Saddlehorn Campground is the only campground in Colorado National Monument, and is well located within the park. This 80-site campground is adjacent to the park visitor center and there are several nearby hiking options, including Window Rock Trail, Alcove Nature Trail, and Canyon Rim Trail. Saddlehorn Campground is situated on a high bluff overlooking the cities of Fruita and Redlands to the north. The park landmark, Balanced Rock, can also been seen from areas of the campground. Superb sunrise and sunset views make this a great place to start and end your day in Colorado National Monument.
Camping in Colorado National Monument
The sites are decently spaced. The bathrooms are modern, with motion-activated flush toilets. Picnic tables are provided at each site, and drinking water is available. What’s the catch? No campfires. That’s right, no wood fires allowed! Each site has a charcoal grill that can be used with the proper provisions, but camping just isn’t camping without a fire.
No campfires at Saddlehorn Campground!
Despite this frustrating restriction, Saddlehorn is a fine campground. All sites are first-come first-serve, available year round for $20 per night (as of January, 2013). A self-registration kiosk at the entrance to the campground offers an efficient way to sign out open sites. Backcountry camping is also an option, with a free permit available at the park visitor center. Visit the Colorado National Monument camping information page for more details. For other lodging options, check out tripadvisor.com.
A map of the Saddlehorn area courtesy of the National Park Service
To get to the campground: from the west entrance of the park, drive 4.3 miles south on Rim Rock Drive and turn left, just before Saddlehorn Visitor Center, following signs for the campground. Make a second left and continue 0.2 miles to the self-registration kiosk at the entrance of the campground.
Campground address: Rimrock Drive, Colorado National Monument, Fruita, CO 81521
Campground coordinates: 39.104589, -108.732684 (39° 06′ 16.52″N 108° 43′ 57.66″W)
Use the map below to create your own directions:
|Alcove Nature Trail|
This one-mile round trip hike is less scenic than others in the park, but offers information about area plants, animals, and geology.
|Canyon Rim Trail|
This one-mile round trip hike begins at Saddlehorn Visitor Center and travels along the cliffs edge overlooking Monument Canyon.
|Coke Ovens Trail|
This one-mile hike visits a line of sandstone domes decorating the rim of Monument Canyon.
|Devils Kitchen Trail|
This 1.2 mile hike crosses the bottom of No Thoroughfare canyon to a rock grotto surrounded by tall boulders.
|Monument Canyon Trail|
This 7-mile hike travels down into Monument Canyon to visit the tallest freestanding rock formation in the park.
This 0.75-mile round trip hike visits an overlook near the Pipe Organs with an excellent view of Independence Monument and Monument Canyon.
|Window Rock Trail|
This 1/3-mile round trip hike ends at a distinct point on the wall of Monument Canyon where a natural window appears just below the top of the cliff.