Description - Founded in 1879 this silver-mining boom town is one of few communities in
the region to survive and grow in the 20th century. Today Buena Vista attracts
recreationists during every season of the year.
Copyright: Amy Pyle-Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Looking west toward Buena Vista from overlook in San Isabel National Forest
- The biggest attraction in the Buena Vista area are the mountains and terrain
that surround the town. Buena Vista lies in the Upper Arkansas River Valley and
lays claim to some of the best white water in Colorado. The town was
established by silver miners in 1879 who made it the seat of Chaffee County.
The Buena Vista Heritage Museum provides visitors with an opportunity to see
relics from the mining era of the community.
Recreation - The self-proclaimed title of Buena Vista is "Whitewater capitol of Colorado."
The upper Arkansas Valley has more whitewater than any other region in the
state. Rafting opportunities abound with various companies that line the banks
of the Arkansas south of Buena Vista proper.
The Collegiate Peak
Wilderness area lies west of town and encompasses part of the Sawatch
Mountain Range, that looms high above the valley. The Buffalo Peaks
Wilderness area lies northeast of Buena Vista and provides great opportunities
for solitude and pack trips.
Backcountry skiing, cross-country skiing,
snowshoeing and snowmobiling are some of the winter outdoor activities
visitors may choose from in Buena Vista. Summer provides opportunity for
mountaineering, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, motorcycling,
fishing and camping.
Climate - Buena Vistas elevation is 7,954 feet. It is warm in the summer and relatively
cold during the winter months. Due to the elevation sunless summer days can
be very cool. Those don't happen often, usually the sun shines brightly. Bring
your sunscreen, because thin air filters fewer harmful rays. (Tourists often
sport severe burn lines when they play in the powerful rays of the sun all day.)
Summer days, especially in August, usually see some sort of precipitation.
Bring your rain gear. Fleece hats and light gloves can literally be a lifesaver on a
blustery mountain top in July. Prepare for the worst when your traveling in
extreme terrain and you'll have a great experience.
For winter layers are
important. The sun reflecting from a snow-covered field can be scorching.
When the sun leaves the sky the temperature can drop severely. Sunscreen is
also important during the winter months.
Buena Vista is located where Cottonwood Creek intersects with the Arkansas
River. The town lies in a wide valley in the heart of Colorado's Central Rocky
Mountains. Highway 24 is the main highway that divides the town into east and
west. It leads north to Leadville and south to Salida. Denver and Colorado
Springs lie within two and a half hours of this mountain hamlet.