Buena Vista and Salida, Colorado are whitewater rafting towns located on the Arkansas River. The Arkansas River is the most popular whitewater rafting river in Colorado.
If you are looking for the perfect river community, your search just may end here. The mighty Arkansas River flows through the heart of Chaffee County, gracing the downtowns of both Salida and Buena Vista with her beauty and world-renowned whitewater, fly-fishing, scenery and river festivals.
Buena Vista and Salida, Colorado are home to some incredible artists and entertainers. With such inspiring scenery all around, it's little wonder that the Arkansas Valley is home to a vibrant arts community. Some art lovers have remarked that the area reminds them of Santa Fe before it was "discovered". Indeed, Salida was named one of the 100 Best Small Art Towns in America in a recent travel book of the same name.
Cycling, in all forms, is part of the culture here in Buena Vista & Salida, Colorado. Whether your method is to mountain bike, road bike or ride the parks, we have it all. Many bicycling tours and races happen in this area. Come cycle train year-round in our clean Colorado high altitude air.
Things to do in Salida, Colorado: Go bowling. When you've exhausted your Chaffee County outdoor pursuits, try your hand at the top-notch bowling lanes found in Salida Colorado. Small, family-friendly bowling lanes complete with necessary bowling shoe rental, just west of Downtown Salida on Hwy 50. Bowling is a great resource for indoor fun.
Play disc golf in Buena Vista & Salida, Colorado. Although Disk Golf is a seemingly new craze, it has been around since the 1920's as a competitive sport. The epitome of outdoor recreation where fun, friends, skill and hiking can all combine, disk golf is a relatively low-strain outdoor activity that the whole family or circle of friends can enjoy.
Buena Vista and Salida, Colorado are well known for great fishing on the Arkansas River. You don't have to be a whitewater junkie to enjoy the Arkansas River. For anglers, it is the innumerable quiet pools and eddies that harbor the promise of the thrill and satisfaction that comes with landing a glimmering rainbow or handsome brown trout. As the Arkansas rambles through Buena Vista and Salida, boasting 140 miles of trout stream, more than half of which is open to public access.
There are two golf courses in Buena Vista and Salida, Colorado. Modest greens fees, a casual atmosphere, incredible scenery and confidence-boosting altitude-enhanced drives make golf in the Upper Arkansas Valley a special treat. Nine-hole regulation-length links that can be played as 18 are found at both ends of the valley, Salida Golf Club and Collegiate Peaks Golf Course, Buena Vista.
There are many hot springs near Buena Vista and Salida, Colorado. Any season is a great season for a Colorado hot springs visit, especially when surrounded by the beauty and grandeur of Colorado's Rocky Mountains. From rustic to elegant, you'll find plenty of opportunities for a natural, relaxing hot springs experience. All natural and odorless hot springs can be found in Chaffee County, where geothermic waters seep out of the ground to soothe and relax locals and tourists.
Inflatable kayaking near Buena Vista and Salida, Colorado on the Arkansas River. New and personal: Those looking for an in-the-water river experience are taking to duckies, inflatable kayaks where novices can enjoy what the experts know - the joy, thrill and maybe even a few spills of paddling. You can get everything you need, from the right gear to lessons, from expert, safety-conscious and experienced guides who will teach you all you need to know about navigating these one- and two-person river craft.
There are movie theaters and drive ins in Buena Vista& Salida, Colorado. If the weather is bad, a movie is just the ticket. The Historic Storyville Cinema in downtown Salida Colorado and the unique Comanche Drive-In in Buena Vista Colorado are both a real treat. When the pursuit of the Colorado outdoors is not feasible, explore the facets of cinema to ease the mind.
