Ruby Mountain is a relatively new campground in Chaffee County, Colorado. It is located on the Arkansas River near Nathrop, between Salida and Buena Vista, and is adjacent to the newly designated Browns Canyon National Monument.
My wife and I discovered the campground while trying to find the monument. We had been hiking near Buena Vista when a local told about the new monument and its extensive trails system. Reaching the trailhead means driving right through the campground. When we saw it, we knew we had to come back to camp here someday.
There are 22 sites at Ruby Mountain, some walk-in tent sites right on the river and some sites large enough for RVs (although the access road is narrow in a few spots). Our favorite site is #7. This is a 3-tier car camping site view excellent views of the river and the Collegiate Peaks. It’s near the access road, but traffic is limited and noise is mitigated since the campsite sits higher above the road. A bathroom is nearby but out of the line of sight when you’re looking at the views.
The river is wide and shallow where it borders the campground, accessible for dipping and wading, but it isn’t deep enough to qualify as a swimming hole. You’ll see plenty of people fly fishing and floating past on rafts and tubes. And there are many miles of hiking trails accessible right from the campground too, with even more spectacular views of the river valley and mountains.
Ruby Mountain Campground is managed by Colorado Parks & Wildlife. Reach it from the south by taking CR 301 and 300 from Highway 285; from the north by taking CR 301 and 300 from highway 24. Search Ruby Mountain Campground or Browns Canyon National Monument for additional online information.