We decided to head south for a trip to Buena Vista and the surrounding area. This was a camping trip…but more of a site seeing trip. We actually were leaving for the trip from La Junta, Colorado..rather than from Denver. Growing up; I always stayed in KOA campgrounds! Though we really enjoy dispersed camping for many reasons…we decided to do a KOA trip! We ended up staying at the Cotopaxi KOA along Hwy. 50. This is a great campground that has a really nice family that owns it. It has an outdoor pool, nice bathrooms, an evening hayride and even some craft nights. We really liked staying in one of their “deluxe” sites along the Arkansas River and had a nice flagstone patio with furniture. We are living it up now! We used this site as a base camp to visit Cottonwood Lake and Mt. Princeton Hot Springs. On the way home we headed to the great and weird Bishop’s Castle!
Cottonwood Lake: This lake was originally where we were going to camp before we decided to “resort” it 🙂 As you drive past the lake you will come upon some dispersed camping. However, this is a great day lake and has plenty of hidden picnic spots…it’s really quiet and stunning. We didn’t do well fishing…but we were mostly relaxing.
Mt. Princeton Hot Springs: Love this place! We went for the pools and the river. There is also a great resort and restaurant. This can be an inexpensive outing or a luxurious weekend! There are 2 outdoor pools along with the river…as well as a water slide up the hill. You buy one wrist band to enter all of the pools. It was raining when we were there most of the time..but it was still really nice to sit in the pools during the rain.
Bishop’s Castle: Well, until you go there and see it AND listen to the owner talk…you won’t really “get” it. He has hand built this castle for years and years. He is very anti-government and sometimes will “preach” it from the castle as he builds. Though, we found him mellow this trip. It’s free to get in..but donations help build the castle. There is a little gift shop as well. It’s worth it…atleast once in your life. I have been going my whole life and it was time to take the kids!
Follow the links embedded above for all the directions and websites to these locations. Let me know if any of them aren’t good links. Thanks! Below is a slideshow of our few days.