Saddlehorn Campground is located within Colorado National Monument which preserves one of the grand landscapes of the American West. Much more than a monument, towering monoliths exist within a vast plateau and canyon panorama. You can experience sheer-walled, red rock canyons along the twists and turns of Rim Rock Drive, where you may spy bighorn sheep and soaring eagles.
Colorado National Monument is famous in cycling communities for its majestic views and challenging climbs, but Historic Rim Rock Drive is also a popular motor tour. Hikers flock to the miles of maintained trails, photographers come year round to capture the spectacular views, and geologists study the unique landscape for its scientific value. Climbers come for the towering sandstone, and wildlife lovers may spot Desert Bighorn sheep, golden eagles, collared lizards, and many other special creatures.
Saddlehorn Campground is located near the Saddlehorn Visitor Center, four miles from the west entrance (near Fruita, Colorado) and nineteen miles from the east entrance (near Grand Junction, Colorado), and is the only established campground within the Monument. There are 79 campsites with three camping loops within the Saddlehorn Campground (Loop's A, B, and C). Loop A is open year round and is first come first serve (sites suitable for both tents and RVs), Loop B (both tents and RVs) is reservation & one-night only, Loop C is first come first serve (tents and small vehicles). Loop's B & C are open March 17th through October 31st. Restrooms have flush toilets and water available during the summer, and each site has a picnic table and charcoal-only grill. There are no electric hookups or showers.
The campground is nestled within large red rock formations, with pinyon and juniper trees providing adequate shade. There are spectacular views of the Grand Valley to the northwest, and some of the park's most scenic monoliths and canyons to the southeast
The cities of Grand Junction, Fruita, and Palisade boast many urban and agricultural attractions, but there are also abundant recreation areas surrounding the Monument. Among these are McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area, James M. Robb Colorado River State Park, Highline Lake State Park, and many Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service areas.
ADA Access: N
Starting out my adventures in Park City Utah was nice but was nothing like my experience once I hit Saddlehorn! From the moment I entered the monument, until parking by my campsite my jaw was in a permanent state of drop. From the breathtaking views to the surreal scenery and everything else in between, it was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. The campsite was very nice/clean and I was at a site next to the bathrooms (which were also very clean) and it was never really a bother. The hosts/rangers were kind and friendly. Some even went as far as helping me with setting up my canopy since I was by myself, others offered amazing points of interest!
There were only 2 issues I encountered during my 9 day stay. 1. Being on top of a “mountain” it was hard to find appropriate places to stake my tent in so I used larger rocks in those corners to secure my tent. 2. The weather was 100+ all week but took a nice break and visited Grand Mesa Mountain where it was much, much cooler. With neither one of these two issues having any connection to the campground, I will be making this place a routine regular for sure! I even hope to be bringing my nieces and nephews with me some day!!
I booked a night here without looking at any pictures first since I knew I’d need a place to sleep as I traveled through Grand Junction. Let me say: this is the best $7 I’ve ever spent!! The drive up was stunning (if not a bit terrifying at first for a native Floridian). The roads were new and smooth, so my E350 van had no trouble making the trek. Once on top of the plateau, my jaw dropping. I got in late so the sun was starting to set. You can see for miles and the brilliant gold and violet sky blanketed the land. Camp sites were clean and level. Each had a picnic bench and a bit of shrubby plants to give privacy (but not much shade). I stayed in summer so the temperatures the day was quite hot however it dropped into the high 50s at night, making sleep a dream. The stars were the brightest I’ve even seen and next time I’ll have my new Camera and tripod in tow for some incredible night sky photography. Can’t recommend this spot enough!!
Nice clean sites. Great views. Friendly campground hosts
Absolutely breathtaking views on your drive up to this site! It’s only a 15 minute drive from Fruita. Tucked away ON TOP OF A MOUNTAIN! We camped on the side of the mountain, so when we woke up we were rewarded with the most beautiful overview of the city and mountains. Very clean and nice flushable bathrooms! I love that the gates stay open all night so we can check in whatever time we arrive even if it’s the middle of the night.
This campground was very easy to access. It is right off the main road in the Colorado national monument. Nice spot. Bathrooms were very clean. Very close to amazing views of the national monument. Very affordable as well. Discount for having the America the beauty parks pass.
It costs money. Some campsites have to be reserved in advance but not all of them. The bathroom was really clean. There are a lot of sites. The view is stunning.
Leave time to explore the park! So many off the beaten track hiking spots. We were able to make a reservation but arrived past check in time. Rangers came by in the morning to confirm our details!
Bathrooms were decent…Water pump available- bring large containers air is sort of dry you'll want to stock up
Would stay here again!
This campground is near the visitor center just off the rim road, about a 25 mile road from one entrance to the other. There are several hiking trails for exploring the Colorado National Monument; you could keep busy for a couple days or more, depending on how much you enjoy hiking. There is also rock climbing.
The campground has 3 loops:
A: no reservations, open year round
B: reservations and walkup. If you have a reservation, your site will have a "Reserved" sign along with dates and your last name. No check in is required. Open sites have an "Open" sign.
C: doesn't show up on recreation.gov so it looks like it is also walkup. I think groups can reserve it. There are tent pads which I didn't see in A and B (but you can pitch a tent in A and B). Only tents and truck campers are allowed, and no generators are allowed in loop C.
Bathrooms seem fairly new with auto flush toilets, motion sensor faucets and hand dryers. There is potable water at various locations clearly marked with a "water" sign. No electric, water or sewer at sites.
There are a few "driveway" styles in loops A and B: back in/pull in, pull alongside and pull through. Picnic tables and grills are back among juniper and pine trees, and you can pitch a tent. I would stay in loop C if I had a tent…very nice sites.
And the views are beautiful, especially at sunset.
We looked at the reserve sites in B but most of them were taken or had a one night only sign on it. Loop A it's first come first serve and it had a couple nice open spots with a view. We arrived little late on a Friday evening, we live about two hours away, it was raining on our way up but stopped when we got there and a rainbow appeared while we were unpacking and setting up. there are picnic and charcoal only cooking stations at every site, our picnic area was a tiny walk down the hill. and from that area if you keep waking for 20 minutes you get to the edge of the cliff and it is spectacular views of the bookcliffs, Grand valley and grand Mesa. The night stargazing was pretty good although there is a bit of light pollution coming from Grand Junction We have a three-year-old so major biking or hiking is not necessarily an option so we went into town for the day, it was really hot at the campsite during the day. we explored Fruita farmers market, the dinosaur museum and had a really yummy lunch at Camille's café. There are also a couple little hikes right off the campground in the visitor center is nearby for more education. Fellow campers were kind of close but quiet. The bathroom was really clean with running water.
This is one of my favorite campgrounds, because Colorado National Monument is so stunning. It provides a great "base camp" set up, allowing you to set up camp for a night or several and go for day hikes around the park. Part of the campground is situated close to the canyon rim, so you don't need to go far for expansive views, but if you'd rather stay away from the heights, the majority of the sites are far enough away. Sites are well-screened & relatively secluded by short scrubby trees.