Places to Camp near Buena Vista, CO

Near Buena Vista, CO, lie impressive peaks and some of the best camping and rafting experiences on the Arkansas River and in Browns Canyon. From the canyon, you can marvel at the towering granite walls as you float down the river. Camping in the Pike-San Isabel National Forests brings campers closer to nature. From their campsites, campers can explore the trails that wind through the forest and catch glimpses of deer and other wildlife. RV drivers will also find plenty of campgrounds by the river or national forest that can accommodate their vehicles as they enjoy the area’s sights.

Best Camping Sites Near Buena Vista, CO (371)

    Camper-submitted photo from Turtle Rock Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Turtle Rock Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Turtle Rock Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Turtle Rock Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Turtle Rock Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Turtle Rock Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Ruby Mountain Campground — Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area
    Camper-submitted photo from Ruby Mountain Campground — Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area
    Camper-submitted photo from Ruby Mountain Campground — Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area
    Camper-submitted photo from Ruby Mountain Campground — Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area
    Camper-submitted photo from Ruby Mountain Campground — Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area
    Camper-submitted photo from Ruby Mountain Campground — Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area

    2.

    Ruby Mountain Campground — Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area

    24 Reviews
    132 Photos
    349 Saves
    Nathrop, Colorado

    Part of Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access
    • RVs

    $28 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Browns Creek
    Camper-submitted photo from Browns Creek
    Camper-submitted photo from Browns Creek
    Camper-submitted photo from Browns Creek
    Camper-submitted photo from Browns Creek
    Camper-submitted photo from Browns Creek

    3.

    Browns Creek

    21 Reviews
    55 Photos
    1062 Saves
    Nathrop, Colorado

    Welcome to Browns Creek, a fantastic spot nestled in the heart of Colorado. This area is perfect for those who love a bit of adventure mixed with tranquility. Located between Poncha Springs and Buena Vista, Browns Creek offers a great escape with its scenic views and peaceful surroundings.

    One of the standout features here is the dispersed camping setup. You won't find designated sites, but that's part of the charm. You can set up your tent or park your RV in various spots, many of which offer stunning views and a good amount of privacy. Just keep in mind, there are no hookups or drinking water, so come prepared.

    Visitors have mentioned that the drive to the campground is straightforward, though you might encounter some open cattle along the way. The area is big rig friendly, and there's plenty of room for larger setups. If you're into hiking, you're in luck. The Browns Creek Trailhead is nearby, offering some beautiful trails and access to the Colorado Trail.

    Pets are welcome, and campfires are allowed, making it a great spot for a family outing. Just remember to follow any fire bans that might be in place. The vault toilets are clean, and while there are no showers or trash services, the natural beauty more than makes up for it.

    Some campers have noted the presence of bugs, so packing some bug spray might be a good idea. The nights can be magical, with clear skies perfect for stargazing and the occasional coyote chorus in the background.

    Overall, Browns Creek is a fantastic spot for those looking to get away from it all and enjoy some quality time in nature. Whether you're here for the hiking, the views, or just the peace and quiet, you're sure to have a memorable experience.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Tents
    • Group
    Camper-submitted photo from Cascade (colorado)
    Camper-submitted photo from Cascade (colorado)
    Camper-submitted photo from Cascade (colorado)
    Camper-submitted photo from Cascade (colorado)
    Camper-submitted photo from Cascade (colorado)
    Camper-submitted photo from Cascade (colorado)

    4.

    Cascade (colorado)

    18 Reviews
    45 Photos
    183 Saves
    Nathrop, Colorado

    Overview

    Cascade Campground is located in beautiful Chaffee County,__Colorado. This popular facility sits near Cascade Falls and is within 5 miles of a private hot springs resort, making it an ideal location for rest and relaxation. "First come, first served" does not necessarily mean that the site will be available when you get there. Someone may get there before you. This is a popular campground and is normally full starting on Friday, sometimes as early as Thursday, so plan accordingly.

