Vogel Canyon Picnic Area

Near La Junta, Colorado

Vogel Canyon Picnic Area does not offer reservations through Recreation.gov. Please take a look at the area details below for more information about visiting this location. Enjoy your visit!


Vogel Canyon is a scenic tributary of the Purgatorie River. Permanent springs at the bottom of the canyon support a variety of wildlife, which can best be seen early in the morning or just before sunset. Vogel Canyon has a rich history. American Indians lived in the canyon 300-800 years ago and left rock art which is visible on the canyon walls.

During the 1870's, a spur off the Santa National Historic Fe Trail (between Las Animas and Trinidad) was developed by the Barlow and Sanderson Mail and Stage Line. Sections of the stage coach road and ruins of the station can still be found. Settled during the Depression Era, stone walled ruins from the Westbrook homestead still stand.

Four hiking trails lead visitors through the riparian, canyonland and shortgrass prairie vegetation found in the canyon and surrounding plains.


3 covered picnic tables with grills (charcoal fires allowed in grills only)
1 vault toilet
4 hiking trails
2 horse hitching rails
horse trailer parking
No drinking water 

Camping: Camping is allowed in the parking area only. However, no electricity, water or garbage containers are available.

Trail safety

Cultural resources on public lands are protected by law

As you enter this area, please remember that you are the guardian of this unique canyon. Rock art, stone tools, charred bones, and rubble from dwellings provide evidence that people thrived on the Comanche National Grassland for thousands of years. Each relic of the past holds a clue that archaeologists use to reconstruct life here long ago. These cultural resources are ancient, fragile, and irreplaceable. If destroyed or removed, the information they reveal is lost forever. And so is a legacy that belongs to us all.

Please do not touch rock art! Oils from your hands promote deterioration of the drawings and the rock surface. Do not draw or scratch graffiti on rocks or cliff faces. Graffiti defaces a fragile, irreplaceable legacy.

All cultural resources on public lands are protected by law. The Antiquities Act and the Archaeological Resources Protection Act impose fines and penalties for disturbing or removing artifacts.

Please help protect our past. Report any acts of vandalism to the Comanche National Grassland office in La Junta: (719) 384-2181 or in Springfield: (719) 523-6591. We thank you for observing the rules for this area and for helping us to preserve this valuable resource. Please be part of the solution, not part of the problem