Colorado Canyons National Conservation Area

Rabbit Valley Recreation Area


Using Undeveloped Camp Sites
LOCATION: 26 miles west of Grand Junction, just off I-70, 2 miles from Utah border

TRAVEL MANAGEMENT STATUS: "Limited" - Designated roads and trails only

SEASON: March - Mid December (summer temperatures can exceed 100°)

CAMP SITES: 3 designated camp sites: Respectively, Rabbit Valley, Castle Rock and Knowles Canyon Overlook each with 2 family camp sites.

RESERVATIONS: N/A, first come - first serve


FACILITIES: Tables, grills, toilets at each camp site. Toilets and visitor information also available at parking area.

DRINKING WATER: None available. Plan to pack in 1 gallon per person, per day.

Rabbit Valley is spread out over approximately 24 square miles of high desert terrain, with vegetation consisting of pinyon-juniper and sagebrush that is scattered amongst unique sandstone formations and overhangs. Rabbit Valley was designated as a multi-use area, providing recreational opportunities for camping, hiking, biking, off-highway vehicles, hunting and cultural experiences. There are many scenic overlooks of the Colorado River, however, there is no vehicle access to the river. Rabbit Valley is best enjoyed in the spring and fall, summer day time temperatures can reach over 100 degrees, with shade being scarce.

CAMPING: Although back country camping is allowed in the area, we encourage using one of the three developed camp sites. We do not recommend taking travel trailers or RVs to the Castle Rock or Knowles Canyon Overlook camp sites. The road becomes rough, narrow and low rock ledges could cause damage to your travel trailer or RV. Wood is scarce in this area. Plan to bring your own firewood. NOTE: Camping, of any kind, is NOT allowed within the McDonald Creek Cultural Resource Area.

HIKING/HORSEBACK RIDING: All trails within the Rabbit Valley are open to horseback riding and hiking. Designated hiking trails within Rabbit Valley include Rabbits Ear Trail with it's spectacular views of the Colorado River or McDonald Creek Cultural Resource Area containing interesting rock art. Just to the north of Rabbit Valley, across I-70 is the Trail Through Time an interpretive trail and active dinosaur quarry, it's a great hike for kids of all ages.

MOUNTAIN BIKES/OFF-HIGHWAY-VEHICLES (OHV): To ensure protection of highly erosive soils and scenic resources in Rabbit Valley, OHV use (4X4 vehicles, ATVs, motorcycles and mountain bikes) is limited to designated trails. Such trails are identified with a white arrow on brown carsonite post. Marked single-track routes are open to mechanized and motorized vehicles less than 40" in width. Four-wheel drive and all-terrain vehicles are permitted on designated two track routes. Mechanized/ motorized travel is not permitted on unmarked trails.


From Grand Junction take I-70 west to Rabbit Valley exit. At the off ramp take a left, crossing over I-70 going south, Rabbit Valley is straight head.