Thursday, May 22, 2014

Campground Review: Rabbit Valley Recreation Area Fruita, CO

If you drove a half hour west from Grand Junction on I-70 and exited on Exit 2 right before the Utah border, two miles south you'd come across the McInnis Canyon National Conservation Area that the BLM administers.  In the upper northwest corner of this gigantic 123,000 acre preserve is the Rabbit Valley Recreation Area where the BLM allows 14 day camping in 3 "official" campgrounds that have campsites with tables and fire rings and also designated dispersed camping areas.

I didn't see one rabbit my whole stay here.

About a quarter mile past the first campsite area along side an increasingly rough road I came across this sign:

I was actually glad the Tank DOESN'T have 4WD so I wasn't tempted.
So I took this "somewhat" scenic site back at the first campground.

No "Beware of Falling Rocks" signs anywhere.
I got into Rabbit Valley on a Wednesday and there were only two other of the 30 sites occupied but that all changed Friday when the whole place filled up with mountain bikers, dirt bikers and ATV owners eager to ride the miles of trails through the area. 

This was about a half mile past the sign warning about high clearance.
Here's the Rabbit Valley data sheet:

Hookups:                                 None
Fire ring:                                  Yes
Water Access:                         None (No water available, bring in what you’ll need!)
Dump station:                          No
WiFi:                                       No
Level sites:                              Mostly
Laundry:                                 No
Store:                                      No
Pool:                                       No
Shade:                                    No (Rabbit Valley is semi-desert, summer months are hot.)
Verizon reception:                   4G, 4 out of 4 bars
Millenicom reception:              4 out of 4 bars
Cost:                                      14 days free camping

Like you I wondered how in the Heck could there be 4G cell reception out there 35 miles away from Grand Junction?  And 4 out of 4 bars?

I guess Verizon had an extra cell tower so they stuck it here?
The mid-May weather at Rabbit Valley was days in the mid-80's and nights in the mid-50's, humidity was very low so it didn't seem that hot although I was warned by fellow campers the place gets too hot in June-July-August.  A couple days it got really windy in the afternoon with my camp chair going for a "walk" until I was able to chase it down.

This canyon was about a mile hike from my campsite.
I was running low on food after a week so I wasn't able to take the BLM up on their 14 day free offer.  I need to work out putting my first few days meals on ice in the Tank's cooler and have the later days food be stored in the frig and freezer, that would extend my "stay ability", I guess.  Anyway Rabbit Valley is a great camping experience and if you have a dirt bike or ATV it's even more fun.  Mountain biking and hiking was a blast for me!

Thanks for reading!

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