Browns Canyon National Monument


sign at Browns Canyon National Monument

The 21,566-acre national monument was officially designated in 2015 and remains relatively undeveloped. The majority of the monument’s visitors raft through Browns Canyon on the Arkansas River. Depending on water levels, it may be a peaceful float or a thrill ride through class V rapids. 

Aspen Ridge Road (Forest Road 185) along the monument’s eastern boundary awes visitors in Autumn with colorful displays of Aspen leaves. High clearance vehicles are recommended for Aspen Ridge Road, and only skilled motorists looking for an extreme 4x4 experience should attempt to travel into the monument on Turret Road (Forest Road 184).

Motorized vehicles and bicycles are not permitted in Browns Canyon National Monument's 6,614-acre Wilderness Study Area. Hikers and horseback riders can access the Wilderness Study Area from the Ruby Mountain Trailhead off County Road 300.

Diverse species of wildlife, from Big Horn Sheep to Golden Eagles, along with unique rock formations and stunning mountain views can be discovered here.

More info:

Browns Canyon National Monument - BLM

Browns Canyon National Monument - USDA

Friends of Browns Canyon National Monument

Browns Canyon Chronicle:

Volume 1 Issue 1 May 2019


At a Glance

Reservations: For Ruby Mountain or Hecla Junction campgrounds or 800-244-5613. For Bassam Cabin (east of the monument) or 877-444-6777.  
Rentals & Guides: Visit the Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce for info on commercial rafting guides.
Fees No entrance fee.
Restrictions: Motorized vehicles and bicycles are not permitted in the Wilderness Study Area. Some Forest Service roads and trails are closed to motorized vehicles from December-April.
Closest Towns: Buena Vista, CO
Water: None
Restroom: None. Colorado State Park fees apply for use at Ruby Mountain and Hecla Junction campground areas.
Operated By: Forest Service, BLM, CO State Parks (AHRA)
Information Center: Stop by Salida Ranger District or Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area for a collectible passport stamp.

General Information


Parking is available at the trailhead just beyond Ruby Mountain Recreation Area on County Road 300. Parking and access from the southern end of the monument, near Turret, is limited. Please respect private property in Turret.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Camping & Cabins

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Day Hiking


Horse Riding & Camping

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Nature Viewing

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Areas & Activities


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