BLM Camping

Browns Canyon National Monument

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is responsible for 1 in every 10 acres of land in the U.S.

Browns Canyon National Monument is located in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. It features unusual geology and a variety of terrain spanning a range in elevation of 3,000 feet. Visitors come to this area from around the world to enjoy the natural surroundings, whitewater rafting, hiking, and fishing. The monument is within a two- to four-hour drive of three national parks: Rocky Mountain National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park, and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages this monument together with the US Forest Service. The mission of the BLM is to manage public lands for multiple uses, including recreation, energy development, commercial activities, and conservation. The BLM operates some developed campgrounds and also allows dispersed camping outside of campgrounds in most areas. Visitors may enjoy dispersed camping for a maximum of 14 days within a 28-day period. Search for "BLM camping near me" to find more information on BLM sites.

What to See and Do

What to See and Do

Hiking and BikingHiking and Biking

Turret Trail

The Turret Trail is an out-and-back trail featuring a river and beautiful mountain views. The elevation gain is 1,089 feet. Dogs are allowed on the trail.

Length: 6.8 miles

Intensity: Moderate

Fistful of Dollars and Few Dollars More Trail Loop

The Fistful of Dollars Trail and the Few Dollars More Trail together form a loop that is pleasant to walk and offers lovely views and possible wildlife sightings. The elevation gain is only 269 feet, so it is great for beginner hikers. Dogs must be kept on a leash.

Length: 2.8 miles

Intensity: Easy

Browns Creek Waterfall Trail

The Browns Creek Waterfall Trail can be busy, but it is worth it for the view of the spectacular waterfall at the end of the trail. The trail winds through meadows and pine and aspen forests. Small log bridges allow the crossing of Browns Creek. The elevation gain is 941 feet.

Length: 6.2 miles

Intensity: Moderate

Fishing and BoatingFishing and Boating

The Arkansas River within Browns Canyon National Monument is a world-class fishing location. Brown and rainbow trout are plentiful. This section of the river has been designated a Gold Medal Trout Fishery. A Colorado fishing license is required. Other regulations may apply as well, so check with the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW).


Some climbing opportunities exist in Browns Canyon National Monument. There are quartzite and granite domes, monoliths, and boulders. However, access to these areas is long and difficult. Logjam Wall is only accessible by boat, and the Staircase Towers climbing area requires a walk along a beach and up a wash. Check on current conditions before heading out.

Wildlife ViewingWildlife Viewing

Wildlife can be spotted throughout Browns Canyon National Monument. Mountain lions, bobcats, foxes, snakes, and lizards are at home in the park. Elk, mule deer, and wild turkey can often be seen in the meadows and hillsides. Dry gulches, springs, and streams are good places to see coyotes or bears, and be sure to check the cliffs for falcons and eagles. Several trails, such as the Turret Trail and the Catkin Gulch Trail, are known for wildlife sightings.


There are many designated picnic areas within the park, but you can also picnic anywhere you find a pleasant spot. The mountain views along many of the trails are a wonderful backdrop to an enjoyable lunch.

Whitewater Rafting

Whitewater rafting is a very popular activity along the Arkansas River in the park. The river has the most commercial rafting activity of any river in the United States. Check with the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA) for more information about whitewater rafting opportunities.


Bureau of Land Management Camping

RV Camping Caravan Icon

The Bureau of Land Management campgrounds in the park, Ruby Mountain Campground and Hecla Campground, only offer basic campsites with no hookups. For a better RV camping experience, you can find full hookups and a dump station at nearby Chalk Creek Campground and RV Park. Mount Princeton RV Park also offers full hookups.

Free Camping Campground Icon

Bureau of Land Management free camping in Colorado allows dispersed camping outside of developed campgrounds. They request that you choose a site that has hardened ground and no vegetation where others have camped before you. Use existing fire rings where possible, and be aware of local fire regulations.

RV Rentals Near Browns Canyon National Monument Plan your next adventure

Planning Your Trip

Credit: Vanna Mae, @vannamaeart

Planning your Browns Canyon National Monument BLM trip

You can practice dispersed BLM RV camping within Browns Canyon National Monument as long as you are ready to rough it in your RV without hookups. Be sure to come prepared with your own water, camping lanterns, flashlights, warm sleeping bags, and the like. Unless you have a generator on your RV, you will need to do without electricity for lighting and keeping warm. 

To store food, either hook a small fridge up to your generator or use a cooler filled with ice to keep your food from spoiling. Be sure to store your food in a safe place that will not attract bears. To cook the food, you can build a small fire or use a kerosene stove.

You may find that you enjoy being self-sufficient and not depending on a developed campground. Camping at this BLM site gives you the privacy of a remote location in the middle of nature. Before you head out on your trip, check out our blog for all you need to know about BLM camping.

Leave No Trace Leaf

If you decide on disbursed camping on BLM lands, you must abide by their policy of "leave no trace." Don't leave anything behind at your campsite. Pack all garbage out of the site, and bury or pack out all human waste. Don't destroy plants and other natural features. Pick a campsite that has already been camped on before so that you don't have to clear out new areas.

Leave No Trace

Browns Canyon National Monument Location

To drive to Browns Canyon National Monument from Pueblo, take US-50 west. Turn right onto CO-291, and then turn right onto US-285. Turn right onto Colorado Road 301, and then turn right onto Colorado Road 300. Be prepared as all roads leading to the site are unpaved. Drive carefully, and watch for blind corners.

Address: Salida, CO 81201

Ready to visit Browns Canyon National Monument? An RV rental is a great way to experience your destination. Not only will you be close to all the action, but at the end of a long day exploring, you’ll have your RV to return to for the night where you’ll enjoy a full kitchen, bathroom, and nice soft bed. Not sure about renting an RV? Here’s a step-by-step guide to renting an RV with RVshare.