    Recreation

    Stream fishing is best above Cascade Falls, just accross the road from the campground. Nearby Chalk Lake is heralded as a great family fishing lake with rainbow, brook and brown trout. Plenty of off-road vehicle trails are a short distance away.__Recommended rides include Mount Antero, Baldwin Lake, Tincup Pass, Hancock Pass, Pomeroy Lakes, Hancock Lakes. Hiking in the area includes the Colorado Trail, The Narrow Gauge trail and the Cascade Loop Trail (Across from Chalk Lake Campground)

    Facilities

    Stream fishing is best above Cascade Falls, just accross the road from the campground. Nearby Chalk Lake is heralded as a great family fishing lake with rainbow, brook and brown trout. Plenty of off-road vehicle trails are a short distance away.__Recommended rides include Mount Antero, Baldwin Lake, Tincup Pass, Hancock Pass, Pomeroy Lakes, Hancock Lakes. Hiking in the area includes the Colorado Trail, The Narrow Gauge trail and the Cascade Loop Trail (Across from Chalk Lake Campground)

    Natural Features

    The campground is situated in a dense forest of Douglas fir and aspen at an elevation of 9,000 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. Chalk Creek is just across the road from the campground. It flows 27 miles eastward from the Collegiate Peaks before joining the Arkansas River. Chalk Lake is a mile east 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. The city of Salida and Town of Buena Vista are only a short drive away where visitors can enjoy distinctive restaurants, unique shops, incredible art galleries and a large selection of antique shops. The area boasts more than 100 miles of Arkansas River to raft, fish, float or kayak in. as well as fifteen 14,000 ft mountains. Visitors choose from recreational activities like hiking, biking, ATVing, kayaking, rafting, fishing, horseback riding, zipping, swimming

    Charges & Cancellations

    Cancellations Individual Campsites: Cancellations up to 2 days before a reservation start date incur a $10.00 cancellation fee.__ A visitor who cancels a reservation the day before or on the day of arrival will pay a $10.00 service fee AND forfeit the first night's use fee including tax and applicable add-on for a campsite. Cancellations for a one-night reservation will forfeit the entire amount paid and will not be subject to an additional service fee. No-Shows A no-show visitor is one who does not arrive at a campground and does not cancel the reservation by check-out time on the day after the scheduled arrival date. Staff will hold a campsite until check-out time on the day following the arrival date. No-shows are assessed $20.00 service fee and forfeit the first night's rate, taxes and applicable add-on for a campsite.____ Refunds Visitors may submit a refund request through their Recreation.gov profile within 7 days of the end date of their reservation. Refunds will not be issued after the 7 days has ended. Refunds for debit or credit card payments will be issued as a credit to the original bank or credit card used to pay. For check or cash purchases, Recreation.gov will mail a Treasury check for refunds of cash, check, or money order payments to the address associated with the reservation. Treasury check refunds may take up to 6-8 weeks to arrive.__ In the event of an emergency closure, the Recreation.gov team or facility manager will refund all fees and will attempt to notify you using the contact information within the Recreation.gov visitor profile.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • RVs
    • Tents
    • Standard (Tent/RV)
    • Trash

    $25 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Hecla Junction Campground — Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area
    Camper-submitted photo from Hecla Junction Campground — Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area
    Camper-submitted photo from Hecla Junction Campground — Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area
    Camper-submitted photo from Hecla Junction Campground — Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area
    Camper-submitted photo from Hecla Junction Campground — Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area
    Camper-submitted photo from Hecla Junction Campground — Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area

    5.

    Hecla Junction Campground — Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area

    20 Reviews
    78 Photos
    189 Saves
    Nathrop, Colorado

    Welcome to Hecla Junction Campground, part of the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area near Salida, CO. This place is a haven for those who love the great outdoors, especially if you're into whitewater rafting or fishing. The Arkansas River runs right alongside the campground, offering fantastic river access. You can practically step out of your tent and cast a line or launch a kayak.

    The campground itself is pretty straightforward—no frills, just nature. There are no electric hookups or potable water, so you'll need to bring your own supplies. But hey, that's part of the charm, right? Vault toilets are available, and each site comes with a picnic table and a fire pit. Just remember to pack out what you pack in, as there's no trash service.

    The sites are spacious and well-maintained, with some offering stunning river views. If you're in an RV, be prepared for some uneven ground; extra leveling blocks might come in handy. The campground is also big rig friendly, so no worries if you're rolling in with a larger setup.