The best off road Jeeping and ATV in Colorado are found near Buena Vista and Salida, Colorado. The 10,000-acre Fourmile Travel Management Recreation Area is widely acclaimed as one of the best off-road vehicle recreation playgrounds in Colorado. It would take weeks on end to explore the spaghetti-like network of trails. Maps and trail signs indicate roads open to general driving, extreme four-wheeling, ATV-only or single track (dirt bikes), as well as trails reserved for non-motorized recreation. Open year-round, though seasonal gates close some areas from Dec. 1 to around April 30. Check with local off-road retailers and outfitters for current conditions.
The best rock climbing in Colorado is found near Buena Vista & Salida, Colorado. Rock climbing can be found in the Buena Vista area on the East side of the valley. Most of the routes in the valley are bolted face routes, while some good traditional routes exist as well. Check in with the local outdoor shops for maps, tips and extra gear.
Rock Hounds and prospectors search for gems in Buena Vista & Salida, Colorado. A treasure trove of minerals and fossils attract modern day prospectors to the Upper Arkansas Valley. Aquamarine, the state gemstone, can be found on the flanks of 14,269-foot Mount Antero, the highest gem field in North America.
There are several skiing options for the skiing enthusiast in Chaffee County. Monarch Mountain has been Chaffee County's local ski resort since 1939 and features all natural snow-covered runs, receiving on average over 350 inches per year. Cross country skiing can be found in higher elevations, on groomed trails to backcountry huts and campgrounds. Backcountry skiing is abundant off the Continental Divide, but refer to local ski outfitters and Colorado Avalanche safety before entering the backcountry to ski.
There are skate parks for skateboarding in Buena Vista and Salida, Colorado. More than just a concrete jungle, Skate Parks provide constructive recreation for those daring to try skateboarding tricks and spins. Both Buena Vista and Salida Colorado offer impressive skate parks with grand vistas of the mountains to inspire. Pack your skate board when you visit Chaffee County and try your hand at one of the two valley skate parks.
Snowmobiling in Buena Vista and Salida, Colorado is great because there are two snowmobile clubs that groom over 400 miles of trails. With two long-established snowmobile clubs and several enthusiastic outfitters at either end of Chaffee County, snowmobiling is a blast in the Upper Arkansas Valley. Buena Vista's Snow Drifters groom 130 sublime miles of trails. Popular riding destinations include Cottonwood Lake, Cottonwood Pass over to Taylor Park, and the ghost mining towns of Tincup and Hancock out of St. Elmo.
Snowshoe and cross country ski on the many trails in Buena Vista and Salida, Colorado. Easily a dozen cross-country ski and snowshoe trails are sprinkled throughout the Valley. A great trail for snowshoeing in a protected winter wonderland is Waterdog Lakes Trail off US 50 west of Garfield. Stands of pine along this popular trail insulate snowshoers against the wind. The trail ends in a beautiful high alpine basin and it feels like another world. Suitable for all levels.
For avalanche information and to check current snow conditions call 719-395-4994.
There are many spa and fitness clubs in Buena Vista & Salida, Colorado. Take a fitness class or get a spa treatment, it is your vacation pamper yourself. Many of the hot springs offer spa treatments and fitness classes.
Kayaking mecca. Buena Vista and Salida, Colorado are incredible whitewater kayaking destinations. The Arkansas River attracts kayak enthusiasts from around the world. Visitors are often amazed as kayakers in itty bitty plastic boats intentionally paddle into churning rapids to play in the waves and holes that, to the uninitiated eye, look like certain doom. Both Buena Vista and Salida roll out the red carpet for kayakers with park-n-play whitewater parks. In Buena Vista drive down Main Street to its dead end at the river to find a trio of playholes; Salida has two, on either side of the F Street Bridge right in historic downtown.
There are a few Zipline Tours and Aerial Parks in Buena Vista and Salida, Colorado. Flying through the air on a zipline at speeds up to 40+ miles per hour with a pulley harnessed to a steel cable is a pure adrenaline rush. No longer reserved for high profile Hollywood action heroes, zipline thrills are right here in Chaffee County.