Explore a mountainous wilderness, travel down fast-flowing waterways and learn about mining history in the heart of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.
Experience Buena Vista’s spectacular scenery in many ways. Vacation in the small mountain town in the Upper Arkansas River Valley to hike rocky trails, ride river rapids and study mountain wildlife. Appreciate history in the remains of former mining towns.
Get out and explore part of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. This extensive trail system covers 3,100 miles (4,989 kilometers) between Mexico and Canada. Find hikes for all abilities, including family-friendly options such as the moderately difficult trek from Spring Creek Pass to Snow Mesa.
Jump on a four-wheeled vehicle for a drive through the rugged wilderness. For an adventurous ride, drive along the Mosquito Pass. At more than 13,000 feet (3,962 meters), this is one of the highest mountain passes in the United States.
Buena Vista’s location on the Arkansas River offers plenty of stretches for whitewater rafting. Some of the roughly 100 miles (161 kilometers) of whitewater start in the city. Begin your adventure at the Buena Vista Whitewater Park.
After all the strenuous activity, you may be in need of a rest. Unwind in bathing pools of warm water at the Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort.
Learn about local history on a scenic drive into the mountains. The drive from Chalk Creek Canyon to St. Elmo passes through five ghost towns, remnants of the gold rush of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
During winter, go to Monarch Mountain and Copper Mountain for skiing and other snow-based activities.
Spend many happy hours on wildlife-spotting trips. Observe the herd of elk at the Heckendorf Elk Reserve and look for mountain goats in the rocks of Chalk Cliffs.
Reach Buena Vista by flying into Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport or Denver's international airport and rent a car for the 2-hour drive to Buena Vista. Visit to explore the wilderness, discover abandoned towns and study wildlife.