Known as the white water capital of the world, the Arkansas Headwaters Recreational Area Colorado State Park provides for a variety of exciting rafting adventures. Located on the river at the east end of Buena Vista is one of the longest whitewater parks in the nation.
The AHRA features some of the best rafting and kayaking in the nation. Reaching from Leadville to Pueblo Reservoir, the park includes two white water parks and rapids up to a Class V rating. Float fishing trips, fly-fishing, wild life viewing, historic sites, trails and camping are also available in the park.
There are over ten 14,000-foot peaks near Buena Vista and hikers come in droves to reach the summits. Camping (both tent and RV) is also popular. Mountain bike trails abound throughout the area, and horse back riding, rock hounding, 4 wheeling and exploring historic mining towns are other favorite past times. '
ATV riding, hiking and mountain hiking are exciting modes to experience autumn in the Buena Vista Area. Fall colors begin in late August in the high country and peak in late September.
Winter allows for exciting snowmobiling with over 100 miles of groomed trails in the high peaks of the Continental Divide. Bring your own snowmobile or sign up for a tour or rental. Challenging cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, ice fishing, and close proximity to downhill skiing at Monarch Ski Area or Ski Cooper completes winter adventure opportunity. Wildlife viewing is at its peak with approximately 1,000 head of elk in their winter range just outside of town.
Whatever your choice of recreation, soaking in natural, odorless hot springs is a good way to end the day…..or start it. Complete with massage therapists, Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort or Cottonwood Hot Springs offers a chance to pamper you. Several other lodging facilities have private hot spring pools or spas available.
Both performing and visual art events are on the rise in Buena Vista and the surrounding area.
Art galleries have mini-events all year long and several weekend events are art oriented. The Pick & Shovel Players offer melodramas each summer. Concerts in the park, cemetery tours, and historic programs and lectures occur regularly. Stage Left and the Steam Plant Theater in Salida offer plays and musicals.
With the Continental Divide just a half hour west of Buena Vista and ten 14,000'.plus peaks within an hour, there are trails of all kinds in the area. In warmer months, hiking, mountain hiking, jeep and ATV trails are available. During winter, snowmobile and cross-country skiing trails are popular. Maps are available at the Chamber of Commerce or at the local sporting good stores for detailed information.