Saddlehorn Campground Review in Colorado National Monument

Disclosure: Please note this post may contain affiliate links. This means – at no additional cost to you – we earn a commission if you make a purchase using our links. We only link to products and companies we use and recommend. The income goes toward supporting the free content on this site and community.

colorado national monument entrance

Saddlehorn Campground is run by the National Park Service (NPS), and is the only campground inside Colorado National Monument, near Grand Junction in western Colorado. It may have no hookups, but it has plenty of appeal. Here’s our review, after our stay in June of 2022.

scenic view overlooking valley colorado national monument

View from one of the scenic pullouts on the drive to Saddlehorn Campground

Location of Saddlehorn Campground

Saddlehorn Campground is situated between Grand Junction and Fruita Colorado, about 6 miles from the major highway I-70. The campground is right inside Colorado National Monument and conveniently located close to the Visitor Center.

Be aware that there are three tunnels on Rim Rock Drive – two tunnels on the west side and one on the east side of the park. Vehicle lights and/or bicycle lights are required while traveling through the tunnels. Maximum tunnel height is 16 feet at the center line. 

This beautiful National Monument near Grand Junction Colorado, offers big city conveniences and connection with nature and the outdoors.

Area Attractions

Colorado National Monument is a beautiful area and a spectacular drive or bike ride, but you will need a National Park Pass or pay a fee to enter. There are plenty of attractions and activities in Grand Junction and Fruita for outdoor enthusiasts, especially cyclists, hikers and rafters. Nearby Grand Junction is a sizable city for any of your city needs, such as shopping, services and restaurants. And just 30 miles away is the town of Palisade, also a very popular tourist area, known for its small batch wineries, arts, markets festivals, and delicious Palisade peaches!

two ebikes in front of rv in campsite

Colorado National Monument is fantastic for exploring by bicycle, especially e-bikes which tackle hills with ease. Pictured: Marc’s cargo ebike and Julie’s Julie’s folding ebike

Amenities at Saddlehorn Campground

Saddlehorn Campground is a pretty basic and rustic no-hookup campground with three loops, that is open for making reservations from around late March through mid October. Loop A is open year round for camping on a first come, first served basis. A camp host is available on-site to help when needed. There are restroom facilities with flush toilets, and water available to fill jugs, but you cannot fill your RV with water here. They have trash dumpsters, recycling bins, and bath houses, but no RV dump station. 

Nearby Fruita Visitor Center has a free RV dump station and both potable and non-potable water (for rinsing) and is located on I-70 at exit / mile marker 19.

view of back area of campsite with rv

Campsites include charcoal grills, and picnic tables. More on RV sites below.

Sign up for our email newsletter with the latest RV park reviews, news and updates.

Cellular / WIFI

There is no campground or public WiFi available at campsites (we didn’t check at the Visitor’s Center). We had pretty good coverage with our T-Mobile phones, but we didn’t have other carriers with us on this trip to personally check their coverage. But according to other reviewers comments at RVLife / Campground Reviews Verizon, AT&T and Sprint work as well.

This cute vintage Airstream had a lovely spot

RV Sites At Saddlehorn Campground

Loop A and B have a combined total of 51 sites, including accessible and group camping. They are pretty basic, with NO electrical or water hookups. Sites in Loop A and B allow for RVs and the use of generators. Loop C also has 18 sites, but does not allow RVs other than truck campers or other small vehicles. Be aware that most sites are NOT level.

There are a few quirks to be aware of. Depending on which campsite you choose, you may end up opening your RV patio right beside the road. And you may not even be able to open your awning without blocking traffic! Some sites are located under or near power lines, which detract from the view. But many sites are also near the edge of the canyon, looking out to scenic vistas. 

Restrooms with flush toilets are available and seem to be clean and well cared for if you need to use public facilities. Sites include a picnic table, charcoal grill, and an area to pitch a tent. Generators are allowed in Loops A and B from 8am–8pm.

