Standard (tent/RV)
RV Sites
Tent Sites
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Drinking Water
About Mount Princeton

Mount Princeton Campground is located in beautiful Chalk Creek Canyon in central Colorado. This popular facility is within 4 miles of a private hot springs resort, making it an ideal location for rest and relaxation.


Stream fishing is best above Cascade Falls, about 2 miles west of the campground. Nearby Chalk Lake is heralded as a great family fishing lake with rainbow, brook and brown trout.

Nearby ATV/UTV and 4X4 rides include Mount Antero, Baldwin Lake, Tincup Pass, Hancock Pass, Pomeroy Lakes, Hancock Lakes.


The campground offers single-family sites, a few of which are wheelchair accessible. Each site is equipped with a picnic table and campfire ring with grill. Wheelchair accessible vault toilets are provided. Firewood is sold on-site. Parking spurs are gravel.

Sites #1, and 14-17 are "walk-up", first-come, first-served sites. All other sites are reservable.
Site #2 is used by the host from mid-May to Labor Day weekend, after that it is available as a "walk-up", first-come, first-served site.

Natural Features

The campground is situated at an elevation of 8,600 feet in Chalk Creek Canyon, which gets its name from the soft, white, chalk-like kaolinite canyon walls. Kaolinite is a clay mineral that was deposited by percolating hot springs. A stand of ponderosa pine and Douglas fir offers partial shade in the campground. Chalk Creek can be accessed from the campground. It flows 27 miles eastward from the Collegiate Peaks before joining the Arkansas River. Chalk Lake is about a mile west of the campground.

Nearby Attractions

Take a day trip to the historic ghost town of St. Elmo, just 15 minutes from the campground. An old saloon, county courthouse and many other historic structures remain from the days of its mining glory. Rock hounds come to the area in search of quartz and aquamarine.

The city of Salida and Town of Buena Vista are only a short drive away where visitors can enjoy unique restaurants, shops, and art galleries. The area boasts more than 100 miles of Arkansas River to raft, fish, float or kayak, as well as fifteen 14,000 ft. mountains. Visitors can choose from recreational activities like hiking, biking, ATV/UTV riding, kayaking, rafting, fishing, horseback riding, ziplining and swimming.

ADA Access: N

National Forest
Drive In
Walk In
ADA Accessible
Alcohol Allowed
Drinking Water
Fires Allowed
Firewood Available
Pets Allowed
Phone Service
Picnic Table
Sanitary Dump
Trash Available
Mount Princeton is located in Colorado
38.7142 N
-106.2228 W
Get Directions
From Buena Vista, Colorado, take Highway 285 south to Nathrop. Turn west on County Road 162 and travel 7 miles to the campground.
5 Reviews of Mount Princeton
Great Canyon Campsite

The campsite is west of Nathrop Colorado in the Chalk Canyon. It’s one of three National Forest Service campgrounds in the canyon. The other sites at Chalk Canyon and Cascade are each a mile or so along the same canyon highway. Princeton has a camp host and and great facilities like the other camps. Each sites has a picnic table and fire ring. The sites have some privacy depending on the location. The creek runs along the sites on the south side of the camp. The sites are best suited for tent campers or small vans. The views from Princeton are incredible. The camp was full in the summer peak. So, reservations are highly recommended at this site.

Great location and very peaceful!

Great location on the water with clean bathrooms! Would definitely recommend.

Nice, shaded, along water

This is a pretty campground which sits beside rushing waters.  I didn't run in to bad mosquito issues which was nice, however I may have been covered up.  The fire, food, peaceful stay and friendly company was a nice break from the electrical devices we so normally plus into.  Have stayed here 2 or 3 times.  Enjoyed all but 1 when our tents got inundated with storm waters.  We packed up, headed in to Salida for the rest if the stay.  Otherwise, it is a great lil place.  Hiking, playing in creek and visiting the river water, grilling out and enjoying friends and family in front of the fire.  Life is what we make it.  

Vaulted toilets- idk maybe 3 around campground

Trash receptacles 

The road to get here did get washed out as well once.  It was driveable by the time we left camp.  

Fires ok in designated rings

Firewood for sale until host runs out.

Food in Buena Vista is about a 35 min. Drive out.  A closer gas station and truck stop are about 15 mins. Out

Nice National Forest Campground

This campground is located right next to Hwy 162, which goes from Nathop to St. Elmo, along the banks of Chalk Creek. Thought right next to the road, there was surprisingly little road noise to disturb the peace and quiet. Part of that is due to the nice sound of the creek drowning out all but the loudest of noises.

The location is ideal for lots of outdoor activities. There are nearby hiking trails to nice waterfalls, fishing in streams and lakes, Jeep roads into the high country, sightseeing in old ghost towns, and whitewater rafting on the Arkansas River. You are also just minutes from Mt. Princeton Hot Springs, great for a relaxing soak.

The campground itself is in a mixed aspen and pine forest with vault toilets, water via a pump well, and trash dumpsters. Most sites are reasonably level, with nice tent pads for those who like to rough it, and with decent privacy from other sites. The host sells firewood for $7/bundle. It was well-maintained and pleasant. I would definitely camp here again.

First to Review
Dispersed camping

Camped here the night before hiking Mt Princeton.

Road up was not easy, but the spots are easy to find and helpful for getting an early start the next day