    One thing to note: this place can get busy, especially in the summer with all the rafting traffic. But even with the hustle and bustle, the natural beauty and the sound of the river make it worth it. Plus, there's a nice hike downstream to Seidel's Suckhole, which is both scenic and relatively easy.

    Reservations are a must, especially during peak season from April to October. So lock down your spot and get ready to enjoy some quality time by the river. Whether you're here for the fishing, the rafting, or just to soak in the scenery, Hecla Junction won't disappoint.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access
    • RVs
    • Tents

    $28 / night

  1. 6.

    BV Overlook

    18 Reviews
    223 Photos
    24 Saves
    Buena Vista, Colorado

    Located just outside of downtown Buena Vista, BV Overlook offers a variety of nightly accommodations with an amazing view of the Collegiate Peaks. We welcome you to stay with us in your RV or van, enjoy tent camping, or cozy up in one of our tiny homes, cabins, or glamping accommodations. All accommodations include access to the bathhouses, community fire pits, recreation room, laundry, outdoor games and Wi-Fi. We look forward to hosting you.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access

    $40 - $180 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from White Star
    Camper-submitted photo from White Star
    Camper-submitted photo from White Star
    Camper-submitted photo from White Star
    Camper-submitted photo from White Star
    Camper-submitted photo from White Star

    7.

    White Star

    24 Reviews
    98 Photos
    647 Saves
    Granite, Colorado

    Overview

    Picturesque White Star Campground lies at the foot of Mt. Elbert, Colorado's highest peak, among fragrant ponderosa pines. The campground provides convenient access to Twin Lakes Reservoir for plenty of water recreation opportunities. It also works as a base camp for hikers and mountain bikers who love to explore nearby trails such the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail and the Mount Elbert Trail.

    Recreation

    The Continental Divide Trail, which runs from Canada to Mexico, passes by the White Star Campground. The hiking trail is open to mountain bikes in the section from Halfmoon Road South to Twin Lakes. About 300 miles of the trail is within Colorado's borders. Twin Lakes are Colorado's largest natural glacial lakes, and sailing and water skiing are among the popular activities there. Fishing includes lake, rainbow and Mackinaw trout.

    Facilities

    The Continental Divide Trail, which runs from Canada to Mexico, passes by the White Star Campground. The hiking trail is open to mountain bikes in the section from Halfmoon Road South to Twin Lakes. About 300 miles of the trail is within Colorado's borders. Twin Lakes are Colorado's largest natural glacial lakes, and sailing and water skiing are among the popular activities there. Fishing includes lake, rainbow and Mackinaw trout.

    Natural Features

    The campground, at an elevation of 9,200 feet, sits on the north side of the Twin Lakes Reservoir near the base of Mount Elbert. The Twin Lakes Reservoir spans 2,805 acres and Mount Elbert stands tall at 14,433 feet. Nearby is the Mount Massive Wilderness area, a stretch of 30,540 acres that encompass Mount Massive, Colorado's second highest peak at 14,421 feet. Much of the wilderness is above timberline with many alpine plant communities and permanent snowfields.

    Nearby Attractions

    Drive on the Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway to Independence Pass, one of the highest paved passes in Colorado. Or continue over the pass for a day trip to the town of Aspen, a well-known ski resort town.

    Charges & Cancellations

    Cancellations Individual Campsites: Cancellations up to 2 days before a reservation start date incur a $10.00 cancellation fee.__ A visitor who cancels a reservation the day before or on the day of arrival will pay a $10.00 service fee AND forfeit the first night's use fee including tax and applicable add-on for a campsite. Cancellations for a one-night reservation will forfeit the entire amount paid and will not be subject to an additional service fee. No-Shows A no-show visitor is one who does not arrive at a campground and does not cancel the reservation by check-out time on the day after the scheduled arrival date. Staff will hold a campsite until check-out time on the day following the arrival date. No-shows are assessed $20.00 service fee and forfeit the first night's rate, taxes and applicable add-on for a campsite.____ Refunds Visitors may submit a refund request through their Recreation.gov profile within 7 days of the end date of their reservation. Refunds will not be issued after the 7 days has ended. Refunds for debit or credit card payments will be issued as a credit to the original bank or credit card used to pay. For check or cash purchases, Recreation.gov will mail a Treasury check for refunds of cash, check, or money order payments to the address associated with the reservation. Treasury check refunds may take up to 6-8 weeks to arrive.__ In the event of an emergency closure, the Recreation.gov team or facility manager will refund all fees and will attempt to notify you using the contact information within the Recreation.gov visitor profile.