Saddlehorn accepts RVs up to a maximum of 40′ in length, and you can stay up to 14 days at a time. Its definitely better suited for smaller RVs, and especially for trailers as they have more capability to level than motorhomes do.

This traveler’s site was spacious, but power lines spoiled their view

Watch the Virtual Tour to Pick Your Best Site

If you are traveling to Saddlehorn Campground in an RV, especially given the quirks we mentioned above, it will be extremely helpful to use the 360 degree virtual tour tool – as we did – from Campground Views. Few campsites in this campground are level, and many sites are just pullouts that would mean opening your patio door onto the road. The Recreation.gov website has a few mediocre photos which don’t really give you a true sense of the campground, roads, or site specifics. But you can view the whole campground, via the virtual video tour, to help you narrow down the specific sites that will be best for your rig and personal preferences.

Using the virtual tour tool, we found a nice private site for our RV at Saddlehorn, with a tree for shade and this beautiful view. 

We just shared a blog post about video 360 tours – which you can read here.

Our site had a shade tree, privacy and a lovely view 

The Site We Chose At Saddlehorn Campground

After a thorough look at the campground and campsite options using the 350 virtual tour, we decided on site 38 for our 25′ Class C RV. We liked that it was tucked into a corner with the patio facing the view of the valley. Importantly, it also appeared to be (and was) more level than most other sites. It felt private and shaded with some of the larger trees in the campground, to help us stay cooler, as 90+ degree days were predicted for our visit.

Site 38 at Saddlehorn was ideal for us, but may be too small for others

PROS

  • Inside the stunning Colorado National Monument
  • Close to the Visitor’s Center
  • Convenient to walk, drive or bike around Rimrock Drive
  • Good roads, including paved roads within the campground
  • Ability to book specific sites
  • Some sites have scenic views
  • Low price for nightly stay $22 ($11 for seniors)
  • Cellular coverage 
  • Quiet and peaceful

CONS

  • Most sites are not level
  • Some pullout sites open to road
  • Very basic amenities, with no electric or water connections
  • No dump station on site
  • Some unsightly power lines within the campground

Rates At Saddlehorn Campground

Saddlehorn Campground is very affordable with sites just $22 per night ($11 per night for seniors). Of course, being inside a national park, you also need to have a National Park Pass or pay the fee to enter the park, and access the campground.

saddlehorn campground sign

Learn how we camp for (almost) free with our Thousand Trails membership

Summary

This is a lovely, natural campground located inside a spectacular national park (monument) that reminds us of Zion, Sedona and the Grand Canyon. Although the scenic drive is popular with road trippers and cyclists, we never found it crowded on a June weekday. There are several scenic overlooks where you can pull over and enjoy. It’s a great place to stay in good weather, but summer gets very hot. If you have a generator or big batteries, it would be easier to stay longer and be more comfortable. We were glad we were able to carefully choose our site ahead of time, as some may have been a challenge to get our motorhome level. But we loved our stay, took lots of photos, and will definitely return to this campground!

Fall or spring would be ideal, and we may even try a winter visit, if we’re feeling brave 🙂 Just be sure to pick the right site, be mindful of the tunnels, and enjoy. It’s truly a spectacular place!

scenic view valley colorado national monument

The view right across from our campsite – this is actually a group tent site

Contact Information

To find out more or to make a reservation:

  • Go to Recreation.gov (search for Saddlehorn Campground) or
  • View and book via the virtual tool tour at CampgroundViews.com (search Saddlehorn Campground in Colorado)

Address: 1750 Rimrock Drive, Fruita, CO 81521 (note that Google Maps says it’s in Grand Junction)

Phone: 970-858-3617, ext 300

The double rainbow was a bonus!

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any campground, RV park or RV resort, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Sign up for our email newsletter with the latest RV park reviews, news and updates.

GOT COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS?

We would love to hear from you. Drop us a note in the comments section below.

Leave a Comment