Dominguez Canyon Wilderness
Guide

Introduction

If you're looking for a new place for an RV adventure, consider stopping by Dominguez Canyon Wilderness. It's a wonderful place to visit on your next RV holiday.

The Dominguez Canyon Wilderness is a Bureau of Land Management property situated near to Grand Junction, Colorado. This scenic wonderland was declared a national wilderness site in 2009 and consists of 66,280 acres of land that is ripe for exploration.

The landscape itself is picturesque and diverse, offering families the opportunity to view deep desert canyons forged out of rock and historic mesas. There are two creeks, named the Little and Big Dominguez respectively, which are responsible for the formation of two canyons that sit adjacent to each other in an area known as the Uncompahgre Plateau. This region is a geological treasure trove for those who enjoy learning about topographical features and local history. Among the plant life seen at this beautiful recreational area include Sonoran pine-juniper tree growth and ponderosa-aspen forests. Another popular feature at Dominguez Canyon Wilderness is the two waterfalls which tumble from the side of the mountain found on the grounds, a beautiful sight to behold.

Dominguez Canyon Wilderness was once a popular gathering place for the Ute Indians who left many pieces of their rock art in the canyons found on the premises. Many of these petroglyphs are now prominently displayed throughout the property for families to enjoy.

Though the weather conditions are favorable at this destination hotspot year-round, it is recommended that any RV stay at this BLM managed property occur during fall, winter, or spring since summer temperatures are extremely hot and can be uncomfortable.

Many interesting species of wildlife make Dominguez Wilderness Canyon their home including desert bighorn sheep, deer, mountain lions, elk, black bears, wild turkeys, and chukar. Fishing is also an extremely popular activity throughout the year with Big Dominguez Creek the most favored locale for angling. Other on-site amenities include hiking, horseback riding, and photography.

There are several camping facilities found near Dominguez Wilderness Canyon as well as primitive style camping found on wilderness grounds themselves. Two of the most beloved campgrounds include the Big Dominguez Campground and theGrand Junction KOA Campground.

For a great RV stay at a BLM managed property that is sure to leave you wanting to return again and again, plan a visit to Dominguez Canyon Wilderness. It's an amazing place to enjoy your next RV holiday!

RV Rentals in Dominguez Canyon Wilderness

Transportation

Driving

Traveling to Dominguez Canyon Wilderness is challenging due to the type of terrain encountered and the path of the Gunnison River which bisects the property. There are four main areas from which to access this recreational area: the Bridgeport Footbridge, the Big Dominguez Campground, the Cactus Park Trail, or by boat up the Gunnison River.

Access to Dominguez Canyon Wilderness from the Bridgeport Footbridge can be obtained directly from the Bridgeport Road turnoff. A parking area is found at the end of this road. To reach the wilderness, the remainder of the journey must proceed on foot or by horseback.

To reach the wilderness access point at Big Dominguez Campground, you will need to travel along highways of two-lane construction until you reach the Divide Road turnoff which leads to Forest Service Access Road. At this point, the pavement switches to gravel and or dirt paths and leads uphill. At the pinnacle of the main road, you will reach a Y-shaped intersection where you will need to stay to the left which leads towards Dominguez Conservation Area. An additional five-mile drive leads to the Big Dominguez Creek Trailhead where you can park your vehicle and continue on foot. It is important to note that during wet weather conditions the roads are quite treacherous in this region, particularly the sections that are dirt and gravel. Rockslides do occur on the stretches of road found two miles outside the campground. For this reason, it is not recommended for RVs or trailers to travel this route.

The Cactus Park Trailhead access point can be reached by taking the Cactus Park turnoff from the main highway and traveling an additional 4.5 miles to the trail mouth. Since the terrain is extremely challenging in the last few miles, this route is only recommended for those driving high clearance, 4 x 4 vehicles. There is a steep, ungroomed trail leading to the canyon depths that must be navigated on foot.

For those traveling by boat, follow the Gunnison River downriver to the point where the Big Dominguez Creek meets the river. The opening of the canyon found here is a much-loved camping facility. Tie off your boat here and proceed up one of the hiking trails on foot to reach the wilderness.

Parking

There are several areas where you can safely leave your vehicle during a visit to Dominguez Canyon Wilderness. Outside the Bridgeport Footbridge, there is a designated parking lot for public use. The other access points offer no formal parking areas, but there is ample room on the grounds where you can park your vehicle during your stay.

It is not recommended that RVs or trailers attempt access via the Cactus Park Trailhead. You must park your vehicle five miles from the trailhead and walk the remainder of the distance.

Public Transportation

There is no public transportation available to Dominguez Canyon Wilderness.

Campgrounds and parking in Dominguez Canyon Wilderness

Campsites in Dominguez Canyon Wilderness

Reservations camping

Grand Junction KOA Campground

Found in the nearby city of Grand Junction, CO, Grand Junction KOA Campground offers RV and tent camping year-round by reservation only. This KOA campground offers full power hookups and can accommodate RVs and trailers up to 80 feet in length. Dogs are welcome to join their owners but must remain leashed at all times. A dog park is provided on the grounds for their enjoyment.

Other amenities at this popular camping facility include Wifi, cable TV hookups, an outdoor pool (open from May through September only),. bike rentals, a pavilion, mini-golf, and both propane and firewood for sale.

For the comfort of all RV and tent campers, bathrooms and laundry facilities are provided. There is also a playground for children to enjoy and an on-site convenience store.

Cabins are available for rent by reservation.

