Adventure By Nature Pledge

Take the Pledge & Receive a Free Discovery Pass


Buena Vista & Salida, Colorado

Home Of Monarch Mountain & Browns Canyon National Monument

Buena Vista, Salida, and Poncha Springs are situated in the center of the state along the Arkansas River and offer laid back and lively small-town charm.

80% of Chaffee county is public land and a paradise for outdoor recreation. Hikers come from around the world to climb the many 14,000 foot peaks.

OHV enthusiasts enjoy the 100,000 acres of the Fourmile Recreation Area. The Arkansas River is the most popular whitewater in Colorado. Hundreds of miles of mountain biking trails can be enjoyed year-round.

Summer is a popular time in the valley.
Kids are out of school, the trails are dry and the whitewater is flowing. Fall, winter and spring are slower times of the year when your visit may be a more intimate experience.

Home to world class whitewater, the boating season starts in April, but boaters can be seen on the river year-round. Once the snow starts to melt, the spring run-off begins. This is typically in June and can last into July. Our river system is unique as the water is dam controlled up stream which almost guarantees good whitewater until mid-August.

Fall, winter, and spring are unique times of the year. The upper Arkansas River Valley sits at an elevation between 7,000-8,000 feet above sea level. The Continental Divide to the west rises to 14,420′ above sea level.

This offers amazing views throughout the valley and a unique weather pattern. With such a drastic elevation change you can often experience the best of both worlds, almost all year. Winter conditions in the high alpine and dry conditions in the valley below. This allows you to explore the back-country on snow in the morning and fish, bike, or hike in the afternoon.

What better way to complete your day of adventuring than soaking in one of our three public hot springs. Each is unique and is fed by natural spring water that is non sulfurous, so they don’t stink.

Evenings in these small towns are postcard perfect with plenty of outdoor dining or amazing places to eat takeout, watching the sunset or river. Find live music or just enjoy the art and architecture of these historic downtowns.

We hope you never forget this special place and come back often to share with family and friends. Please help us protect and preserve our home so future generations can enjoy it just as you have.

Colorado Winter Trails