Buena Vista, Colorado
With the rain coming any minute we were eager to get to our favorite boondocking spot. Since the ground here is packed and crushed granite instead of dirt/mud, we knew we'd be able to drive on the unpaved roads without worrying about getting stuck. It's also flat here.
You'll pass through a meadow first with grazing cattle and plenty of Pronghorn.
Our favorite spot was taken so we drove further back than we normally do. We found a nice spot tucked back in against a small ridge just as the rain started to fall.
Our "drive way".
It was a pretty unlevel side to side, but we made it work.
View from the top of the small ridge above us.
So peaceful out here.
Looking towards Buena Vista you can see the peaks of Mt. Yale and Mt. Harvard in the distance. What makes this spot so scenic is that you can see several of the 14K Collegiate Peaks from here.
So where is this favorite site of ours? It is between Nathrop and Buena Vista, west of Hwy 285 in Colorado. It's still an area at the top of our list to have property at some point. The area we are at this time is at 38.6759N 106.16330W. To get here from Hwy 285, take CR270 and you will drive through some ranches. You will pass through 2 gates and CR270 will become CR272. This is well marked. You will enter the San Isabel National Forest just past the meadow. There are a few sites immediately along here. The second one on the right is our absolute favorite. Like many other boondocking areas, this one is getting more popular and can get pretty full. This time we drove further back and turned left. This road will eventually take you to Browns Creek Waterfall Trailhead where there is room to circle back if you can't find a site. You'll be at 8900' elevation. Come with empty tanks and full water.
We had 8 days here with plenty of time to visit the Farmers Markets in Salida and Buena Vista. Salida which is about 20 minutes south is much larger, but still a small town. Salida has plenty of restaurants, breweries, distilleries and shops in a very vibrant town. There are biking trails along the Arkansas River, rafting, fishing, museums and plenty of entertainment to keep you happy. Buena Vista is a very small town with a lovely park, eateries, and a funky vibe that sits near the same river about 10 minutes north of our boondocking spot. So much outdoor fun in this area! There is even a 1 screen drive-in on ranchland that runs during the summer.
Eddyline Brewery in Buena Vista.
The Comanche Drive In sits at 8000'. The highest elevation drive-in. It was built in 1966 by John & Pearl Groy and has remained a family business since. It sits out in the field of their ranch home. It is one of 335 in the country and one of 8 in Colorado. $10 per vehicle. It's open every night during the summer and weekends only weather permitting spring and fall.
Through the pines and up over the treeline gets you a nice view of the valley below.
We made it to 9300 feet and then turned back. It was a nice 4 mile hike.
The fullmoon was rising as we headed down to Salida for some beer tasting and dinner.
First up was Soulcraft Brewing that was new to us. It was a nice evening so we sat out on the patio.
The beer was good and so were the wings and fries that we split.
"S" for Salida
This is a view of Tenderfoot Mountain with Spiral Rd leading up to the lookout.
The view looking down at Salida with some of the Collegiate Peaks in the background.
Main Street closed off to traffic.
A cute outdoor sitting area at one of the cafes.
Another new to us brewery was Tres Litros which Steve really liked.
For dessert we made Bananas Foster.