Salida Ranger District, Pike-San Isabel National Forest

Learn about camping and boondocking in Salida Ranger District of Pike-San Isabel National Forest, Colorado

Dispersed Camping Near Buena Vista, CO

Dispersed Camping Near Buena Vista, CO

Dispersed Camping near Buena Vista, CO has become increasingly popular due to its close proximity to numerous mountain hiking trails and river rafting fun. This area is right in the middle of Arkansas River Headwaters Recreation Area. There are many campgrounds in the area, but there are lots of dispersed camping and boondocking to be found as well.

buena vista colorado dispersed camping
Tunnel View Recreation Area, BLM, Buena Vista, CO

Dispersed Camping Near Buena Vista, CO

Tunnel View Recreation Area – (38.8733, -106.1469) – This area is served by a dirt road with no known name. You can reach it from Elephant Rock Ln, starting all the way back from US-24, in the north part of Buena Vista. There are a dozen sites here, each about 100-200 feet from the Arkansas River. The BLM has recently began developing this area with fire rings and marked spaces. Access into this area goes down a narrow, bumpy road that will brush the sides of your RV. Once at the bottom, it’s easier driving.

Turtle Rock Campground – (38.8820, -106.1457) – This is an established campground managed by the BLM, but is free. The road in is very easy, mostly paved from N. Colorado Ave (County Rd 371) in the middle of Buena Vista. You eventually take County Rd 375, a dirt road. There are about 6-8 sites in the campground proper, but a dozen more to be found along County Rd 375. Turtle Rock Campground is part of the Fourmile Recreation Area.

Elephant Rock Campground – (38.8846, -106.1521) – This is another established campground, but run by the Pike & San Isabel National Forest. It’s very easy access along N. Colorado Ave (County Rd 371) in the middle of Buena Vista. The sites here are generally small, and suitable only for small to medium sized trailers and rigs. This campground is known for its tunnel rock in which County Rd 371 runs through. There are enough sites here for about 10-12 rigs.

Americus Dispersed Site – (38.9178, -106.1666) – This is a single campsite located on BLM land, along County Rd 371 in the Americus community north of Buena Vista. Even though its a single campsite, three or four small to medium sized rigs could fit here if they’re all with the same party. There’s no access to the Arkansas River due to the train tracks blocking your path.

Midland Hill Dispersed Area – (38.8354, -106.0846) – This covers the entire length of BLM Road 376A in the highlands above Buena Vista on the east side. Access is largely easy, not that bad bumpy, however there are lots of trees on either side of the road that will brush against your rig. It does get windy up here! Large RVs are not recommended due to tight turns and trees growing along the side of the road. Keep it to small RVs and trailers.

Mushroom Gulch Dispersed Area – (38.8379, -106.0018) – Managed by the Pike & San Isabel National Forest, this area runs along Forest Road 307, with easy access from US-285. FR-307 can get bumpy and rutted in places. However, there are numerous camping sites along this road, all with a close walk to Trout Creek. Cell signal is about next-to-nil here, however. Ideal for large RVs.

For Further Reading

More About Boondocking on BLM Land

More About Boondocking in Colorado

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