July 2023 – During our stay in Gunnison, Colorado (our jumping off point to see the incredible wildflowers in nearby Crested Butte!) we visited Hartman Rocks Recreation Area just south of town. Hartman Rocks is a 22 square mile recreation area managed by the Bureau of Land management. It is filled with 4×4 roads, hiking and biking trails, camping areas and exotic outcroppings of rocks. And it’s a very different kind of landscape than the soaring mountain peaks of the Rockies.
We drove our RZR side-by-side on some of the many 4×4 roads and stopped frequently to crawl around on the various rock formations.
There are some golf course communities just beyond the edge of Hartman Rocks Recreation Area that made a wonderful lush green contrast to the arid desert rocks.
There are 50 dry campsites scattered throughout Hartman Rocks. The most picturesque spots are tucked between the rock formations and are a good size for tent camping.
Even though Gunnison, Colorado, is at 7,700’ elevation, we were surprised by just how HOT it was in the summertime. After all, Gunnison’s record high for the month of July is 95 degrees Fahrenheit! For August it’s 105!! Temps hovered in the low 90s during our stay.
But of course, every summer is different. The record lows in this area are the mid-30s…brrr! So, be prepared for any kind of weather!
The bottom line for us, though, is that Hartman Rocks would be better for boondocking in the spring and fall, especially since there’s no shade in the bigger campsites we saw.
Regardless of the heat, mountain bikers were having fun out on the trails…
And Buddy found a shady spot by a rock to take in the view.
We returned at the end of the day as the sun was beginning to set and the rocks were beginning to glow. Buddy still kept to the shady spots.
We loved seeing the rocks light up in the late afternoon sun.
There were rolling hills in the distance and mountains further on. The main 4×4 road through the recreation area squiggled off into the distance while flowers poked their heads out from between the cracks.
This whole area is definitely a dog paradise. Buddy was happy to meet several new furry friends. In between tail wags and sniffs with these new companions, he kept a close eye out for mice and chipmunks in the rocks!
Suddenly, the sun sank behind the horizon.
The colors and patterns of the sunset were a little different in each direction.
We headed back to the trailer for dinner. We were staying at Palisade Senior RV Park (55+). It is a very quiet park in a quiet corner of town, and most of the guests were staying for at least a month. Many were there for the whole season. We even met groups of friends who had been spending summers together at the park for the last 10 or 15 years!
We appreciated the lush grassy lawn and big shade trees at this RV park as well as the proximity to downtown Gunnison.
We were fortunate to be visiting the area during the new moon, so after dinner, we headed back to Hartman Rocks to see the Milky Way. We stumbled around a little on the uneven terrain, but the night was clear and the Milky Way was easy to see.
On our way home, Mark noticed a very cool old motel sign, a throwback to another era.
While we were in this area, we spent as much time a possible among the wildflowers up in Crested Butte where the temps are cooler (Crested Butte is at 8.900’ elevation).
On our way, we often stopped at Mochas Coffeehouse & Bakery to get a muffin to go. They make absolutely scrumptious muffins!
There is a lot to see at Hartman Rocks Recreation Area (in addition to the 45 miles of single track trails, there’s 45 miles of 4×4 roads too!). We hope to get back there when it’s not so hot to explore it a bit more in depth!
Never miss a post — it’s free!
Other areas with cool rocks:
- Acadia National Park – Alluring Beauty on the Maine Coast
- Bell Rock Pathway, Sedona AZ – Hiking & Biking the Red Rocks
- Brooks Lake, Split Rock, Adventure Travelers + Wyoming Highlights!
- Bryce Canyon, UT – Fairyland of Pink Turrets
- Cedar Breaks National Monument – Glorious Amphitheater of Red Rocks!
- City of Rocks State Park, NM – RV Camping in the Hoodoos!
- Eggs & Aliens in Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness (Bisti Badlands)
- Goblin Valley State Park Utah – One Gigantic Playground!
- Granite Dells at Watson Lake near Prescott AZ – SPECTACULAR!
- Hiking the “Pig Trails” in Sedona, AZ – Breathtaking! (oink oink!)
- Lake Mead Scenic Drive + A Great RV Pit Stop at “Redstone” NV!
- Mexican Hat, Utah – A Special Hoodoo in the Red Rocks
- Petrified Forest National Park RV Trip – Magic in Jasper Forest
- Point Sublime – A Wild Ride to a Stunning Overlook in Grand Canyon!
- RVing Wyoming – Lakes, Mountains and Waterfalls
- Tent Rocks National Monument (Kasha-Katuwe) – Hiking Slots & Spires!
- Willow Lake (& more) around the Granite Dells in Prescott AZ
Our most recent posts:
- 50 RV Gift Ideas for Your Beloved RVer (or RV!) 11/24/23
- Shelter Island – The Heart of San Diego…on the Waterfront! 11/17/23
- Lost & Found – An Unexpected Guest Visits Us in our RV! 10/06/23
- News & Tidbits from the Roads Less Traveled 09/29/23
- Creede, CO – Mining History & Championships + 4th of July! 09/23/23
<-Previous || Next->