Cottonwood Lake Campground

Area Status: Open
This area is Open
 

Cottonwood Lake

Cottonwood Lake Campground is a very popular site for campers, as well as anglers. Campsites fill up quickly on weekends. Weekdays can be less busy, and campsites may be much more available. This facility has 24 campsites. The campground is situated on a gently sloping hillside surrounded by young stands of aspen trees.

Water is provided by a solar-powered pump. RV's and camp trailers cannot fill their water tanks from the campground faucets due to the poor recovery of the well. Water tanks should be filled up in Buena Vista prior to visiting the campground.

No showers are available and restrooms are simple vault toilets.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Check in: 2 pm
Check out: 12 pm (noon)
Quiet hours: 10 pm to 6 am
Reservations: This is a first-come, first-served campground. 
Area Amenities: Tent camping,Camping trailer,Picnic tables,Toilets,Drinking water
Fees
$20.00 fee per site for overnight camping. Two (2) vehicles or one (1) RV per site is included in the camping fee. $6.00 for a third vehicle. 
 
$6.00 fee for day use if not camping overnight.
 
Fees are payable by cash, check or money order. Self-servicing fee tube is available.
 
First-come, first-served sites must be occupied the SAME NIGHT.
 
Golden Age and Golden Access Cardholder: 50% discount off the camping fee only.
Open Season: 05/15/2015
Usage: Medium-Heavy
Best Season: Summer
Busiest Season: Summer
Restrictions: The following restrictions apply to this campground:
  • Maximum 8 persons per site: 2 tents and 2 vehicles or 1 recreation vehicle (RV).
  • Maximum RV length is 35 ft.
  • Vehicles must park on the parking pads provided.
  • ATV's are not allowed in the campground unless on trailers.
  • Dogs must be leashed at all times.
  • No discharge of firearms or fireworks.
  • Only licensed vehicles can operate inside campground.
  • Camping is NOT ALLOWED behind a LOCKED GATE.
Closest Towns: Buena Vista, Colorado
Water: Yes
Restroom: Yes, 2 accessible toilets
Passes:

The Interagency Senior Pass (previously known as the Golden Age Pass) and the Interagency Access Pass qualifies for a 50% discount at concessionaire run campsites. The discount only applies to the fee for the campsite physically occupied by the pass owner, not to any additional campsite(s) occupied by members of the pass owner's party.

Operated By: Contact the Salida Ranger District at 719-539-3591
Information Center: Salida Ranger District at (719) 539-3591.

Peak season: 05/15-09/14; extended season: 09/15-09/28.

During peak season, this campground is a full-service campground. Extended season has reduced service such as water, trash, or a host may not be available.

General Information

Directions:

To get to Cottonwood Lake, travel north on Highway 24 to the only stoplight in Buena Vista. Turn left at the stoplight and travel west on Main Street. Main Street will leave the city limits of Buena Vista and will continue as County Road 306, also known as the Cottonwood Pass road. Stay on this road for about 6 miles then turn left at County Road 344 and the sign that indicates Cottonwood Lake, 3 miles. This road can be rough so drive slowly.


Accessibility:

This site is not universally accessible.


Parking:

Parking is permitted on the parking pads provided at each campsite. Do not park on the main campground roadway.


Parking:

Parking is available at the trailhead.


Activities


Camping & Cabins

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Campground Camping

This campground is located just west of Cottonwood Lake, on the north side of County Road 344. The campground is situated in a stand of young aspens. Most sites are located in full sun with little shade. Restrooms are provided. There is no dump station available and no dumping of grey/waste water allowed. No electrical hookups are available.

This campground is not available for reservations and all sites are open on a first-come, first-served basis.

Reservation info:   Reservations are not taken for this campground!
Usage:   This campground is extremely busy from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Weekends are busiest with campers having better luck finding a campsite during the middle of the week.
Best Season: Summer

RV Camping

This campground is located just west of Cottonwood Lake, on the north side of County Road 344. The campground is situated in a stand of young aspens. Most sites are located in full sun with little shade. Restrooms are provided. There is no dump station available and no dumping of grey/waste water allowed. No electrical hookups are available. This campground can accomodate RV's up to 35 feet.

Dispersed Camping

Dispersed camping is permitted approximately .75 miles west of Cottonwood Lake. Camping is not permitted within 100 feet of the stream. 

 

  • Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep at least 200 feet from water, camp, and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.

  • Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.

  • To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.

     

     

    NOTE: Motorized dispersed camping is authorized within one vehicle length off of designated Forest Roads. Campers should use care when parking and not damage soils or cause erosion.

     

     

     

  • Permit:

    Groups of 75 or more persons, must contact the Salida Ranger District and apply for a "Group Use" permit.

    Best Season: Summer and Fall

    Fishing

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    Hiking

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    Nature Viewing

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    OHV Riding & Camping

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    Amenities

    Camping trailer
    Toilets
    Picnic tables
    Tent camping
    Drinking water
    Areas & Activities

    Featured Events

    Location

     
      Latitude : 
    38.78279776

      Longitude : 
    -106.2901974

      Elevation : 
    9,400 Feet