Iron City Campground

Area Status: Open

Iron City Campground is located within the Chalk Creek Canyon, which is one of the valley's most popular areas, offering access to many ATV trails. This is a small campground with 15 campsites. It is located near the historic townsite of St. Elmo. The Iron City cemetery is located on the east end of the campground. An interpretive sign at the entrance to the cemetery provides information on the early settlers and miners who are buried there.

Camping and campfires are restricted in the Chalk Creek Canyon to developed campgrounds only. Campers who are unable to find a campsite in one of the four developed campground may camp above the townsite of St. Elmo on 4x4 Road 267.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Check out: 12 pm (noon)
Quiet hours: 10 pm to 6 am
Reservations: First-come, first-served. No reservations are accepted. Dates of operation below are weather dependent. Prior to Memorial Day weekend, and after Labor Day, services (such as hosts, trash, toilet and water) may not be available.
$22 per site for overnight camping. Two vehicles or one RV per site is included in the camping fee. $8.00 for a third vehicle. $8.00 fee for day use if not camping overnight. Fees are payable by cash, check or money order. Self-servicing fee tube is available. Sites must be occupied the first night of payment. Interagency Senior/Access passes valid for 50% discount to the camping fee for one site.
Open Season: May 20, 202 - October 16, 2022
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 25 ft.
  • Dogs must be leashed at all times.
  • No discharge of firearms or fireworks.
  • Only licensed vehicles can operate inside campground.
Closest Towns: Buena Vista, CO and Salida, CO
Water: Yes
Restroom: Vault toilet is available only during peak season

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: Rocky Mountain Recreation Company
Information Center: Visit Salida Ranger District or call (719) 539-3591.
During peak season, the campground is a full-service campground. Pre- and post seasons have reduced services such as vault toilets, water, trash, or a host may not be available.

General Information


Visitors can access the area by traveling on Highway 285 from either Buena Vista or Salida. From Buena Vista travel south on Highway 285 for approximately 7 miles then turn right on County Road 162. Travel west on CR 162 for 16 miles to the junction with CR 292, just east of the historic townsite of St. Elmo. Turn right onto CR 292 and travel for .5 miles to the campground.


This site is not universally accessible.


Parking is limited to the parking spurs provided at each site. Trailers and extra vehicles must park on the spurs provided; not behind campsites or adjacent to parking spurs.


Campground Camping

Iron City campground has 15 sites and is located within walking distance of the historic townsite of St. Elmo. No reservations are taken for sites in this campground. The campground is located in such a way that the campsites straddled County Road 292. This road is open to all types of motorized vehicles including OHV's and motorcycles.

River and Stream Fishing

Fishing is available in Chalk Creek located along the southern edge of the campground. Access to the stream is best near the bridge on the road to the campground.

OHV Road Riding

Iron City campground is popular spot for OHV riders because registered ATV's and motorcycles can ride from the campground to access points for Tincup Pass, Hancock Pass, Pomeroy and Hancock Lakes and Williams Pass.

Forest Road 292 through the Iron City campground is open to  registered OHV's. Most Chaffee County roads do not permit OHVs with a few exceptions. Please visit:

ATV's and motorcycles are not permitted off of parking spurs or roadways in the campground.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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9,900 feet