Buena Vista, Colorado, is a mountain town surrounded by Collegiate Peaks and the Arkansas River, and camping here is truly a magical experience.
Buena Vista has attracted explorers since 1725 when, in Denver, around 1860, the first gold was found; it attracted several gold miners. Fortunately, it was untouched by other industrial practices.
In 1879, Buena Vista became a town. The Arkansas River and numerous lakes remained eternal water sources, and today, it is the Number One Tourist Spot in Colorado.
Read on to explore more!
About Buena Vista Colorado
Colorado has numerous National Parks and Monuments. Its wildlife is enriched with animals like bighorn sheep, geese, deer, and mountain goats. Birds like hummingbirds, finches, bald eagles, and wrens enlighten the forests with sound.
Most of the Chaffee County lands of Central Colorado, where Buena Vista lies, are public lands managed by the state authorities.
Campgrounds are either operated by state administration or owned by local people.
State authorities manage camping in Salida Ranger District Recreation Area, Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area, and Twin Lakes Recreation Area. Locally owned campgrounds offer camping facilities within the limits of Buena Vista.
In Buena Vista, you can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and jeeping with a camping experience. Its rocky mountains consist of many hiking trails for all skill levels.
Hartenstein Lake, Clear Creek Reservoir, and Twin Lakes are some of the most loved destinations for hiking.
Top 7 Buena Vista Colorado Camping Attractions
1. Mt. Princeton RV Park
Located at 0380 Co Rd 383, Buena Vista, CO 81211, Mt. Princeton RV Park is part of Chaffee County’s Banana Belt.
Just a few miles north of Buena Vista, Colorado, this RV park offers scenic views of Mount Princeton. Arkansas River rapids will surely influence you to go rafting.
It seems nature has chosen this campground to flourish every beauty of its bouquet. This RV park is professionally designed for overnight, weekly, and monthly camping.
1.1. Available Amenities at the Campground:
It includes amenities like:
- Full-service cabins
- Laundry facilities
Just 30 30-minute ride from this RV park leads you to trailheads where you can explore hiking, mountain biking, and jeeping.
With an all-around view of the rocky mountain, you can also try your hands on fishing, golfing, and a host of activities here.
2. Arkansas River Rim Campground
At 33198 US-24, Buena Vista, another Banana Belt camping attraction is Arkansas River Rim Campground in the upper Arkansas River Valley.
It is the only campground in Buena Vista, Colorado that lies adjacent to the Arkansas River.
This RV park is family-owned and offers the best camping opportunities. To spark your camping, you can enjoy kayaking, rock climbing, rafting, horseback riding, hiking, snowmobiling, and other adventurous activities.
Visitors enjoy this campground for the best tent camping experiences with standard amenities. This campground shares its area with the nearby forests, making the camping close to the wilderness.
Sitting in your comfortable tent, the sight of hummingbirds, chipmunks, and cottontails rejuvenates the aesthetic beauty of woods.
2.1. Available Amenities at the Campground:
- Camper Cabin
- Free Wi-Fi
- Hot Shower
- Gift Store
You can enjoy whitewater rafting nearby. Fishing is another attraction of this campground.
3. Cottonwood Lake Campground
Cottonwood Lake Campground at County Road 306, Buena Vista, is quite popular among anglers.
The lake lies within the impression of collegiate peaks. It offers numerous outdoor activities throughout the year, including fishing, hiking, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing.
The campground is situated within walking distance of the lake. Beautiful aspen trees surround it, with basic amenities like accessible toilets.
Drinking water is not available here, so you must bring your water.
Each campsite has a parking pad for vehicles, and this campground is best suited for visitors who love to discover the area’s wildlife by staying near it.
Campsites are offered on a first-come-first-served basis.
Rocky Mountain Recreation Company operates the campground. In winter, when the lake freezes, you can enjoy ice hockey, and the dense forest opens a variety of options for exploration.
3.1. Some Exquisite Attractions Near Cottonwood Lake:
3.1.1. Cottonwood Pass
It is a 3-mile long out-and-back trail situated on the outskirts of Buena Vista town. Just 3 miles from Cottonwood Lake, County Road 306 leads you close to the wildlife at its best.
It is suitable for hiking, bird-watching, and nature trips, where you can accompany your dog on a leash. The Continental Divide between the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans is another remarkable attraction.
3.1.2. Cottonwood Hot Springs
It is another destination designed especially for relaxation and tranquillity. These are natural hot springs where you can dip in hot pools from 94 °F to 110 °F.
It provides creek-side cabins, lodges, cottages, and dormitories with dry sauna facilities.
4. Buena Vista KOA Journey
To explore luxurious camping with world-class amenities, check out Buena Vista KOA Journey at 27700 Co Rd 303, Buena Vista.
This campground is in the mountain valley, just a mile from the beautiful Arkansas River.
Southeast of the mountain town Buena Vista Colorado, this campground is the best camping site to explore ghost towns, hiking trails, and several other activities.
After a day-long trip, you can stay at this campground for comfortable camping activities.
It is a family-friendly campground where you can enjoy camping dessert games. Another notable amenity for RV camping is the availability of quality RV tires here.
You can avail yourself of the best deals on Goodyear RV tires.
4.1. Available Amenities at the Campground:
- Snack Bar
5. River Runners Browns Canyon
Buena Vista has something for everyone. If you are a Whitewater Rafting freak, River Runners at 24070 County Road 301 is your destination.
It is near the Arkansas River, just a 10-minute drive 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 accommodates 10 to 15 campers. The feeling of spending the night around the fire pits with the beautiful Arkansas River around is amazing.
5.1. Available Amenities at the Campground:
- Bar and Grill
- Riverside Resort
- 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 that is best suited for hiking.
6. Railroad Bridge Campground
Located at 33827 Co Rd 371, it is one of the six campgrounds of Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area.
A 15-minute drive from Buena Vista town leads to this campground, consisting of walk-in and RV tent sites.
It is a small campground that offers scenic views of the Arkansas River and snowy mountains.
It has huge parking areas and excellent day-use facilities. Also, the nearby Arkansas River Trail Hike is a prominent attraction.
6.1. Available Amenities at the Campground:
- Vault Toilet
- Picnic Tables
- Well-Graded Roads for RV
- Boat Ramps
- Accessibility for Disabled People
The Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area offers several adventurous activities.
Some of them are mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, fishing, and mountain viewing. The campground road crosses the Sawatch Range, Colorado’s tallest peak.
It is a small campground with the necessary amenities under the rail bridge; it is extensively used for rafting activities and remains open all year.
Other Buena Vista Campgrounds
Some other mentionable Buena Vista campgrounds are:
- Turtle Rock Campground at CR 375, Buena Vista, CO 81211.
- Arrowhead Point Camping Resort at 33975 US Hwy 24 N, Buena Vista, CO, 81211.
- Ruby Mountain Campground at County Road 301, Nathrop, CO 81236.
- Collegiate Peaks Campground at Hwy 306, Buena Vista, CO, 81211.
- Elephant Rock Campground at Co Rd 371, Buena Vista, CO 81211.
Buena Vista is one of the most visited small towns in Colorado.
In Spanish, Buena Vista means good view, and the natural beauty of this scenic mountain town justifies its meaning.
Whether you want to go to Arkansas River or Browns Canyon National Monument, stay in the mountain town vibe, relax with Mount Princeton hot springs, or just go on a getaway in this friendly and welcoming community.
What are you waiting for? visit buena vista today!
Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy every part of Buena Vista, Colorado; you will too!