Chalk Lake Campground


Area Status: Open

Chalk Lake Campground offers 19 each equipped with a picnic table and campfire ring. Sites: #4-9, and 14 "walk-up", first-come, first-served sites. All other sites are reservable. Site #1 is used by the host from mid-May to mid-September. After that time it is available as a "walk-up", first-come, first-served site. Chalk Lake Fishing Site is located next to the campground.

The campground sits at an elevation of 9,000 feet in Chalk Creek Canyon, which gets its name from the soft, white, chalk-like kaolinite canyon walls. Kaolinite is a clay mineral that was deposited by percolating hot springs. A variety of wildlife makes its home in the area, including chipmunks, hummingbirds, birds of prey and mule deer.

Firewood is sold on-site. 

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Check out: 12 p.m. (noon)
Quiet hours: 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Reservations: Sites may be reserved by visiting www.recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777 at least 4 days in advance. (Friday and Saturday 2-night minimum required stay for weekend reservations. Three-night minimum for holiday weekend reservations). Prior to Memorial Day weekend, sites may be first-come, first-served and hosts and water may not be available. 
Area Amenities: Accessible, Tent camping, Camping trailer, Picnic tables, Toilets
Fees:
$25 per site for overnight camping. Two vehicles or one RV per site is included in the camping fee. $10.00 for a third vehicle. $10.00 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 17, 2024 - Sept. 22, 2024
Usage: Heavy
Busiest Season: May-September
Restrictions:
  • Maximum 8 persons per site: 2 tents and 2 vehicles or 1 recreation vehicle (RV).
  • Maximum RV length is 50 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: Drinking water from hand pump.
Restroom: Accessible vault toilets.
Operated By: Concessionaire
Information Center: Salida Ranger District

General Information

Directions:

From Buena Vista, Colorado, take Highway 285 south for 7 miles to County Road 162. Turn west on County Road 162, traveling 8 miles to the Chalk Lake Campground.

 


General Notes:

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 County Road 267 or near the Hancock townsite located 5 miles south on Forest Road 295. Additional camping is available in the Browns Creek area south of County Road 162 at the junction of County roads 270 and 272.


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities

Campground Camping

RV Camping

OHV Road Riding

There is abundant OHV riding near the campground. For information on what county roads permit OHVs, please visit: https://www.chaffeecounty.org/Road-and-Bridge-OHV-Roads

Popular rides include: Mount Antero, Baldwin Lake, Tincup Pass, Hancock Pass, Pomeroy Lakes, Hancock Lakes and Williams Pass (open during the month of August). Visitors should purchase a San Isabel National Forest map which shows the various roads in the Chalk Creek area. Maps are available at the Salida Ranger District office and other retail stores.

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Highlights

  • 'Queen of the 14ers' Link opens in a new window

    She is the agency’s Colorado Fourteeners Program manager; others simply refer to her as ‘Queen of the 14ers’.

Location

 
  Latitude : 
38.71297914

  Longitude : 
-106.2337534

  Elevation : 
8,700 feet