After Jake got home last night, we took a drive up to the North Fruita Desert Campground to look around. We literally live three miles away, in the agricultural area, and we had no idea it was there. Jake even grew up in Fruita, spent a lot of time in the desert, but he’d never heard of it until we started actively researching campgrounds in Mesa County.
Anyway, we were pleasantly surprised. Let me start by saying the desert lacks a certain visual appeal. It’s ugly, people. It’s nothing but rolling, dry, dead-looking foothills that eventually meet the Bookcliffs. I’m allowed to say this because I’m a native.
The campground, however, is probably in the nicest area you can find out there. It’s at the base of the Bookcliffs, which are very pretty in the early morning and evening hours, and because it’s higher than the rest of the Grand Valley, the views are pretty awesome.
Now, we were there in the evening, during a spectacular dust storm, which gave everything a rather ethereal desert feel, but I still think the location isn’t too bad. We stopped at one of the outhouses (a lot can be said about a campground by the state of their outhouses), and it was very clean and well stocked with toilet paper. Don’t confuse clean with fancy. Not fancy. Clean.
From our quick drive around, it looked like the sites were pretty roomy, and each had a nice picnic table and fire grate. The entire campground seems to be well-maintained, and I don’t have a negative thing to say about it. It’s definitely primitive camping, but that’s a beautiful thing as long as you know what you’re getting into.
There are a ton of biking trails that cut through the campground, so if you’re a mountain bike enthusiast, you’re going to want to check this place out. The Fruita area is renowned for its trails.
As promised, in our quest to stay at every campground in Colorado, we’ve added the North Fruita Desert Campground to our to-camp list for this Fall when it cools down. I’ll be sure to take pictures when we go back.