North Fruita Desert Campground
The North Fruita Desert campground is a mountain biker’s paradise with campsites situated at the heart of the famous "18 Road" trail system and within easy reach of the world-renowned Kokopelli Trail system. Come to the North Fruita Desert for an active outing of riding and relaxing with family and friends. Ride to the trails in just a few minutes from any of the campsites.
The trail system and associated camping amenities provide great opportunities to experience the diverse desert terrain along the base of the Book Cliffs. Food, lodging and other amenities are available nearby in the City of Fruita.
Your camping fees pay not only for campground maintenance and improvements, but also for trail construction and maintenance on the 18 Road trail system.
The North Fruita Desert, also known as the 18 Road trail system, offers 33 miles of singletrack mountain bike trails along the base of the Book Cliffs, along with another 25 miles of mixed use singletrack in the Book Cliffs north of the campground. The trails surrounding the campground provide a mix of fast and flowy to tight and technical riding opportunities Easy access directly from your campsite makes riding from dawn to dusk a mountain biker's dream. The Edge Loop trails climb from the campground into the heart of the Book Cliffs Range, offering challenging long-distance loops and spectacular views of the Grand Valley and beyond.
While mountain biking is the focus of this area, the North Fruita Desert Campground is within easy reach of hundreds of miles of routes for motorcycles, ATVs, side-by-sides and 4x4s in the desert country from the Utah-Colorado state line to Grand Junction.
The campground is split into two distinct units – the Upper Campground and the Lower Campground.
The Upper Campground contains 58 campsites, including two group sites (D9, D11), each with a fire ring, concrete picnic table and graveled parking spaces. The site size and parking capacity vary, so be sure to check site dimensions before making a reservation. There are no constructed tent pads, but most sites have areas suitable for one or more tents. Vault toilets are within walking distance of the campsites.
The Lower Campground contains 53 campsites, including one group site (G24), each with a fire ring, concrete picnic table, 12’ x 12’ tent pad and graveled parking spaces. Vault toilets are within walking distance of the campsites. The Lower Campground is integrated into an event staging area designed for hosting mountain bike and running events like races and festivals. During events, some campsites may be closed to accommodate event activities.
At both the upper and lower units there no water, electricity, or garbage collection service, so come prepared with plenty of water and trash bags. Additionally, campers will need to bring their own firewood. Camping is limited to 14 days. Each individual site is limited to ten people and two vehicles.
We try to have a volunteer campground host on site during the spring and fall seasons. The host site is located at the north end of the campground.
The North Fruita Desert Campground is nestled among scattered juniper trees at the edge of the Book Cliffs mountain range which stretches for roughly 240 miles across eastern Utah and western Colorado, ending just north of Grand Junction. Steep sculpted slopes and sheer cliffs rise to the north of the campground. The landscape slopes gradually to the south toward the Colorado River, forming the Grand Valley where the Colorado and Gunnison Rivers join at Grand Junction.
The campground offers expansive views of the distant San Juan and La Sal mountains, and the red rock canyon country of McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area and Colorado National Monument. To the southeast lies Mount Garfield at the end of the Little Book Cliffs, and the western flanks of the 10,000 ft. Grand Mesa - the largest flat-topped mountain in the world.
Vegetation here is sparse, with only occasional green-ups and wildflower blooms following wet weather. Average annual precipitation is less than 10 inches. Temperature extremes range from below zero to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures are more moderate during the spring and fall.
The North Fruita Desert Campground is just north of Fruita CO, which serves as a hub for outdoor recreation on nearby public lands including the red-rock canyons of Colorado National Monument, and the adjoining McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area (MCNCA) - home of the Kokopelli trail system, the Ruby-Horsethief section of the Colorado River, Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness and the Rabbit Valley recreation area.
The Monument and NCAs along with the other public lands surrounding the Grand Valley - formed by the Colorado River flowing between Palisade to Loma - offer something for everyone, from scenic drives to hiking, horseback riding, biking, rafting, rock climbing, wildlife viewing, and off-roading. The Grand Valley is also well-known for it's orchards, vineyards and wineries, and the distinct and vibrant communities of Palisade, Grand Junction, and Fruita.
contact_infoFor facility specific information, please call (970) 244-3000.
Charges & Cancellations
Changes may be made to your reservation until 24 hours before the reserved date. A full refund, minus the $8 reservation fee, will be given if canceled 48 hours before the first reserved date. Please note, you cannot change your check-in date. If you would like to change your check-in date, you will need to cancel your entire reservation and rebook.
Take Interstate 70 west to Fruita (exit 19). Turn north onto Cherry Street and take the first right onto Aspen Avenue. Go through the roundabout and continue on Aspen to Maple Street. Take a left on Maple Street and then travel north. The street will turn into 17.5 Road. Take a right on N.3 Road and then a left on 18 Road. Travel approximately 7 miles on 18 Road to the trailhead, event area and lower campground. Continue 1.5 miles north to reach the upper campground loops.
Campsite rates are $20 per night and include up to 10 people and 2 vehicles. There is an $8 non-refundable reservation fee for each reservation. Please note, you cannot change your check-in date. If you would like to change your check-in date, you will need to cancel your entire reservation and rebook.