Colorado's Hot Springs Heavens

Boot Leg
By Robyn Brewer

Located near the banks of Chalk Creek with good views of the craggy white Chalk Cliffs and Mount Princeton to the north, Boot Leg is a perfect choice for campers armed with a tent and a sense of adventure. There is an activity in every direction: To the south is a trailhead for the Colorado Trail; to the north is a "fourteener" (Mount Princeton, 14,197 feet); Mount Princeton Hot Springs is just a few miles east; across the road is a pretty interpretive nature trail; and back across the main highway you'll find several outfitters ready to set you up for a rafting trip on the Arkansas River. The drawbacks: You have to pack in your own water and pack out your trash. Also, since this is the first campground travelers encounter on County Road 162, it often fills up quickly (although many continue down the road in search of a camp with drinking water). Try one of the four camps to the west if that's the case.

Location: Near Chalk Creek in San Isabel National Forest.

Directions: From Buena Vista, drive two miles south to the junction of U.S. 24 and U.S. 285, then continue five miles south on U.S. 285 to Nathrop. Turn right on County Road 162 and continue six miles west to the campground.

Campsites, facilities: There are six tent sites. Picnic tables, fire grills, and a vault toilet are provided, but there is no drinking water or trash service. Leashed pets are permitted. The elevation is 8,400 feet.

Reservations: Reservations are not accepted and there is no fee. The park is open from May to October.

San Isabel National Forest
Salida Ranger District
325 West Rainbow Boulevard
Salida, CO 81212
(719) 539-3591


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