Activities & Things To Do In Buena Vista, CO

Nestled between the flowing Arkansas River and the towering Collegiate Peaks, Buena Vista is a charming town in Colorado famously known for its stunning views and abundance of outdoor adventures. From whitewater rafting to mountain biking, hiking, and camping, there are lots of fun activities to explore no matter the time of year you decide to visit Buena Vista. Here are some of the fun things and exciting activities to do in Buena Vista, CO.

Rafting Buena Vista’s Arkansas River

Popularly known as America’s whitewater rafting destinations, the Arkansas River offers some of the best spots. The Arkansas River runs through town, offering more than 100 miles of whitewater to enjoy thrilling rafting trips.

Incredible Arkansas River Rafting Adventures in Buena Vista

The Whitewater Park is the perfect rafting spot in Buena Vista for everyone, no matter your skill level or whether you’re visiting with your family. Whitewater Park consists of five whitewater structures, whether you’re looking for some easy play waves or want to hone your skills with advanced freestyle holes, you’ll find plenty of action here.

There are plenty of Kayak Sports shops nearby where you can rent playboats, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, and other gear.

Soak in Buena Vista’s Hot Springs

There is no better way to relax than a hot spring soak after a long day of exploring and sightseeing. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly and luxurious hot spring or a natural and rustic hot spring, Buena Vista has it all.

Enjoy a warm winter vacation or a cool summer evening gazing at the breathtaking star-filled sky above in one of Buena Vista’s hot springs. Hot Springs Spa, featuring five gravity-fed hot pools filled with therapeutic mineral water. Pool temperatures range from 94°F to 110°F for the perfect soak. There is also a dry sauna for visitors to enjoy.

Magnificent Hot springs in Buena Vista's

Hiking and Camping in the Collegiate Peaks Scenic Byway

Stretching 57 miles through the Collegiate Peaks wilderness is the Collegiate Peaks Scenic Byway, connecting Salida to Granite. The Byway offers jaw-dropping views that will take your breath away. Some of the stunning views and special features to explore include the towering mountains of great fourteeners of the Sawatch Mountain Range, the beautiful Arkansas River, best-preserved ghost towns, historic towns, pristine ranch land, sparkling creeks, and hot springs for the perfect getaway.

Apart from the stunning views, the Byway also offers visitors an amazing opportunity to enjoy various outdoor activities and day trips, like mountain biking, horseback riding, fishing, whitewater rafting, camping, hiking, mountaineering, and soaking in the hot springs.

Collegiate Peaks Scenic Byways - Top Road Trips in America

For less challenging hiking trails, try out trails, such as the Barbara Whipple Loop, the Fistful of Dollars Trail, Kroenke Lake Trail, and the Midland Hill Trail.

Visit Buena Vista Heritage Museum

Buena Vista Heritage Museum is among the top attractions and is located in the Old Chaffee County courthouse that was completed back in 1882. The museum was meant to preserve and tell the rich history of Buena Vista Chaffee County. It is popular with kids and adults alike, featuring family-friendly exhibits like a classroom with class photos, old desks, manual typewriters, and yearbooks from the 1930s.

Buena Vista Heritage Museum | Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce

There are also old wedding gowns, an extensive rock collection, a 1912 Golden Eagle, antiques, mining, railroad, farming, and ranching artifacts. Visitors also get a chance to view a functional railroad model that illustrates 130 miles of the Arkansas River Valley.

The Buena Vista Heritage Museum hosts special events, such as cemetery tours and wine tastings, and welcomes visitors from Memorial Day weekend through September.

Visit A Ghost Town

If you’ve been dreaming of visiting a well preserved ghost town, then Buena Vista is the place to go. Saint Elmo is one of the closest ghost towns and it’s only a thirty minutes journey from Buena Vista town. There are 43 well preserved buildings in Saint Elmo including a schoolhouse, filling station, an old jail, several saloons as well as a general store that is open during summers. The formerly active town of Saint Elmo was surrounded by many mines and when the mining industry collapsed, the number of residents also vanished. It will be exciting to see and learn about a town that has no dwellers but was once a very active and populated place. 

Ghost towns to explore in Buena Vista

Explore Browns Canyon National Monument

Established in 2015, the Browns Canyon National Monument comprises over 21,500 acres of pristine land, including woodland, canyons, and rivers worth exploration. It was carved by the Arkansas River and boasts beautiful rocky outcrops and granite cliffs.

Browns Canyon National Monument | Arkansas River, Colorado

During the summer months, you can discover the beauty of the canyon by horseback riding or hiking. In winter, the best way to explore the canyon is by cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. There are many fun whitewater rafting trips that visitors can take to best experience the Browns Canyon National Monument.

Reserve Your Dates for Motels in Buena Vista, CO Today

From rafting and hiking to fishing, horseback riding, and camping, a visit to Buena Vista, CO is a dream come true for any lover of outdoor activities and beautiful places.

Want to enjoy the most unique lodging experience during your upcoming visit to Buena Vista, CO? Reserve your dates online today with Buffalo Peaks Lodge and have the best time possible to explore Buena Vista on your vacation or call us at (719) 395-3313 for more information.