BLM Camping

McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area

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

Situated in western Colorado, the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area (NCA) is a 123,739-acre stretch of gorgeous land under the protection of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). 

Located only around 35 miles west of bustling Grand Junction, CO, the NCA features a variety of breathtaking geological formations. Those who visit the site can look upon the sandstone canyons, spires, natural arches, and alcoves carved into the beautiful Colorado Plateau. In addition to being a wonderful destination to find "BLM camping near me," the area is known as an excellent spot for hiking, mountain biking, wildlife viewing, off-roading, and boating on the majestic Colorado River. Visitors will also be able to learn about the fascinating fossils and paleontological finds in the area.

What to See and Do

What to See and Do

Hiking and BikingHiking and Biking

Kokopelli's Area Network: Rustler's Loop

The Rustler's Loop trail, part of the Kokopelli's Area Network, is an excellent trail for hiking and mountain biking in the McInnis Canyons NCA. This loop trail, which offers some picturesque views of the canyons, is a perfect route for those who are newer to mountain biking. Visitors should keep in mind that the trail can get muddy at times. Dogs are allowed and can be off-leash in some areas.

Length: 3.6 miles

Intensity: Easy

Flume Canyon Trail

The Flume Canyon Trail is another relatively easy loop trail near the BLM site. Although most visitors choose to hike the trail, it's also a popular spot for horseback riding. Anyone traversing the route should keep their eyes on the sky, as many cool avian species are known to regularly soar above the trail. The trailhead is very easy to access, but the ideal time to visit is between April and October.

Length: 4.8 miles

Intensity: Easy

Ruby Canyon Geology Trail

The Ruby Canyon Geology Trail is a fairly long out-and-back trail located near the town of Loma, CO. The route is known for the unique geology found in the area, which all hikers will have the chance to look upon. There are also several nice spots for camping scattered along the trail, and visitors typically won't see too many other people around.

Length: 5.4 miles

Intensity: Moderate

Fishing & Boating

The Colorado River flows right through the McInnis Canyons NCA, and there are ample opportunities for fishing and boating. The river is home to a large population of brook and rainbow trout, and many visitors choose to do their fishing via drift boat. If you're looking to do some recreational boating, the Ruby-Horsethief River Corridor features Class I and II flatwater. Many who visit the area partake in rafting, canoeing, and kayaking on the large river.


The McInnis Canyons NCA features very rocky terrain with many canyons and other geological formations, so adventurous rock climbers will have plenty to do. There are a few established climbing routes found in the area, with the most notable being the ones located at Devil's Canyon. Alternatively, if you know what you're doing and take the necessary safety measures, you can partake in bouldering among the many spires and sandstone formations.

Wildlife ViewingWildlife Viewing

The McInnis Canyons NCA is home to a variety of species that visitors will have the chance to observe. Among the gorgeous canyons and trails, you may spot mountain lions, desert bighorn sheep, elk, or deer moving through the area or relaxing near the river. Collared lizards are also commonly seen in the area, and several different types of eagles have regularly been seen in the skies above.


There are some established picnicking areas found at the McInnis Canyons BLM site. Most notably, the Dinosaur Hill Trailhead features several picnic sites, as well as a large parking lot for RVs. Alternatively, there should be plenty of spots with beautiful views where you can lay out a picnic blanket, whether it be beside the river or overlooking the breathtaking landscape.

OHV Riding

Another popular activity at the McInnis Canyons NCA is off-highway vehicle (OHV) riding. At the Rabbit Valley Motorized Area, visitors will find some awesome trails for riding ATVs and motorcycles. The area caters to OHV riders of all skill levels, and all who partake must stick to the marked and designated riding areas.


Bureau of Land Management Camping

RV Camping Caravan Icon

There are multiple well-kept campgrounds around the McInnis Canyons NCA where BLM RV camping is permitted. These Bureau of Land Management campgrounds all offer serene camping experiences in a beautiful setting, but it's unlikely you'll find any with modern amenities or RV hookups. A couple of great options are the Rabbit Valley BLM Campground and the Cottonwood Campsites. If you head southeast of the BLM area to the Grand Junction area, you'll have many options for RV parks with hookups and modern amenities.

Free Camping Campground Icon

If you venture outside of the established campgrounds at the site, you can enjoy Bureau of Land Management free camping in many different parts of the BLM area. However, it's important to note that at most or all of the on-site campgrounds, camping is only permitted at the designated sites. So if you want to set up your own primitive site, make sure you're doing so in a location where it's allowed.

RV Rentals Near McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area Plan your next adventure

Planning Your Trip

Credit: Vanna Mae, @vannamaeart

Planning your McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area BLM trip

If you're traveling to the McInnis Canyons NCA BLM site and plan to camp overnight at any of the campgrounds, there are certain rules and regulations you should be aware of. For example, at the Rabbit Valley Campground, you must have a firepan and portable toilet to camp at any of the sites. If you choose to camp in the Ruby-Horsethief section of the Colorado River Corridor, you must have an overnight camping permit that you've reserved in advance. Before you head out on your trip, check out our blog for all you need to know about BLM camping.

Leave No Trace Leaf

The BLM asks that while visiting the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area, you leave behind no trace of your stay. There are a few things you can do to ensure that you achieve this. First and foremost, plan and prepare for every activity you participate in, including camping. Be sure to dispose of your waste properly, and leave whatever you find on the natural land just as you found it. Be careful not to disturb or get too close to wildlife, as you're a visitor in their home. Treat your fellow visitors and campers with the same respect you'd like to be treated with, and if you burn campfires, avoid letting them get too large or out of hand.

Leave No Trace

McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area Location

To reach the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area BLM site from Grand Junction, take Monument Road westbound for about 7.2 miles. Keep in mind that Monument Road is a toll road. Next, turn left onto DS Road, continue for 5.7 miles, and then take a right onto S 16 1/2 Road. After 3.1 more miles, turn left onto B 1/4 Road and continue for 1.4 miles. At that point, you'll turn right onto a maintained dirt road and follow signs to the NCA.

Ready to visit McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area? 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.