Buena Vista Rafting Trip Information

Resources for Planning a White Water Rafting Trip from Buena Vista, Colorado

Buena Vista, Colorado is a great place to visit in the summer. With an extensive variety of outdoor activities – you’re guaranteed to never be bored! Buena Vista is home to America’s best white water rafting river – the Arkansas. No Buena Vista vacation is complete without experiencing a white water rafting trip in the Arkansas River. And you won’t find a better white water rafting outfitter than Wilderness Aware!

Buena Vista, Colorado visitors are some of the best repeat customers we have. They continue to come back year after year to enjoy Buena Vista and the beautiful Arkansas River Valley. With so many things to do near Buena Vista, white water rafting is only one of the many activities you can experience.

Book a Buena Vista White Water Rafting Adventure Now!

Direction from Buena Vista to Colorado Rafting Destinations

Arkansas River – closest white water rafting trips to Buena Vista.
Gunnison River – remote wilderness two-day rafting trips.
Colorado River – mild family float trips.
North Platte River – wilderness trips in May and June.
Dolores River – 3, 6 & 10 day trips in May and June.
Salt River, AZ – springtime rafting trips in Arizona near Phoenix and Tucson.

Buena Vista, Colorado: Rich with History

In the centuries leading up to the establishment of Buena Vista and the surrounding areas, the first humans in the area were the Ute, Arapahoe and Cheyenne people. Many tribes hunted in the area, as the mild winters and cool summers made game abundant and life easy. The multiple hot springs in the area also contributed to the Upper Arkansas Valley’s popularity – the native cultures utilized the springs because they were thought to have healing powers.

The first trappers and explorers were in the valley as early as 1725, though setters did not arrive until around 1864. Most came to the area to look for gold – but this dream quickly diminished when they saw the potential for farming in the semi-arid climate. Land changed hands frequently, with a lot of families important to the establishment of Buena Vista coming and going. The mining boom in the infamous town of Leadville, forty miles north, came in 1876 when silver and lead lodes were discovered. This boom forced the state to create a county south of Leadville, named Chaffee, for Colorado’s first state senator.

The year 1879 saw the incorporation on the town of Buena Vista. The name Buena Vista in Spanish means “beautiful view”, though few people in Colorado give the town the Spanish pronunciation. Through long use and affection, it is more often pronounced with the ue reversed. Most major encyclopedia’s give the pronunciation in this manner as well. Shortly after, Buena Vista saw the arrival of many elements critical to its survival – The Denver and Rio Grande, Denver South Park and Pacific and the Colorado Midland railroads, the Courthouse that still remains standing on East Main Street, the Colorado State Reformatory and the Arkansas River electric power plant. There were 3500 people in Buena Vista by 1880.

In the decades that followed Buena Vista’s early success the town’s popularity and population fluctuated. In the late 1920’s, Buena Vista was know as the “Head Lettuce Capitol of the World”, and when this honor was revoked – the town’s population averaged only 700 during the 40’s and 50’s. Buena Vista once again grew during the expansion of the Climax Molybdenum mine, but here again, upon its closure in the 1980’s, the population declined. Today, Buena Vista once again thrives – mostly on the tourism industry during the summer. History is everywhere you look in Buena Vista, from the buildings on Main Street to the old Midland Railroad bed just above town. Explore a town proud of its beginnings.

Buena Vista and Chaffee County: Colorado’s Outdoor Playground

Buena Vista is a great choice for your next Colorado vacation. There are so many great things to enjoy – many of which are just a minutes away. Take white water rafting trip through Browns Canyon on the Arkansas River, or enjoy a leisurely horseback ride.

Don’t forget to visit many other vacation towns and destinations on your Buena Vista, CO vacation, including Salida, Leadville, Breckenridge, Keystone, Aspen, Vail, Canon City, Colorado Springs, Denver, and Gunnison.

Colorado Rafting River Guide:

Colorado Rafting River Guide
Check out our detailed information about the rivers you can raft across Colorado.