Alternate camping

Big Dominguez Campground

Big Dominguez Campground offers primitive style camping conditions that are well-suited to families looking to enjoy RV and tent camping on their next holiday. This BLM-managed camping facility must be reached by traveling along roads comprised of gravel or dirt, so those driving an RV or trailer must exercise caution in order to avoid damage to their vehicles.

Big Dominguez Campground offers wheelchair accessible bathrooms, picnic tables, and barbecues for the public to use. No other amenities are provided at this camping facility.

This campground sits at a high elevation, making it challenging to reach, but it is well worth the climb for its scenic beauty alone. Dogs are welcome to join their families but must remain leashed.

Parking is available via an on-site lot.

There is no access to drinking water at Big Dominguez Campground. Water can be accessed from the creeks; however, it must be filtered or boiled prior to drinking.

Dominguez Canyon Wilderness

Dominguez Canyon Wilderness is the ideal spot for families looking to enjoy primitive camping while on their next adventure. No amenities are offered at this park, and campers are asked to avoid setting up their campsites at the confluence of the two creeks named Big and Little Dominguez respectively.

Water for cooking and bathing is available via the creeks, but to ensure proper sanitation, all water obtained from these sources should be boiled prior to drinking.

RV camping is not permitted here, but tents are welcomed on the grounds.

Among the most popular activities at this beloved camping facility are hiking, horseback riding, fishing, and picnicking.

Seasonal activities in Dominguez Canyon Wilderness

In-Season

Hiking

If you were hoping to enjoy some hiking during your trip to Dominguez Canyon Wilderness, you will not be disappointed. The four different access points which lead to this popular recreational area all offer hiking trails of varying intensities and lengths.

One of the most beloved trails found on the grounds is the Dominguez Creek Trail. To reach this path, proceed towards the Bridgeport Footbridge access point, continuing on foot or horseback until you reach the railroad tracks which lead to the footbridge. Once past the footbridge, you can continue to travel to the south to find the entrance point for the Dominguez Creek Trail.

Should you favor a longer hike, there is a loop that connects the Big Dominguez Creek Trail to the Little Dominguez Creek Trail. This can be accessed through both Dry Fork and Poison Canyon.

Backpacking

Backpacking is an extremely popular activity at Dominguez Canyon Wilderness. Since both the creeks found on the grounds have water, it is possible to access some for bathing and cooking should you decide to do some camping in the area.
Though hiking through the Big and Little Dominguez Canyons is permitted, the BLM management forbids any overnight stays during the first few miles of the grounds.
Because fires can easily cause damage to the pristine wilderness grounds, backpackers are asked to refrain from building fires at any time. Camp stoves are permitted for those who choose to spend the night and wish to make a meal.
If you plan to turn your backpacking adventure into an overnight visit, you will need to carefully observe the rules regarding the disposal of any human waste. Information regarding this and other regulations can be found on the BLM wilderness website for this park.

Picnicking

When the weather conditions are favorable, Dominguez Canyon Wilderness is a wonderful place to enjoy a picnic lunch. Since traveling through the canyons on foot is very demanding, you will want to be sure to wear hiking shoes with excellent support and traction to prevent any injury while traveling to your picnic site. The area rises in elevation from 5,000 to 8,000 feet, making it possible to choose the ideal locale from which to enjoy your lunch with a breathtaking view.

One of the most popular spots to enjoy a meal on the grounds is the picnic area found at the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area. The wilderness is found within this popular park and houses several picnic tables and shelters for public use.

Off-Season

Gunnison River

The Gunnison River can be accessed from several different points in the Dominguez Canyon Wilderness. This body of water runs in a nearly flat trajectory and connects Dominguez-Escalante to the Escalante Canyon before culminating in Dominguez Canyon itself.

The river teems with fish year-round, making the surrounding BLM land mass an extremely popular locale with those who enjoy angling and getting out on the water in their pleasurecraft, canoe, or kayak. Whether you visit to fish, boat, or swim, you will find the canyon views invigorating from your vantage point on the water.

Bring along your camera to record the beautiful sights you will discover on your day of adventure at Gunnison River.

Photography

Dominguez Canyon Wilderness is a treasure trove of photo ops just waiting to be taken! From the stunning red rock canyons to the flat path of the beautiful Gunnison River and more, you will not want for worthy subject matter to train your camera lens on.


This recreational area is also home to many interesting species of animal life, including desert bighorn sheep, deer, mountain lions, elk, black bears, wild turkeys, and chukar. Bring along a naturalist's guide to help you identify some of the rare creatures you discover along the way.


The landscape found at Dominguez Canyon Wilderness is breathtakingly beautiful. It includes such features as cascading mountain waterfalls, ancient petroglyphs from the Ute Indians, and a rich expanse of forest and abundant tree growth.


You will be sure to capture some true gems on your photographic adventure at Dominguez Canyon Wilderness!

Escalante Canyon

Escalante Canyon is found on the same grounds as the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area and is a wonderful place for families looking to enjoy outdoor recreation in the heart of the desert. Open year-round for all to enjoy, the most popular attractions at this scenic recreational hotspot include kayaking, picnicking, hiking, and more.

The canyon grounds house bathrooms and picnic tables for the public to use. The property is also home to many unique species of plant and animal life, making it one place you will not want to visit without a camera in hand.

Since traveling through this region on foot is quite challenging, be sure to wear appropriate footwear for the hiking conditions and bring along lots of drinking water to remain well-hydrated.

Find the perfect campsite.