Local Area Camping Suggestions
You don’t have to go far out of Salida to find great camping! From designated sites to “coyote camping,” here are some of our camping suggestions.
Angel of Shavano Campground– 2WD. 20 wooded campsites with capacity for family or group camping. To get to Angel of Shavano, head west on US 50 out of Poncha Springs for 6 miles until you reach County Road 240; turn right onto CR 240 and drive 3 miles to reach the campground. The campground is situated on the North Fork Road and is approximately 15 miles from Salida. Fee site.
Monarch Park Campground– 2WD. 37 campsites, 16 reservable; heavily-wooded, located at an elevation of 10,500 feet. From Poncha Springs, head west on US 50 for 15 miles until you reach County Road 231; turn south on CR 231 to reach this campground. This campground is approximately 24 miles from Salida. Fee site.
O’Haver Lake Campground– 2WD. 28 campsites on the lake. From the intersection of US 50 and US 285, head south on US 285 for about 5 miles; turn right onto County Road 200/Marshall Pass Road and travel 4 miles. The grounds are located at O’Haver Lake. Handicap/accessible fishing pier. This campground is approximately 14 miles from Salida. Fee site.
Cascade Campground– 2WD. The campground offers 21 single-family sites, each equipped with a picnic table and campfire ring. Vault toilets and drinking water are provided. Firewood is sold on-site. To access, travel north on HWY 285, approximately 9 miles past the HWY 291 intersection. Turn left on CR 162 and travel approximately 9 miles to Cascade campground.
Iron City Campground– 2WD. 15 campsites, located 2 miles east of historic St. Elmo at the Iron City Cemetery on County Road 292. Traveling either from Buena Vista or Salida, turn onto CR 162 and drive for 16 miles to CR 292; turn right onto CR 292, campground is only 0.5 miles further. Fee site.
Hecla Junction– 2WD. Located at the traditional take-out for the Browns Canyon run, you can expect to see all sorts of rafting and kayaking activity here. Fishing has been known to be pretty good in this stretch of the river, and several hiking opportunities are available around the site. Facilities: 22 campsites (each consists of tent pad, fire grill and table), four vault toilets, two changing areas. Hecla Junction is located off of Hwy 285, approximately 1.5 miles north of the intersection with Hwy 291. Turn right on CR 194 and travel approximately 3 miles to the campground. Fee site.
Ruby Mountain– 2WD. Ruby Mountain is one of the most popular campground sites, especially for private boaters. Along with the excellent river access, several trails in the area lead into the backcountry. Borders Browns Canyon National Monument. Facilities: 22 campsites (each consists of tent pad, fire grill and table), four vault toilets, two changing areas. Ruby Mountain is located approximately 25 miles north of Salida. Take Hwy 285 North, 18 miles past the intersection with Hwy 291. Turn right on CR 301 and right again on CR 300. Fee Site.
Salida East– 2WD. Located one mile east of Salida on Hwy 50. Close to town dirt lot with bathroom. Boat ramp on the Arkansas River. Travel east on Hwy 50 towards Canon City. Salida East is located one mile outside of town on the north side of the highway. Currently free and non-reservable, though per night fees expected in coming seasons.
Rincon– 2WD. This site is conveniently located and seems to attract more of an RV crowd. Some of the best fishing along the river is found here, up and down river from Rincon. It is also a takeout for boaters wanting a more mellow float on the Arkansas. Facilities: Eight campsites (each consists of tent pad, fire grill and table), four vault toilets, two changing areas. To access Rincon travel approximately 7 miles east on Hwy 50. Fee site.
Four Seasons RV Park– Located approximately 1 mile east of Salida on Hwy 50.
Buena Vista KOA– To access, take Hwy 285 north and follow signs for Johnson Village/Fairplay. This will require a right turn at the stoplight before arriving in Buena Vista. Travel through Johnson Village and watch for signs for the KOA on your left.
Monarch Spur RV Park– Located approximately 8 miles west of the Hwy 285 and HWY 50 intersection, on the south side of Hwy 50 past Maysville.
Blanks Cabin Road– 2WD/4WD. Multiple dispersed options on the road up to the Colorado Trail and the Blanks Cabin trailhead. To access, travel west on Hwy 50 towards Monarch Pass. Take CR 250 and follow signs towards Mt. Shavano. When the road splits, take CR 252 towards Blanks Cabin. There is a pit toilet at the trailhead.
Brown’s Creek/Raspberry Gulch– 2WD. On US 285 between Salida and Buena Vista, CO locate CR 270. This intersection can be found about 13 miles north of Poncha Springs between mile marker 139 and 140 on US 285. Turn West on CR 270 and zero your trip meter. At 1.5 miles find and continue west on CR 272 a gravel road. At 2.3 miles find a cattle guard and the entrance to San Isabel National Forest. Continue west. At 3.52 miles find a “T” intersection with several signs summarized as follows: CR 272 and Brown’s Creek Left (South), CR 274, Raspberry Gulch and Eddy Creek straight ahead or West. Dispersed camping throughout area. Pit toilet located at Brown’s Creek trailhead. These sites are close to the Colorado Trail and other hiking and biking trails. Suitable for camper trailers and RV’s.
CR 175– 2WD/4WD. To access CR 175, travel west on Hwy 291. Take a right on Spiral Drive/CR 175. Stay right to stay on CR 175. Travel approximately 6 miles to CR 181 and the large parking area and trailhead for Cottonwood/Beasway Trail. Dispersed camping can be found along CR 181 or further up CR 175 along adjacent forest service roads. Not suitable for RV’s. No bathrooms. Seasonal access only.
CR 101– 2WD/4WD. This county road accesses the Rainbow Trail at Bear Creek. Head east on HWY 50 towards Canon City. Approximately 3 miles from Salida turn right on CR 101. Follow CR 101 to the large pullout at the Columbine Trailhead. Small dispersed camping sites located further up the road, 4WD required. Not suitable for RV’s. No bathrooms.
Poncha Creek– 2WD/4WD. From the intersection of US 50 and US 285, head south on US 285 for about 5 miles; turn right onto County Road 200/Marshall Pass Road and travel to the large pullout with the bathroom. Poncha Creek road is located across from the large pullout. The road heads west towards Marshall Pass, getting rougher the further you travel. Several large sites along the creek. Small campers and RV’s OK to a point. After Starvation Creek trail the road becomes rough and narrow.
Silver Creek– 2WD/4WD. From the intersection of US 50 and US 285, head south on US 285 for about 5 miles; turn right onto County Road 200/Marshall Pass Road and travel to the large pullout with the bathroom. Silver Creek road continues straight, with one large camping area about 1 mile up the road on the left. Smaller dispersed sites can be accessed with 4WD further along the road, closer to the Rainbow Trail trailhead. Small campers and RV’s OK for first couple miles. After large meadow on left, the road becomes rougher and more narrow.