What Our Guests Say:

We started rafting with you in 1988. This is our fourth trip. Will be back.
Jim L.
I would like to commend your staff on their great teamwork and enthusiasm. This was the highlight of our trip to Arizona.
Michele E.
We have rafted round the world and this is by far the best—best trained guides, best safety, best food, best fun. Thanks.
Jane H.
You are great to work with and your guides are fun to be around and well trained. Each experience I’ve had with you (3) has been excellent.
Dawn R.
Sarah was fantastic! Very knowledgeable and very fun! Best trip ever, even the low water! We will be back again!
Barbara L.
We’ve been with a lot of different rafting companies over the years and we have never used the same company twice but everyone on the trip agreed that your company is the best!
Lisa P.
We had an awesome time! All staff we dealt with were very personable and helpful. I can’t imagine anything you could do to improve!
Rusty B.
This company is quality. Six years ago I did the same trip with Jack, Ian, and Kelly and the quality is as good today.
Chris G.
Very pleasant and enjoyable experience. Rafted four other times and this was the best.
Linda H.
Good job, as usual. Our 5th or 6th trip with WA. Big fans of WA.
Tim S.
The entire staff from reservations to first contact to trip guide was friendly and helpful. Our Scouts had an outstanding time!
Ken T.
The trip, your people, your facility never get old.
Fred P.
From the enthusiastic greetings when we arrived at the office this am, all service was top notch.
John D.
This trip surpassed all of my expectations.
Amy B.
It was the best first experience in rafting. Ben was awesome!! Five stars!
Kirby S.
Family friend always said Wilderness Aware Rafting was the best. I totally agree!
Angie D.
Your staff and guides were so helpful and so much fun. My kids ranked that half-day trip as the highlight of our month long trip!
Patty G.
Pete was great. Extremely friendly and he took great care of us and really put our group first. Our trip was relaxing and fun!
Erin L.
Your internet advertising was great. People who answered the phone very helpful and the guides top notch. Seems like your manager has done a wonderful job. I see why you are a successful company.
Phil G.
Been rafting six times around the country. Best trip and guide so far.
James H.
Very professional yet very informal approach—not an easy combination to sustain—nice team—office included.
Mark W.
Best time I’ve had on the river in the past 15 years!!!! Will return soon!!!
Dylan S.
We had an awesome time. I would definitely recommend your company!
Leona H.
We booked our trip cold off the internet and found from the very beginning a very friendly and courteous staff that helped out and answered all our questions.
Carolyn W.
I want to raft again and again and well you get the point…again.
Levi V.
This was my first rafting experience and you guys made it awesome! Thank you so much!
Jamie L.
I have rafted with other companies before but I found your company and Mike, our guide, to be outstanding! I will be back!
Joe M.
One of the best times of my life!
Dylnn R.
When I made our reservation I knew we were going to have a fantastic time. Everything that happened today exceeded my expectations.
Mark E.
I started rafting at WA in 1999 and have always had a good time. I highly recommend WA to anyone who wants to raft.
Marty E.
We feel we have found new friends in Wilderness Aware and plan on spending time in the future with you.
Susie S.
This was the highlight of our trip to Colorado!
Beth G.
I work in safety – wish I could get all our regional safety folks to present their safety meetings with the same enthusiasm and professionalism.
Karla S.
Frenchie was the best guide I’ve ever had! This is a great company and I will definitely be telling friends about it!
Jamin R.
Appreciate your professional and fun staff! Will definitely return next year!
Dana Q.
Sarah, our guide, was the consummate professional.
Becky M.
I loved my experience at WA and will definitely be back with more people.
Cory D.
Matt was the most enthusiastic and exciting guide I have ever had… and I have done this a lot.
Carl M.
Thanks for the great time on the river. You do a super job of taking care of your crews.
Jan P.
I love the staff!! Very entertaining and welcoming. This was a great rafting experience. I want to come back tomorrow and do it again!
Bailey W.

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