Camping By Clear Creek Reservoir Near Granite
Only 15 miles north of Buena Vista on US-24 leads you to Clear Creek Reservoir and County Road 390. Following CR 390 west past the reservoir leads you to a lot of free, dispersed camping with the San Isabel National Forest. The dirt drive is fine for 2WD vehicle, though it can become a bit rutted. There are primitive roadside spots, just look for an existing fire ring and private property signs. Even if you dont camp here visit the ghost towns along the route.
What Should I Know About Seasonal Fires Near Buena Vista
In the backcountry around Buena Vista, seasonal fire bans and fire restrictions are very common. For that matter, it is very important that you find out everything about the latest fire restrictions before you get there.
The best place to inform yourself on this matter is this website. Here, you will find an exhaustive list of places including BLM and USFS areas in the state of Colorado and the current fire restrictions taking place in them.
Another thing worth pointing out here is that you can also find out everything about the fire restrictions in the area youre planning to camp in by contacting the appropriate field office.
Buena Vista Campgrounds With All The Bells And Whistles
If you desire amenities while you camp or plan to bring an RV along, you can check out these paid camping sites. Campsites allow the convenience of on-site showers, restrooms, and more as well as the relief of having a saved spot when you book your reservation in advance. Theres no wandering around in the woods looking for a site when you reserve a campsite!
The Arkansas River Rim Campground & R.V. Park offers tent sites, recreational vehicle sites, and camper cabins for nightly and weekly rates. This campground features amenities including restrooms and showers, laundry facilities, on-site river access, WiFi, and even ice and firewood available for purchase.
For creekfront camping, head to the Chalk Creek Campground & RV Park. With both tent sites and space for R.V.s, this campsite offers access to Chalk Creek, a playground, games, and an on-site store stocked with all campground necessities! For even more comfort, you can book a cabin that comes complete with a bedroom, a bathroom, and a kitchen.
Book a tent site, R.V. site, cabin, or a yurt at Arrowhead Point Campground & Cabins. Amenities like a pavilion, playground, sand volleyball court, badminton court, horseshoe pits, restrooms, laundry facilities, and even an espresso bar will make sure that you never run out of fun and entertainment while camping!
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Plan Ahead And Prepare
Proper trip planning and preparation are essential to a safe and enjoyable hiking or camping excursion, and at the same time, minimize damage to natural and cultural resources. Campers who plan ahead can avoid unexpected situations, and minimize their impact by complying with area regulations such as observing group size limitations.
Proper planning ensures:
- low risk adventures .
- properly located campsites .
- appropriate campfires and minimal trash .
- comfortable and fun experiences which match participant’s skill levels.
Buena Vista Dispersed Camping The Overview
Before moving on to the locations themselves, I think its vital that we go over some of the dispersed camping basics first. In this part of the article, Ill try to provide all the necessary information one may need in order to plan a successful camping trip near Buena Vista, Colorado.
This includes the gear youll need for such an exploit, the best time to go there, as well as some important info on pets, fires, fees, and permits. Make sure to read all of this before heading out.
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Extinguish Your Campfire Properly
Arkansas River Rim Campground & Rv Park
This is the only site in the upper Arkansas River Valley that gives true access to the river. Hop on a trail to hike, mountain bike or four-wheel the day away. Or go hunting, kayaking, skiing and rafting nearby for more thrilling escapades. Youll have Wi-Fi, laundry, restrooms, a dump station and amp service plus, you can go gold panning! What other campground offers that?
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Arrowhead Point Camping Resort
Activities abound at Arrowhead Point Camping Resort, located just 7 miles down the road from Buena Vista. Families and kids will love the playground and free WiFi, along with the activity booking available onsite featuring free shuttle service. Dont miss out on this beautiful RV park and campground!
- Closest Town: Buena Vista
- Specs: Full-hookup RV sites, tent camping, yurts, cabin rentals
- Amenities: Restrooms, showers, laundry, camp store, large event pavilion with BBQ, childrens playground, espresso bar, WiFi
- Recreation: Activity booking onsite with free shuttle service including zipline tours, guided fishing, horseback riding, rafting, and more
- Reservations: Yes, at BookYourSite.com
- Address: 33975 US Hwy 24 N, Buena Vista, Colorado 81211
- Directions: From Buena Vista, take Hwy 24 west for about 3 miles. Turn left onto Co Rd 384 and continue for a little over a mile, then take a right on Co Rd 361. 3 miles later, take a right to get back on Hwy 24, this time heading east. The campground will be right off of the highway, on your right.
The Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area is chock full of incredible campgrounds, but Railroad Bridge is perhaps one of the most beautiful with easy access to the river as well as restrooms and changing areas to facilitate your time there.
- Closest Town: Buena Vista
- Specs: 14 primitive campsites
Buena Vista Koa Journey
KOA campgrounds are always reliable for those looking to RV across the country, and the Buena Vista KOA Journey is no exception to that rule. With a large amount of RV sites to fit any of your specific needs and primitive campsites with incredible views, youll never be bored at this gorgeous and amenity-filled campground.
