Browns Canyon National Monument is a protected stretch of canyon encompassing National Forest Land and Bureau of Land Management land. With year-round recreational activities, Browns Canyon is an ideal place to explore Colorado’s natural beauty.

1. President Barack Obama designated Browns Canyon as a National Monument.

Browns Canyon National Monument - Bureau of Land Management - Wikimedia Commons
Browns Canyon National Monument. Photo credit: Bureau of Land Management (Wikimedia Commons)

In 2015, President Obama designated 21,586 acres of forest, canyons, and raging river as a National Monument. Browns Canyon includes part of the Arkansas River, San Isabel National Forest, and Bureau of Land Management land.

2. Browns Canyon is located between Buena Vista and Salida, Colorado.

Browns Canyon National Monument - Bureau of Land Management - Wikimedia Commons
Browns Canyon National Monument. Photo credit: Bureau of Land Management (Wikimedia Commons)

Brown Canyon National Monument is nestled between the two mountain towns of Buena Vista, Colorado and Salida, Colorado. The elevation in Brown Canyon varies between 7,300 feet above sea level and 10,000 feet. From the higher points in the National Monument, visitors can enjoy impressive views of the nearby Sawatch Range.

3. The Arkansas River has world-class trout fishing and has been named a gold medal river.

Browns Canyon National Monument - Bureau of Land Management - Wikimedia Commons
Browns Canyon National Monument. Photo credit: Bureau of Land Management (Wikimedia Commons)

Trout fishing is popular throughout Colorado’s many lakes and rivers, but some destinations are better than others. The raging Arkansas River is one of those. Rivers and lakes earn a gold medal according to the Colorado Wildlife Commission when they produce 60 pounds of trout per acre and at least twelve trout per acre measuring at least fourteen inches.

4. White-water rafting is a popular activity in Browns Canyon.

Browns Canyon National Monument - Bureau of Land Management - Wikimedia Commons
Browns Canyon National Monument. Photo credit: Bureau of Land Management (Wikimedia Commons)

The Arkansas River is known throughout the country as a destination for white-water rafting. Many of the rapids along the Arkansas River have earned names like the Zoom Flume or Seidel’s Suckhole. Rafting companies offer expeditions through Browns Canyon and take advantage of the beautiful environment and impressive rapids.

5. You can camp on the banks of the Arkansas River at the Ruby Mountain Campground.

Browns Canyon National Monument - Bureau of Land Management - Wikimedia Commons
Browns Canyon National Monument. Photo credit: Bureau of Land Management (Wikimedia Commons)

The Ruby Mountain Campground is located along the main road leading into Browns Canyon, Colorado Road 300. The site also has restrooms and changing facilities, picnic sites, and a boat ramp.

6. Visitors to the National Monument can hit the trails on foot or horseback through the Browns Canyon Wilderness Study Area.

Browns Canyon National Monument - Bureau of Land Management - Wikimedia Commons
Browns Canyon National Monument. Photo credit: Bureau of Land Management (Wikimedia Commons)

Hiking trails in Browns Canyon can only be used by hikers and horseback-riders — mountain biking isn’t allowed. The trailhead for hiking is located near the Ruby Mountain Campground. Turret Trail is the main route with a distance of 5.5 miles one-way. Shorter trails branch off to access the river and go deeper into the forest.

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