Buena Vista (Colorado)

A wagon at the Buena Vista Heritage Museum.

Buena Vista is a town in Chaffee County, south central Colorado. Although there's not much to the town, its setting between the Arkansas River and Sawatch Range, highest range of the Rocky Mountains, is magnificent, and it is a good jumping-off point for many kinds of outdoor recreational activities.

Get in

The Chaffee County Regional Airport is located southwest of town. There does not appear to be commercial service into this airport, however. (Note that if you're hiking in the nearby Sawatch Mountains, which are convenient to Buena Vista, there are many viewpoints from which you can watch planes on the approach to this airport below you.)

Buena Vista is located approximately 94 miles west of Colorado Springs and is reached from there via west on Hwy. 24 to Hwy 285 and then north for approximately two miles. It's just a two-hour drive from western metro Denver via US 285.

Get around

Bring your own vehicle, pedals or walking shoes. Also, The Chaffee Shuttle operates by appointment, offering public transportation for the Buena Vista area to appointments, shopping and other destinations. Call for info: 719-395-6231 or neighborsbv@yahoo.com.


Hike, bike, fish, raft, kayak. Base camp and provisioning stop for through-hikers on the Continental Divide Trail and Colorado Trail. Also attracts off-road enthusiasts in the summer and snowmobiles in the winter exploring old mining ghost towns and trails west of town and the Fourmile Recreation Area east of town.

Enjoy soaking in geothermal hot springs at kid-friendly Mount Princeton Resort. Cottowood Hot Springs is clothing optional after dark.

Empty movie theater in Buena Vista.


River running

The Arkansas River runs through town and offers white-water experiences ranging from beginner-level to seriously hairy. If you're not equipped to tackle the river on your own, try one of the services in and near town that run rafting trips ranging from a few hours to multiple days in length. Advance reservations are nearly mandatory and are required by some outfitters. Some outfitters (there are others, feel free to add to this list if you have a good experience with one):


Colorado Kayak Supply, one of the country's top-selling paddlesports shops is on Main Street. The Trailhead has all kinds of land lubber outdoor equipment gear rentals and sales plus outdoor clothing, maps, basically anything you forgot to pack for your trip. Both shops have knowledgeable sales staff who live, eat and breathe a steady diet of outdoor adventure and are happy to share tips and advice.

Downtown Buena Vista.


There's about a dozen local restaurants and the only fast-food joint is Pizza Hut. Most restaurants are on US 24 or Main Street, the town's two major thoroughfares.


Don't expect any umbrella drinks or wine tasting bars.


Go next

Buena Vista Town Hall.

Buena Vista is in some of the most beautiful landscape anywhere, and outdoor recreational opportunities abound nearby. Note that the high country nearby is seriously high; to avoid altitude sickness, it's wise to spend a night or two in the lowlands for some acclimatization before undertaking something strenuous.

Routes through Buena Vista

Minturn Leadville ← Jct W  N  E  Florissant Fossil Beds Colorado Springs

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, February 21, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.