: Out & back

Kid friendly, Hiking, Walking, Bird watching, Running, Views, Wildlife, Rocky, Fee, No dogs

Colorado National Monument Hiking Trail #6 – No Thoroughfare Canyon Trail

6 No Thoroughfare Canyon - Colorado National Monument Hiking Trail

We also tried the No Thoroughfare Canyon Trail and enjoyed it. This is a very easy 5.6 mi long trail that can be completed in less than an hour. This trail circles No Thoroughfare Canyon and takes you on a loop back to where you started. There are some great canyon views, but otherwise, it’s not much to look at, so this one might require some creativity to keep the kids entertained.

Length: 5.6 mi
Elevation gain: 793 ft
Route type: Out & back

Hiking, Nature trips, Walking, River, Views, Waterfall, Wildflowers, Rocky, No shade, Fee, No dogs

Colorado National Monument Hiking Trail #7 – Rim Rock Drive

7 Rim Rock Drive - Colorado National Monument Hiking Trail

Rim Rock Drive is a 22.4 mi long trail that we loved a lot. This isn’t a trail, but it’s worth mentioning. Rim Rock Drive is a scenic road that goes through the monument and offers excellent views of the canyon and surrounding area. This is a perfect spot for those who want to drive and enjoy the scenery.

Length: 22.4 mi
Elevation gain: 2,411 ft
Route type: Point to point

Dogs on leash, Kid friendly, Camping, Road biking, Scenic driving, Bike touring, Forest, Paved, River, Views, Wildflowers, Wildlife, Fee

Colorado National Monument Hiking Trail #8 – Coke Ovens Trail

8 Coke Ovens Trail - Colorado National Monument Hiking Trail

This short and easy 0.9 mi trail takes you to some old coke ovens from the mining days. This is an excellent trail for kids because it’s not too difficult and takes very long to complete.

Length: 0.9 mi
Elevation gain: 173 ft
Route type: Out & back

Kid friendly, Hiking, Nature trips, Walking, Bird watching, Views, Wildflowers, Rocky, Fee, No dogs

Colorado National Monument Hiking Trail #9 – Liberty Cap Trail

9 Liberty Cap Trail - Colorado National Monument Hiking Trail

The Liberty Cap Trail is a 12.9 mi trail that we also had a chance to hike on. This moderate trail takes you to the top of Liberty Cap. The hike is about 3 miles long and takes around 2-3 hours to complete. This trail offers some great views of the monument and is more complex than other trails.

Length: 12.9 mi
Elevation gain: 2,004 ft
Route type: Out & back

Hiking, Nature trips, Walking, Bird watching, Running, Views, Wildflowers, Rocky, Fee, No dogs

Colorado National Monument Hiking Trail #10 – Liberty Cap Short Hike

This is a 3.0 mi long trail is very easy and can be completed in about an hour. This trail is perfect for a quick hike with great views. We loved this trail because we got to see Liberty Cap from a different perspective.

Length: 3.0 mi
Elevation gain: 1,125 ft
Route type: Out & back

Hiking, Nature trips, Running, Views, Wildlife, Snow, No shade, Fee, No dogs


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