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, BreckenridgeKeystone, Aspen, Vail, Canon CityColorado SpringsDenver, and Gunnison.

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