- Closest Town: Buena Vista
- Specs: 19 full hookup RV sites, 22 RV sites with water and electric, 9 electric-only RV sites, 20 primitive campsites including 1 teepee, group camping, and cabins
- Amenities: Bathhouse, water, dump station, recycling, water treatment shed, laundry, cookhouse, and dump station
- Recreation: Playground, dog park, basketball court, volleyball court, horseshoes, bike trail, and hiking trail
- Reservations: Yes, at KOA.com
- Address: 27700 Co Rd 303, Buena Vista, CO 81211
- Directions: From Buena Vista, take Hwy 24 east for about four miles, staying on 24/285 when the road turns left. Turn left onto Co Rd 303 and follow it for about a 1/3rd of a mile, then the KOA will be on your left.
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Mount Princeton Hot Springs
The final place to stay in Buena Vista is the most unknown to people visiting the area from out of town. Colorado is home to 30+ Hot Springs. Some do not provide lodging, but luckily there is one located in Buena Vista that does! Mount Princeton is a gorgeous hot spring located at the base of the Mount Princeton 14er. They not only have man made pools they also have natural pools along the river that vary in temperature. Mount Princeton provides full amenities of hotel rooms or cabin rentals. They also have a spa that grants you admission to the hot springs with any service package. Looking for dinner options?! There is an onsite dining facility or Mount Princeton is located just a short 15-20-minute drive to mains street in Buena Vista. Perfect for going into town for dinner after a long day of soaking in the hot springs.
The Best Dispersed Camping Near Buena Vista Co
When it comes to the mountain towns in the U.S. state of Colorado, Buena Vista is undoubtedly one of the best. Not only does this place have cool vibes and great beer, but its also an ideal location for those in love with the Great Outdoors.
From here, its easy to just head out and explore the breathtaking wilderness, including the beautiful Arkansas River and the stunning Collegiate Peaks.
In fact, the region that surrounds this town is filled with amazing camping spots, particularly for folks who appreciate the solitude and freedom that is typically associated with dispersed camping.
Whether youre looking for a remote mountain lake camping spot or just a place where youll be able to set up your tent while staying close to the city, Buena Vista has it.
In this article, Ill provide all the necessary information about Buena Vistas 8 finest dispersed camping areas and also give you some general advice on when you should go to these places and what you should bring there.
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Mount Shavano And Tabequache Peak/blanks Gulch Trailhead
Distance to Buena Vista: 32 milesRestrooms: Yes, at trailhead. Water: No potable water, but possible to filter from the nearby stream. Crowds: BusyMap
Hikers will love this dispersed camping area, as it provides quick access to the Colorado Trail as well two of Colorados most beautiful 14ers. There are numerous camping opportunities along Forest Road 252 ranging from streamside sites to campsites tucked into a cow pasture. To get there, head south from Buena Vista along 285 towards Poncha Springs. Take Co Rd 240 west to reach Co Rd 250. Follow Co Rd 250 until it forks. Take the left fork, which will become Forest Road 252. Once youre on FR 252, keep an eye out for campsites. If you cant find an open site before the trailhead, continue past it and look for some additional sites on the left hand side of the road. This area can get quite busy on weekends and the streamside sites fill up very quickly.
Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area
Located inside one of the nations most popular whitewater-rafting and kayaking spots, these campgrounds are fairly primitive but they offer so much recreational opportunity, it wont matter! Drop into Browns Canyon National Monuments chilly waters early on summer days to avoid crowds. Or stay at one of the developed campgrounds with vault toilets, changing areas and tent pads. Dispersed camping is also available if youre more of a get-in-the-car and figure-it-out kind of camper. Just dont forget to recreate responsibly.
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Lincoln Creek Dispersed Campground
The campground at Collegiate Peaks is extremely wooded, with 56 campsites spread out over three loops. This park provides tourists with a peaceful camping experience with ample space between pitches. Cottonwood Creeks Middle Fork runs along the campgrounds south side.
Ptarmigan Lake and the Denny Creek Trail are two nearby hiking paths. The Ptarmigan Lake trailhead lies about 2.75 miles towards the west of Collegiate Peaks campground. Denny Creek, 1 mile west of the campground, will give you access to the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness.
Best Tent Camping Around Buena Vista Area
Looking for advice on 2 days of tent camping
After that going to Telluride and then 2 days of camping in Ouray.
Our favorite campsites are the Forest Service campgrounds west of Nathrop along Chalk Creek. Check out.. Mt Princeton, Chalk Lake, Cascade , Iron City.
Also look at CG up
I like Hecla Junction. The south side is the take-out for many rafting companies, so it can be busy during the afternoon. I like it because the sites are not on top of each other – In general I can not recall seeing any RVs , and it is right against the Arkansas river .
As far as hikes go, you are in the Collegiate Peaks range… Do you have aspirations for a 14er? Gosh knows, there are quite a few with some great routes. Mt. Princeton has a nice trail but the hike is long and could be a little busy. There is a book written by Gerry Roach that outlines the routes for the 14ers and it might be a good reference if 14ers are in your future.
