Buena Vista is a fun mountain town, centrally located in the Rocky Mountains. It’s close enough to the Front Range for an easy weekend trip, and a convenient base for nearby activities.
Whitewater rafting and hot springs are two of the biggest. Highlighting the magnificent landscapes are the 14,000-foot Collegiate Peaks right outside town. It’s also just a short jaunt up Cottonwood Pass to be standing atop the Continental Divide.
Hot Springs – Since the 19th century, those who wanted to improve their health through the healing power of hot springs have headed to this Colorado town. Local hot springs were used as a regular location for family getaways as early as the 1880’s. Cottonwood and Mount Princeton are the two nearby.
Whitewater Rafting – Browns Canyon is a notorious section of whitewater to raft the Arkansas River. It’s also on the most popular and easily accessed from Denver. June through August is prime season.
- San Isabel National Forest is located around Buena Vista. Free car camping exists 15 miles north of town on Highway 24. Take a left at Clear Creek Reservoir on County Road 390. There is a national forest campground just after the Clear Creek Reservoir. Dispersed camping exists up the county road. Watch for pull-over spots for your car and you can set up anywhere. There is some private property during the first few miles of road. 12 miles down County Road 390 is the ghost town of Winfield. The county road is suitable for most cars, but it is bumpy from heavy truck traffic.
- Great trout fishing can be found in the Arkansas River which runs past town.
- Crystal Reservoir is a fifteen minute drive north of town on Highway 24.
Read about the Top 12 Cool Hotels in Buena Vista.
There are a good variety of restaurants in town too. Eddyline Brewery offers wood-fired cuisine and local craft beer, a short drive from downtown. K’s Dairy Delite is a locals’ favorite for Shakes and burgers, this local favorite, situated on Highway 24 in town. Pizza Works is another great pizza parlor.
Jun – Buena Vista Bike Fest – One grueling Saturday in early June head out to BV for some mountain biking. No matter what your skill level, you’ll find a route for you, with a number of difficulties and elevation gains to choose from. It ends with a party in the park with live music, beer and food. It’s held in early June.
Jul – Battlemoor – Medieval festival held since 2009 in Colorado, centered around reenactments of historic battles and way of life, held in mid July in Cottonwood Meadows Farm.
Activities near Buena Vista
- Antero Reservoir (27mi)
- Browns Canyon National Monument
- Buffalo Peaks Wilderness
- Clear Creek Reservoir (14mi)
- Collegiate Peaks Wilderness
- Pike National Forest
- San Isabel National Forest
- Alpine Hot Springs Hideaway (private) (9mi)
- Antero Hot Springs Cabins (private) (9mi)
- Creekside Hot Springs Cabin (private) (11mi)
- Cottonwood Hot Springs (5mi)
- Mount Princeton Hot Springs (12mi)
- Treehouse Hot Springs (private) (9mi)
- Breckenridge (60mi)
- Fairplay (37mi)
- Johnson Village (3mi)
- Leadville (34mi)
- Nathrop (8mi)
- Poncha Springs (24mi)
- Salida (24mi)
- Twin Lakes (25mi)
- Agnes Vaille Falls (16mi)
Latest in Buena Vista
Whether you’re shredding the local ski slopes, hiking the region’s highest peaks, or even just strolling…