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. This facility has 25 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 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
$22.00 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. 
$7.00 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: June 1 - Oct 15
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.
Closest Towns: Buena Vista, Colorado
Water: Yes
Restroom: Yes, 2 accessible toilets

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.
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


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.


This site is not universally accessible.


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

General Notes:

Segment 13 of the Colorado Trail can be accessed on Chaffee County 344 approximately 1/2 mile south of the intersection with Chaffee County Rd 306 (Cottonwood Pass Road). There is a small dirt parking area on the east side of the road.


Camping & Cabins

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Nature Viewing

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Picnic tables
Drinking water
Tent camping
Camping trailer
Areas & Activities


  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
9,400 Feet