These are our favorite things to do in Buena Vista! Some towns just have it all and Buena Vista is a hidden hotspot in Colorado. Only 2.5 hours southwest of Denver, the town is an outdoor paradise with plenty of great eateries, distilleries, shopping and places to stay. You won’t have any shortage of things to do in Buena Vista. Backdropped by rugged peaks and wilderness, it attracts hikers, bikers, and climbers. The Arkansas River cuts right through town with a whitewater park and easy access to world-class rapids and fly fishing. Buena Vista has something for everyone.
Here is a list of our favorite things to do in Buena Vista, Colorado:
- Fly Fishing Buena Vista
- Deerhammer Distillery
- Whitewater Rafting The Arkansas River
- Buena Vista Boulder Garden
- North Cottonwood Creek Trail
- Mount Harvard
- Vicksburg Ghost Town
Fly Fishing Buena Vista
The Arkansas River is loaded with brown and rainbow trout that are a blast on fly fishing equipment. You can fish from a raft or from the shore with success here. If you are interested in a full-service experience or want to learn, check out some of ART’s guided Arkansas River fly fishing trips. If the local river isn’t enough, the mountains are loaded with creeks and lakes that require some hiking to reach great fishing. The fly fishing the Gunnison River isn’t far off and the South Platte as well. Anglers have a ton of water to explore using Buena Vista as a basecamp. Don’t forget to check out Arkansas River Tours offerings for fly fishing Buena Vista!
Take a tasting tour at this beautiful micro distillery. They make great whiskey, gin, and even special brandy. You can have bottles shipped directly to your door but visiting the physical location is a blast.
Whitewater Rafting Arkansas River
The Arkansas River is one of Colorado’s premier whitewater rivers. It has forgiving class III that is beginner-friendly and rowdy class IV-V that will give a big shot of adrenaline. Bighorn Sheep Canyon rafting, Browns Canyon rafting, the Royal Gorge whitewater rafting section, and the family-friendly Cottonwood float all offer a unique perspective and varying degrees of whitewater. For the best Arkansas River whitewater rafting, check out ART’s diverse offerings. There’s a trip for everyone!
Buena Vista Boulder Garden
The town has a myriad of parks to enjoy with a dog park, disc golf course, rodeo grounds, and more. The Boulder Garden is a free climbing park open to the public. It’s close to the whitewater park and is great for all ages. If you are interested in climbing and bouldering, this park is a great place to stop and test your skills.
North Cottonwood Creek Trail
It’s difficult to narrow down any best hike but this one is accessible and excellent for a day trip. It offers a 5-mile uphill trek to a nice lake. The elevation is high and it’s steep so come prepared. This is a local favorite but there are so many trails to choose from here, it’s worth pouring over maps to find more.
Ready to bag a 14’er. Mount Harvard is a 14,423’ peak that is just over 14 miles roundtrip. The elevation makes it difficult so get yourself acclimated for a few days before attempting this peak. It’s fairly mild for the first 5-miles and climbs for the last 2-miles. This is a favorite trail for peak baggers in the area.
Vicksburg Ghost Town
Colorado is full of boom and bust ghost towns from the gold rush days and Vicksburg is a great one to visit. It’s very well preserved and close to Buena Vista in Clear Creek Canyon. It was primarily a silver producing area but gold and lead were also mined.
For countless adventures and things to do in Buena Vista, check out Arkansas River Tours‘ various family-friendly offerings. With 50 years in the outfitting business, our emphasis on safety and customer satisfaction makes us your premier Colorado whitewater rafting and experience provider near Buena Vista.