BLM Camping

Irish Canyon ACEC

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

If you're unfamiliar with Bureau of Land Management (BLM) camping, it's a pastime that every outdoor enthusiast in the United States should be aware of. The BLM administers sites all over the country, and nearly every one of them offers peaceful opportunities for either established or dispersed camping in a beautiful natural setting. Most destinations for BLM camping are located in the western United States, but you can search "BLM camping near me" to see if there are any locations in your area.

One of Colorado's most picturesque BLM sites is the Irish Canyon Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC). The ACEC, located in the northwestern corner of the state, features unique geology, breathtaking scenery, interesting plants and animals, ancient petroglyphs, and a quiet camping area. The BLM-maintained area is also only a short distance away from Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge as well as Dinosaur National Monument.

What to See and Do

What to See and Do

Hiking and BikingHiking and Biking

Harpers Corner Trail

The Harpers Corner Trail is a non-challenging out-and-back route located near the Dinosaur National Monument. The trail is pretty remote and rarely gets busy, but those who do traverse it get to see some spectacular views of the surrounding canyons and scenery. The trail, which is open year-round, takes only around an hour to trek. While most visitors are hikers, some people use the area for trail running as well.

Length: 2.3 miles

Intensity: Easy

Mitten Park Trail

Another scenic trail near the National Monument is the Mitten Park Trail, an out-and-back route across a diverse landscape. The trail takes hikers through rocky areas, dense trees, and along a gentle river. If you're hoping for some peace and quiet in nature, the Mitten Park Trail is an excellent choice. During your visit, there's a good chance you'll spot some interesting birds or other wildlife.

Length: 2.8 miles

Intensity: Easy

Hog Canyon and Box Canyon Trails

The Hog Canyon and Box Canyon Trails offer a short, pleasant hike through a quiet, peaceful area with pretty scenery. The most unique feature of the out-and-back trail is the historic homestead and farm, which was the home of Josie Morris until 1964. The hike takes under an hour to complete and offers plenty of shady areas.

Length: 1.7 miles

Intensity: Easy

Fishing & Boating

Fishing enthusiasts who visit the Irish Canyon ACEC are in for a treat. The Green River flows only a short distance west of the BLM site, and it's known for its excellent fly-fishing. It's also considered to be one of the best tailwater fisheries in all of North America. Anglers who visit the fishery will likely come away with brown, rainbow, cutthroat, and cut-bow hybrid trout. Many visitors also utilize the river to enjoy a day of rafting through the nearby Dinosaur National Monument.


If you travel southwest to the Dinosaur National Monument area, you can choose from a variety of climbing opportunities. There are many sandstone rock formations spread throughout the area, and they're available to anyone who wants to take them on. There are also quite a few remote peaks in the area that skilled climbers can attempt to summit. A few of the most popular climbs in the area are Outlaw Peak, Split Mountain, and Diamond Mountain.

Wildlife ViewingWildlife Viewing

The best nearby area for wildlife observation is the Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge to the west. The park is home to a large number of mammal and avian species, and anyone who hikes or camps in the area will have good odds of spotting a few of them. The most common mammals you'll come across are bighorn sheep, pronghorn, deer, and elk. In the wetter riparian parts of the region, you may spot a moose or river otter. Up in the skies, all visitors should be on the lookout for peregrine falcons, golden eagles, bald eagles, and nearly 200 other species of birds.


The small on-site campground at the Irish Canyon ACEC not only features picnic tables, but it's also equipped with fire pits and a pit toilet. If you prefer to venture away from the campground for your picnic, one excellent option is to head east to Vermillion Creek and hunker down beside the calm water.


Bureau of Land Management Camping

RV Camping Caravan Icon

BLM RV camping is a possibility at the Irish Canyon ACEC; the small on-site campground features six campsites available on a first-come, first-served basis. However, the campground doesn't feature any services or amenities, and you also won't find any other Bureau of Land Management campgrounds nearby. Since the Irish Canyon ACEC is in such a remote area of Colorado, you'll likely have to head a fair distance south toward Dinosaur, CO or Rangely, CO to find an RV park with hookups.

Free Camping Campground Icon

Bureau of Land Management free camping is permitted around the Irish Canyon ACEC. You can choose just about any section of the site that you like for your dispersed campsite, but your best bet may be to find a spot along the forested banks of the Green River.

RV Rentals Near Irish Canyon ACEC Plan your next adventure

Planning Your Trip

Credit: Vanna Mae, @vannamaeart

Planning your Irish Canyon ACEC BLM trip

When you're visiting the Irish Canyon ACEC, remember that motorized vehicles are only permitted on designated routes marked with signs. Because the area is so remote and far from any major communities, you should ensure that your RV is packed with emergency supplies. That way, if you become stranded for any length of time, you'll be prepared. There's also a high probability that you won't have any cellphone reception in the area, so make any necessary preparations for being unable to communicate with friends and family. Before you head out on your trip, check out our blog for all you need to know about BLM camping.

Leave No Trace Leaf

Please remember to follow the Leave No Trace principles during your visit to the Irish Canyon ACEC. The guidelines are simple, but they can make a massive difference in the health and beauty of our natural land. Remember to always plan ahead, clean up your messes and trash, and leave things in nature just where you discovered them. Additionally, avoid being disrespectful of your fellow campers or approaching wild animals. Finally, limit your camping and travel to durable surfaces, and keep your campfires confined to fire pits. Your efforts are greatly appreciated!

Leave No Trace

Irish Canyon ACEC Location

To reach the Irish Canyon ACEC BLM site from Maybell, CO, head westward on US Highway 40 for roughly 41 miles until you reach the turn for Colorado Highway 318 to Moffat County Road 10N. After approximately 4.5 miles, this road will take you to the Irish Canyon ACEC.

Ready to visit Irish Canyon ACEC? 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.