A trip out West is not complete without an outing to one of the region's ghost towns. St. Elmo, southwest of Buena Vista, is the best-known ghost town in the region but Turret, Winfield and Vicksburg are worth noting. On roads through the backcountry, you may also find relics of old towns that no longer exist on present-day maps, monuments to boom and bust mining cycles of the past 120 years. Virtually all the old buildings are privately owned. Please leave the buildings as you found them.
When your body's ready to relax after a mountain hike, bike ride or raft excursion, take it to the hot springs. Hot springs pools are available at Mount Princeton Hot Springs located at Nathrop. Soaking pool, lap pool and creekside pool as well as upper pool and water slide are available. The soaking pool, lap pool and creekside pool are open year round. The upper pool and water slide is open daily Memorial weekend through Labor Day weekend.
Both are located in the historic Old Chaffee County Courthouse on East Main. Buena Vista Heritage Museum offers a bit of history on the town and its people. Artifacts include old clothing, antique furniture, a rock collection and Buena Vista school pictures from when the courthouse was a school.
South Park City and Fairplay are located about 32 miles from the campground. It takes about 45 minutes to make the trip. South Park City Museum is an outdoor museum representing a Colorado mining town between 1870 and 1900. Thirty-two authentic buildings, along with a wide variety of up to 60,000 authentic artifacts inside, portray most of the economic and social aspects of boom town life. The log, batten, clapboard and stone buildings contain period room settings and exhibit areas illustrating the professions, trades and industries that contributed to a 19th century mining town in Colorado. The mining district known as "Fairplay Diggings" was established in 1859. The term "Fair Play" came from the opinion that here every man would have an equal chance to stake a claim. This settlement was also known as Platte City, Fair Play and South Park City. Fairplay was the accepted spelling after 1874. Fairplay is centrally located to provide easy access to some of the best fishing, hiking, camping and skiing in Colorado.