    • Pets
    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Tents
    • Group
    • Standard (Tent/RV)
    Camper-submitted photo from Cottonwood Lake Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Cottonwood Lake Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Cottonwood Lake Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Cottonwood Lake Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Cottonwood Lake Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Cottonwood Lake Campground

    8.

    Cottonwood Lake Campground

    15 Reviews
    49 Photos
    661 Saves
    Buena Vista, Colorado

    Overview

    This location is available on a first-come, first-served basis only. Visitors are required to physically arrive at the campground to purchase and claim a site. Once on-site, you may be able to pay for your campsite(s) by scanning a QR code using the Recreation.gov mobile app, and the Scan and Pay feature. If this option is available, you will need to first download the free Recreation.gov mobile app https://www.recreation.gov/mobile-app prior to your arrival as some remote areas have limited or no cellular service.

    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Tents
    • Group
    • Standard (Tent/RV)
    • Trash

    $20 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Chalk Creek Campground & RV Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Chalk Creek Campground & RV Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Chalk Creek Campground & RV Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Chalk Creek Campground & RV Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Chalk Creek Campground & RV Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Chalk Creek Campground & RV Park

    9.

    Chalk Creek Campground & RV Park

    16 Reviews
    20 Photos
    196 Saves
    Nathrop, Colorado

    Welcome to Chalk Creek Campground & RV Park, nestled near Nathrop, Colorado. This spot is a gem for anyone looking to enjoy the great outdoors with some added comforts. The campground is open from March 1 to January 1, giving you plenty of time to plan your visit.

    One of the standout features here is the beautiful Chalk Creek that runs through the campground. Many visitors rave about the creekside sites, which offer a soothing backdrop of flowing water. If you're into fishing or rafting, you'll love the easy access to both Chalk Creek and the nearby Arkansas River.

    The campground is well-maintained, with clean facilities and friendly staff who go above and beyond to make your stay enjoyable. Showers and laundry facilities are available, but remember to bring quarters. Pets are welcome, so feel free to bring your furry friends along for the adventure.

    For those traveling in RVs, the campground is big-rig friendly and offers electric and sewer hookups. There are also reservable sites, making it easy to plan ahead. If you're tent camping, you'll find spots both near the creek and further up the hill, each offering its own unique experience.

    Nearby, you can explore the charming towns of Buena Vista and Salida, both just a short drive away. These towns offer restaurants, groceries, and other amenities you might need during your stay. For a bit of adventure, head up to St. Elmo or Mount Princeton for some breathtaking mountain views.

    In summary, Chalk Creek Campground & RV Park is a fantastic spot for a relaxing and enjoyable camping experience. Whether you're here for the fishing, the friendly atmosphere, or the beautiful scenery, you're sure to have a memorable stay.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • RVs
    Camper-submitted photo from Clear Creek Reservoir
    Camper-submitted photo from Clear Creek Reservoir
    Camper-submitted photo from Clear Creek Reservoir
    Camper-submitted photo from Clear Creek Reservoir
    Camper-submitted photo from Clear Creek Reservoir
    Camper-submitted photo from Clear Creek Reservoir
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Frequently Asked Questions

What camping is available near Buena Vista, CO?

According to TheDyrt.com, Buena Vista, CO offers a wide range of camping options, with 371 campgrounds and RV parks near Buena Vista, CO and 115 free dispersed camping spots.

Which is the most popular campground near Buena Vista, CO?

According to TheDyrt.com, the most popular campground near Buena Vista, CO is Turtle Rock Campground with a 4.6-star rating from 32 reviews.

Where can I find free dispersed camping near Buena Vista, CO?

According to TheDyrt.com, there are 115 free dispersed camping spots near Buena Vista, CO.

What parks are near Buena Vista, CO?

According to TheDyrt.com, there are 15 parks near Buena Vista, CO that allow camping, notably Pike and San Isabel National Forests and Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands and White River National Forest.