Colorado River State Park – hot, hot, hot

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James M. Robb Colorado River State Park is one park split into five sections, from Fruita on the west end of Grand Junction, about 30 miles to Island Acres to the east, with three non-camping stops in-between.

We camped for one mid-week night at the Island Acres Campground about 17 miles from downtown Grand Junction.

The day we camped at Island Acres it was hot, hot, hot. Be advised that even though the park is nestled along the Colorado River, it sits in Debeque Canyon surrounded by rock walls that soak up every bit of daytime heat and radiate it back at night.

RVer Jimmy Smith found two ways to cool off a little. One was to drag a camping chair out into the common grassy area when park attendents were running the sprinklers (above right).

When they shut off the sprinklers, Jimmy moseyed over to one of the three fishing ponds (left). Two of the small lakes are stocked with (at least) Blue Gill (below right). Click on images to enlarge.

There is a fourth lake, the “Swimmin’ Hole,” with a sandy beach that sits in the popular day-use section of the park.

The Island Acres campground is just east of Palisade, a town with music festivals, farmers’ markets, artists and miles of vineyards. To reach the park, take exit 47 from Interstate 70 and follow the signs.

“First time visitors should be aware the campground is located adjacent to the Interstate and train tracks. Reservations for Island Acres are recommended for summer weekends, during community events, stays of more than three nights or for a particular site,” states the Web site.

Camping at Island Acres includes:
– Many of the sites have shade during part of the day.
– Full hook-up or electric hook-up sites. We paid $25 for a site with electricity.
– Showers ($2) and flush toilets.

There is a nice hike/bike river trail (see below). We were told that across the river from the campground one might glimpse occasional resident wild horses or Big Horn sheep. They did not appear during the 30 minutes we were watching near sunset.

Photos by Julianne G. Crane

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