Featuring valleys and hills that range from about 6,800 to 7,900 feet on the slopes of Douglas Mountain, as well as beautiful vegetative cover, Ant Hills Wilderness Study Area (WSA) offers the premier setting for primitive recreation. This Bureau of Land Management property, bordered to the west and south by Dinosaur National Monument, covers about seven square miles and is perfect for remote adventures, away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
As you approach the wilderness, you’ll be greeted by resplendent flora consisting of ponderosa pine, sagebrush, pinyon-juniper woodlands, and native grasses. Before long, you’ll sight various wildlife roaming the park’s areas – look out for mule deer and elk, as well as small mammals and reptiles. You could view or hunt the elk and deer; it’s up to you. Other ways you can stay active in this WSA are by hiking and backpacking, horseback riding, birdwatching, and taking photographs.
Additional opportunities to enjoy fun activities are provided at Dinosaur National Monument, where you can fish, go on scenic drives, ride bicycles, raft on rivers, and enjoy other fantastic outdoor activities.
Only primitive camping opportunities are provided in this BLM WSA. More developed camping is available at the National Monument.
The Ant Hills Wilderness Study Area lies about 80 miles west of Craig, in Moffat County, Colorado. This Bureau of Land Management property lies just beside the eastern boundary of Dinosaur National Monument, and is also bordered to the south by the National Monument.
One way to access this WSA is to drive to the eastern areas of the Dinosaur National Monument and make your way to the WSA on foot or horseback from the National Monument’s boundary area. Alternatively, you can follow Colorado Road 60 from Bromide Charcoal Kilns to Zenobia Peak which lies north of the WSA. This road requires high clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicles, and good navigational skills. A GPS will be handy during your trip to the peak. You’ll have to continue the rest of your trip to the WSA from Zenobia Peak on foot or on your horse.
There are no parking areas around this BLM WSA. The nearest parking spaces are in Dinosaur National Monument and around Zenobia Peak.
Echo Park Campground lies at the base of the cliffs on the banks of Green River in Dinosaur National Monument, offering a wonderful camping experience to guests. From the campground, you’ll be able to enjoy views of Steamboat Rock, Fremont petroglyphs, and wildlife such as mule deer and bighorn sheep.
You are advised to come to this campground in high-clearance vehicles because of the nature of the roads that lead here. The rough roads with sharp turns and steep grades make the campground unsuitable for RVs and trailers. This campground is open year-round, but access is affected by weather conditions, especially in winter.
There are 22 campsites here for you to choose from, including one ADA accessible site and four walk-in campsites. All the sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis only. A group site provided here can, however, be reserved.
Amenities provided include potable water, vault toilets, picnic tables, and campfire rings with grill. No trash receptacles are provided, so pack out what you pack in.
Deerlodge Park Campground sits on the bank of Yampa River, 53 miles east of the Canyon Visitor Center. This campground is open all year, but may be difficult to access in winter, due to snow cover. Tent camping opportunities are available within single and group campsites in this campground.
There are seven walk-in sites equipped with vault toilets, picnic tables, fire rings with grills, and potable water (May to July). No trash cans are provided, so you’re expected to pack out what you pack in. There are no hookups available.
All the campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis only. Trees provide shade for the campsites.
Angling opportunities abound in Dinosaur National Monument for guests and campers who have a knack for going after fish. Of course, you will need to possess a valid state fishing license before you can fish in the National Monument.
The waters in the Monument feature both native fish species and introduced species. Some of the native species you’ll find here include bonytail, Colorado Pikeminnow, Humpback Chub, Roundtail Chub, and Mottled Sculpin. Introduced species are smallmouth bass, burbot, carp, catfish, northern pike, and many more.
Even though many areas in Dinosaur National Monument are managed as wilderness, there are several road networks that penetrate the rugged interior parts of the monument. As a result, these routes make for fascinating scenic drives, offering dramatic views of the picturesque landscapes, flora, and fauna.
Some of the scenic drive roads are paved while some others are dirt roads that require that your vehicle be the four-wheel drive, high clearance type. Examples of scenic drive routes here are Harpers Corner Road, Yampa Bench Road, and Deerlodge Park.
Guests and campers love to explore the remote canyons in Dinosaur National Monument by rafting on the rivers in the park. Green River, Yampa River. Warm Springs, Hells Half Mile and other water bodies here offer good opportunities to enjoy rafting through rapids.
You may either raft through the rivers on a commercially guided trip or on a non-commercial trip. If you don’t have the experience or necessary equipment, it’s best you sign up for the guided trip on any of Green River or Yampa River. If, on the other hand, you are skilled, have the right gear, and possess a permit, let yourself loose!
You can ride your bicycle on all of the roads within Dinosaur National Monument, so feel free to come along with your bikes. The trails in the Monument are, however, closed to the use of bicycles.
Because of the nature of the paved roads in the Monument – narrow, and usually without shoulders - you will need to take measures to ensure you stay safe. Some of the things you should do include wearing bright-colored clothing and riding single-file.
Some of the places where you can ride are from Rainbow Park to Island Park, along Yampa Bench Road and Cub Creek Road.
The flora communities within the Ant Hills WSA consist manly of pinyon-juniper woodlands, ponderosa pine, sagebrush, and native grasses. As soon as you arrive at this BLM wilderness, you’ll be welcomed by the vegetation that decorates the park’s corridors. You may want to bring your camera along so that you can capture all the scenes.
Wildlife enthusiasts can look out for elk and deer in the wilderness area, as well as various birds roaming the skies above the park.
A beautiful way to appreciate the natural splendor and remoteness of Ant Hills WSA is by hiking the park’s areas. You are presented with the option of strolling through the low-lying areas in the wilderness under the shade of the trees or taking your adventure up the hills and ridges within the park.
You should come along with plenty of water so you don’t get dehydrated while on the move. A good sun hat and sunscreen would be handy too.