At a Glance
Rabbit Valley is a designated recreational area within the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area, near the Colorado/Utah state line. It’s about 30 minutes from Colorado National Monument and about 1.5 hours from Arches National Park/Moab. North of I-70, you’ll find free campsites and easy hikes. South of I-70, look for campgrounds, RV boondocking, and longer trails with canyon views.
What to Love
The area has two great hikes for younger kids, right off I-70. The Trail through Time Dinosaur Loop is part of Rabbit Valley and lies just north of the freeway. If you have a little more time, a scramble on nearby BLM land (see a topo map for the old railroad grade north of Highway 6&50) will yield interesting stones and possibly a few fossils. Nearby Highway 6&50 is a cyclists’ dream: flat, straight, and very lightly used.
Where to Sleep
Camping is permitted only in designated areas. Most of these are in campgrounds, but there are dispersed tent sites further south in the valley for high clearance vehicles. Boondocking RV sites are available in a designated RV area south of the freeway, or on a steep-approach bluff north of the freeway for the adventurous. Follow the gravel road that leads left out of the Trail Through Time parking lot.
Good to Know
This area fills fast on weekends. All designated campsites are primitive. In an overflow situation, continue west on I-70 to the Westwater exit to find BLM dispersed camping. Or you can backtrack for a hotel in nearby Grand Junction or Fruita.
Hike Reports from Colorado West Outdoors.com – Rabbit Valley
Hike Report from gjhikes.com – McDonald Creek Canyon
Travel Report (including a medical emergency!) from Front Range Rambler – Rabbit Valley and Fruita, Colorado
Campground Reviews from Tech-nically Homeless – Campground Review: Rabbit Valley Recreation Area Fruita, CO and Return to Rabbit Valley (Jouflas Campground)
Campground Reviews from FreeCampsites.net – Rabbit Valley Recreation Area
RV Boondocking Reports from OnBorrowedLand.com – Rabbit Valley – McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area Colorado
Area Reviews from TripAdvisor: Rabbit Valley
More to Explore
Map from gjhikes.com – Rabbit Valley / Utah Rims Trails
Map from REI Hiking Project – Rabbit Valley
Mountain Bike Trail Maps (beautiful!) from the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association, Inc. (COPMOBA) – Rabbit Valley and others
Area Camping Itinerary from Friendly Rock – Camping Itinerary: Mid-April in Rabbit Valley / McInnis Canyons / Colorado National Monument