Across Grand Junction’s beautiful landscape, campers will find sites suitable to every interest and skill level. Whether you want a site with easy access to mountain bike trails, a secluded spot surrounded by lush forest, a family friendly location, or an adventure in the desert, there are sites that can accommodate you. Here is a quick introduction to some of the area’s most popular sites, but there are lots of others if you don’t find what you’re looking for here.
One of Grand Junction’s most iconic attractions is the Colorado National Monument. The breathtaking red rock landscape attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year. Located near the west entrance of the park (Fruita), the Saddlehorn campground contains the monument’s only established campsites. Featuring 80 sites available on a first come, first serve basis, the campground is open year-round and offers a wealth of activities including hiking, biking and more. Each site features a picnic table, charcoal grill and available parking. There are no electric hook ups or shower facilities. A detailed map of the campground is also available.
Situated atop the world’s largest flat top mountain, the Grand Mesa National Forest offers a wealth of activities for campers to enjoy. With more than 300,000 acres of land and almost 500 stream-fed lakes, the forest is a recreational paradise for fishing, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking and more. With an elevation ranging from 6,000–10,000 feet, roads to the top of the Mesa offer some of the best views of the area on a clear day. There are a dozen campgrounds within the national forest totaling more than 200 sites, so where you stay can vary widely based on location, interests and environment.
Located 20 miles northwest of Grand Junction, the Highline Lake State Park is a popular camping destination for those interested in exploring the Grand Valley. Easy to enjoy, most of the 31 campsites have natural shade and plenty of grass. There are also laundry and shower facilities as well as access to fresh water. The campground is available year-round for tent and RV camping, although reservations are recommended during the peak season from April to October.
One of the area’s most prominent parks, it is broken up into five distinct areas — what Mr. Robb referred to as “pearls” — that stretch along the banks of the Colorado River. The easternmost portion of the park, Island Acres, is located outside of Palisade and provides full hook-up, electric hook-up and tent camping options depending on your needs. Activities vary from section to section, but the Island Acres portion, which is situated in the DeBeque Canyon, offers hiking, biking, fishing and swimming, making it a popular choice for families. Wild horses and big horn sheep sightings are also relatively common. The campground is open March through October.
There are a total of 16 sites situated amidst a beautiful aspen grove, with two of the sites capable of accommodating larger groups. Camping is only permitted at designated sites, and each site is equipped with a fire ring and grill. Sites are available on a first come, first serve basis. Hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking and fishing are all popular activities here and fresh water is available. The campground is open mid-May through early November.
Not far from the trailhead of the famous Kokopelli Trail, the North Fruita Desert Campground is a mountain biker’s paradise. Campsites are situated at the heart of 40 acres of well-maintained biking trails that criss-cross the wild terrain. Each of the 35 campsites has a fire ring, picnic table and parking, but it can be a more challenging environment, especially for inexperienced campers. While there are vault toilets within walking distance of each campsite, the remote desert location means no water, electricity, shade-providing structures or garbage services are available. The campground is open from March through November.