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Buena Vista


The towns of Buena Vista and Salida make for great all-season recreation areas. Buena Vista is considered by many to be the capital of whitewater rafting for the United States and sits in a wide valley at the base of the Collegiate Peaks of the Sawatch Range, including Mt. Princeton, Mt. Yale, Mt. Columbia, and Mt. Harvard.

From Rafting to Hot Springs

The name is Spanish for “beautiful view” and was founded in 1879. Three major railroads served the silver, lead, and gold mining industries and much of the history can be seen in places nearby like the ghost town of St. Elmo. In addition, hot springs like Cottonwood and Mt. Princeton Hot Springs and others that are privately owned and operated grace the area and serve as an added benefit to your stay.

Things to Do

While the mountain’s in the area serve you up amazing activities like hiking, biking, and four-wheeling, it’s the Arkansas River that makes this town one of the most popular whitewater rafting destinations in Colorado. The Arkansas River, which runs directly adjacent to this mountain town, starts in the Collegiate Peaks and flows through Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and enters the Mississippi River in the state of Arkansas. There is an abundance of river rafting companies offering half, full, and multi-day trips and they all provide your family and group with safety tips and rafting guides and there are rafting trips designed for everyone from beginners to experts. Or you could try to kayak or canoe the river and try out the slalom river course that is set up right in town.

For the off-road enthusiast, this area is a dream. Just southeast is the Four Mile multi-use recreational area with maps and trail signs to indicate roads open to four-wheel drive, off-road Jeeping, and ATV tours. West of the town, on the road between Hancock and Tincup, is a great place for four-wheeling.

The road visits the Mary Murphy Gold Mine and other remnants of the Gold Rush days. Dining choices range from American cuisine to numerous varieties of international culinary delights. As for nightlife, the area has everything from taverns, concerts, and outdoor events to theatre groups and gallery openings. Be sure to catch the summer moonlight movies at Salida's Riverside Park.

Getting Here

The drive is both scenic and worthwhile. Fly into Denver or Colorado Springs.

Summer Vacation Coupons

Click on a category or activity to view a list of free coupons. We'll save you money throughout the year with discounts on lodging, coupons for rafting, deals with area restaurants and bars, and so much more. Stay tuned, we're added more deals every day!

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