Ruby Mountain has to be one of the best, if not the best, of the Arkansas Headwaters camping sites. Nestled just south of Buena Vista and right next to Nathrop, this campsite has stunning views and is just a walk away from some great Brown's Canyon trails. And unlike a couple of the other AHRA campsites, this one's is a little ways off the main road, so you'll get some peace and quite.
While here, we stayed at both site 3 and 17. We started at site 3, which is up near the top of the main central section and then moved to 17 due to the winds coming from the SW. Site 3, and the others in the central section, had a wonderful view down to the river and across the valley to beautiful snowy mountain peaks. Site 17 is a walk-in site down in the center of the section closest to the river. It provides cover from SSW winds, some shade with the large trees, and pleasant river noises.
We were lucky enough to get here the weekend before Memorial Day and had the campsite to ourselves 3 out of the 4 nights here. Reservations are required, so make sure you call the number or visit their site to confirm sites are available and place your reservation. Same day reservations are accepted.
Each site is broken down into two or three different sections, and they're all gravel. You have a space for your tent, and the fire and picnic table sections are either together or separate depending on the site.
The only amenity you have is toilets. You also need to make sure you bring something to pack your trash, because dumpsters are not present here. There is also no running water.
Oh, and my wife saw a mountain lion early one morning in the small section of sites furthest from the river. There were also plenty of mountain goats and deer to see as well.
Overall, it's a beautiful site if you're cool with only vault toilets (you're camping after all…). Buena Vista is a pretty cool little town to visit and has a supermarket with firewood if needed. The little mountain roads across the valley are also worth checking out. And if you have dogs, they're welcome here! We brought our three dogs and the rangers are extremely nice and helpful.