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Railroad Bridge Campground

Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area

Sawatch Range + Elk Mountains, Colorado

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Railroad Bridge Campground

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  • Camping alongside the old railroad bridge.- Railroad Bridge Campground
  • Campground entrance.- Railroad Bridge Campground
  • The RV/tent loop.- Railroad Bridge Campground
  • The pull-through sites have plenty of room.- Railroad Bridge Campground
  • Walk-in tent sites.- Railroad Bridge Campground
  • The view downstream from the campground includes the Sawatch Mountains.- Railroad Bridge Campground
  • The railroad bridge is a great place to walk--carefully!- Railroad Bridge Campground
  • The bridge.- Railroad Bridge Campground
  • Looking upstream from the bridge.- Railroad Bridge Campground
  • Runners often use the old tracks.- Railroad Bridge Campground
  • The boat ramp gets a lot of use.- Railroad Bridge Campground
  • The parking area adjacent to the campground is huge.- Railroad Bridge Campground
  • A view downstream.- Railroad Bridge Campground
  • Squeezing an RV trailer through a daunting tunnel.- Railroad Bridge Campground
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Not heavily used. Riverside location and rafting access. Great mountain views. Convenient to Buena Vista.
Cons: 
No water or garbage service. Dirt road.
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Region:
Sawatch Range + Elk Mountains, CO
Managed by: 
Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
State Park Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Reservations possible: 
Yes
Current Local Weather:
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Campground Description

Campground Description

Pro Contributor

The Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area stretches for 150 miles and is on one of the nation's most popular whitewater rivers. Consisting of six campgrounds and numerous put-in and take-out spots with restrooms, boat ramps, and huge parking areas, the AHRA provides incredible recreation opportunities from Leadville up at 11,000 feet down to Pueblo on the edge of the great plains. Along the way it crosses the Sawatch Range, Colorado's tallest mountains. There is so much to do: rafting, kayaking, fishing, gold panning, camping, wildlife watching, mountain biking and hiking are all available in this massive park.

Railroad Bridge is the northernmost of the six campgrounds, and it is superbly located just 6 miles from the cute town of Buena Vista and just a few miles further from the incredible Class 3+ Brown's Canyon whitewater run, the nation's newest National Monument. A very popular Class 4 run called "The Numbers" ends at the campground, so there is a bit of traffic and activity from the rafting companies and private boaters taking out at the campground. The parking lot is huge and the day use facilities are excellent, however, so this activity shouldn't bother the campers at Railroad Bridge. The namesake bridge is prominent from the campground, as is the constant roar of the Arkansas as it rumbles under the bridge.

The campground is small, and about half the sites are walk-in tent sites and half are RV/tent sites, none of which have any hook ups. There is also no potable water or garbage service at the campground. The campground does offer an amazing riverside setting with spectacular mountain views. Five fourteeners are prominent to the west across the river. The RV/tent sites are mostly side-of-the-road pull-throughs with plenty of space, and most are along the river. There are a few big back-in sites as well.

The road into the campground is dirt for about 4 miles, but it is generally very well-graded and should present no problem for RVs. There are three narrow tunnels that must be tackled, but they are large enough for typical RVs and boat trailers as long as you stay in the middle of the road.

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(8 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(22 within a 30 mile radius)

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