Browns Canyon Wilderness Study Area

Browns Canyon Wilderness Study Area

ELEVATION:  7,800 feet – 9,000 feet  

LOCATION:  Approximately 7 miles south of Buena Vista, off of U.S. Hwy 24

ALLOWED USES: hiking, horseback riding
TYPES OF TRAIL: Hiking and horseback riding
SEASON: Year round
FACILITIES: parking, information kiosk
WATER AVAILABILITY: Arkansas River but the water must be treated before using it

CAMPING: Dispersed camping is allowed throughout this area. Please camp only in existing sites and do not create new sites or fire rings. Contact the BLM office for information on current fire bans and please follow all fire restrictions. Nearby Ruby Mountain Campground managed by the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area is nearby and offers developed camping opportunities.

Overview Map
Detail Map


DIRECTIONS: The main trailhead to access Browns Canyon Wilderness Study Area is just past the Arkansas Headwater Recreation Area’s Ruby Mountain Campground. The exit for Ruby Mountain is located south of Buena Vista on U.S. High 295 between mile markers l44 and 145. Turn east (towards the river) on Chaffee County Road 301, which can be identified by the large, yellow River Runners signs. Go across the river to the end of the pavement and turn right onto County Road 300. Drive 2.4 miles to the Ruby Mountain Campground and Recreation Site. Use caution at the Fish Hatchery because the road is a narrow single lane with limited visibility and a 15 mph speed limit. Go all the way through the campground to the trailhead as indicated by a wooden fence, a hitching post, and an interpretive plaque for Browns Canyon Wilderness Study Area.