Thanks…it looks like we can’t go wrong anywhere,
If I get picky and want to scout 2-3 spots that day where would you start ?
I’d start with Chalk Creek.
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Consider Gunnison Crested Butte Or Buena Vista
Home to Western State University, Gunnison is a fairly large mountain town of 6,500, so youll find everything you could need for a campout. Its less than an hour drive from Gunny to Taylor Park Reservoir, or Gunny to Crested Butte. Just west of town is the massive Blue Mesa Reservoir, part of the Curecanti National Recreation Area. It features lakeside campgrounds near Gunnison for those looking to enjoy watersports. This is the place to boat in Gunnison County! Rentals available.
Its only thirty-five minutes between Crested Butte and Gunnison, so CB makes another great base for exploring Almonts treasures. Crested Butte is also less than an hour to Taylor Park Reservoir, but provides a much more vibrant basecamp for those looking to experience one of Colorados coolest mountain towns. There are some captivating campgrounds in Crested Butte, providing a convenient base for seeing Gunnison County.
Chances are good that if youre coming from the northern front range during summer, youll take Cottonwood Pass over the Divide to reach Gunnison County. Buena Vista is connected to Almont via this paved pass, which is open May-ish to October-ish, weather pending. If you want to play in the Taylor Park Reservoir area, you could camp near Buena Vista on Cottonwood Pass, and be less than hour to the lake. There are both USFS campgrounds and free dispersed camping reasonably close to downtown BV.
About Randy Tucker
Salida And Buena Vista Colorado Camping
If you are searching for a great camping location, San Isabel National Forest is the answer. Whether you are in the mood for a high mountain scenic spot or a quiet, private retreat by a fishing stream, San Isabel has it all. Fees are nominal and conveniences vary depending upon the campground. Check out the campgrounds by areas. But first, plan ahead by reading the following sections.
U.S. Forest Service’s Leave No trace Skills and Ethics
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Colorado Dream Ranch Rv Park
This venerable RV park came about way back in 1940. Over the years it has expanded, and update, offering the very best in RV amenities. A store, gift shop and café augment your stay at this fully equipped, modern park. Its central location adjacent to the many off-road ATV, UTV and four-wheel drive trails makes it the perfect launching point for motorized adventures in the great outdoors.
- Closest town: Almont
- Specs: 52 sites, water, restroom, open year-round
- Amenities: 35 pull-through sites, showers, laundry, 30/50 amp service, sewer hookup
- Reservations: yes, at 641-8911
- Address: 23044 County Road 742, Almont, CO 82120
- Directions: From Almont take Spring Creek Road .3 miles east. Turn left on County Road 742, go 16.1 miles. Turn right on County Road 765, go 489 feet. Turn left onto Ice Mountain Drive go .1 miles to the park.
River Runners Browns Canyon
Buena Vista Colorado has something for everyone. If you are a Whitewater Rafting freak, River Runners at 24070 County Road 301 is your destination. It is situated near the Arkansas River, just a 10 minutes drive to the south of Buena Vista.
It has a group base camp for whitewater rafting. Half-day, full-day, and multi-day adventures are available for you. Whitewater Rafting activities remain open from May to September.
It exhibits 5 group camps with picnic tables. Each campsite can accommodate 10 to 15 campers. The feeling of spending the night around the fire pits with the beautiful Arkansas River around is absolutely amazing.
- Gift Shop
- Parking on Site
Buena Vista Heritage Museum and Buena Vista Whitewater Park are two admirable attractions. Alpine Tunnel West Portal is another mentionable spot near Nathrop best suited for hiking.
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Salida / Mt Shavano Koa Co
Formerly known as the Heart of the Rockies Campground, Salida/Mt. Shavano KOA is a small, quaint campground facility a few miles outside of Salida, CO. Dozens of 14,000 snow-capped peaks tower over the tiny campground. In arid, southwestern Colorado, the valley in which Salida/Mt. Shavano KOA sits green for only a few short weeks in the late springs. As the summer heat sets in, the open space transforms into a soft, leathery tan and gold that persists until the first snow. Close to the main highway, accessing Salida/Mt. Shavano KOA, even in wintertime in an RV rental, is pain-free. The roads are well-maintained and plowed promptly.
Set in an open field, Salida/Mt. Shavano KOA has over 35 sites for RVs
When To Camp Near Buena Vista
The best time for dispersed camping in the Buena Vista area is from June through October. Many of the roads leading to the high elevation camping areas will be impassable due to snow until at least June most years. On the other hand, it is usually possible to camp at the lower elevations throughout most of May. June, July, and August are gorgeous months to camp near Buena Vista, although afternoon thunderstorms are common and can be dangerous in the high mountains. Fall is also a wonderful time, as youll enjoy breathtaking foliage and fewer crowds. However, be prepared for very chilly nights and the possibility of snow, especially as you enter late September and October.
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