rafting in buena vista colorado

Denver Day Trips: Adventure like a Colorado local!

Denver’s a bustling city, but the call of the wild is strong. Luckily, a day trip from Denver can land you in Buena Vista, Colorado – a charming mountain town nestled near the Arkansas River, famed for its epic Colorado rafting, amazing mountain bike trails, relaxing hot springs and a variety of hiking trails for any skill level. Buena Vista, Colorado is approximately a two hour drive from Denver making it close enough for an amazing Denver day trip or extend your stay and make it a great weekend getaway from Denver!

This guide offers exciting day or weekend trip options out of Buena Vista, giving you a taste of adventure that rivals Denver’s vibrant character!

1. Buena Vista Rafting and Alternatives: Embrace the Water!

  • Rafting: Browns Canyon Rafting on the Arkansas River offers exhilarating experiences for all ages and ability levels. Half day, full day and overnight trips:
    • Browns Canyon National Monument is the most popular trip, this is the perfect mix of fun rapids and breathtaking scenery.
    • The Numbers is a step up rapid wise and is very continuous, great for thrill seekers.
    • The Family Float is great for young children and the group looking to relax and take in the views.
  • Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP): Glide down the calmer sections of the Arkansas River, enjoying the scenery and working your core.
  • Surf’s up: Both Buena Vista and our neighbor Salida have white water play parks going through town with multiple wave features. Bring your surfboard, SUP or kayak and play on the waves. If you are looking for rentals CKS (Colorado Kayak Supply) on main street has you covered!

2. Mountain Biking: Adrenaline Rush on Two Wheels!

Buena Vista boasts a network of exhilarating mountain biking trails directly from Main Street and in the surrounding area. Check out these trails. From beginner-friendly loops to heart-pounding descents, get your blood pumping on a scenic ride. If you need to rent a bike we recommend Black Burro Bikes.

3. Channel Your Inner Climber:

Buena Vista boasts stunning rock climbing opportunities. Whether you’re a seasoned climber or a curious beginner, there are routes to challenge and exhilarate you. Bob’s Rock, Elephant Rock and Chocolate Towers are just a few areas that are easily accessed off County Road 371 in the Four Mile Travel Management Area.

4. Scenic Hikes with a Browns Canyon Bonus:

For breathtaking views without the whitewater, explore the trails around Buena Vista. Hike to overlooks or waterfalls, soaking in the beauty of the Collegiate Peaks. Hike through Browns Canyon National Monument, summit one of the many 14ers in the area or just enjoy a nice stroll through town next to the river. There is something for everyone.

5. Other Activities. Hot Springs, Horseback Ride, Zipline and Razor Rentals:

  • There are two beautiful and relaxing hot springs in the area. Mount Princeton Hot Springs and Cottonwood Hot Springs.
  • Giddy up! Horseback riding through the Collegiate Peaks is a blast. One hour to full day trips available, check them out here.
  • Jumping on a zipline tour on your way back to Denver is a great way to end your perfect day trip. Leadville Colorado is on your way back to Denver and hosts one of the best ziplines in the country. Check out zipline trips here.
  • Varoom varoom. If motors are your thing Buena Vista is a great place to explore hundreds of miles of off road trails. There are mountain passes, ghost towns and high alpine deserts. Side by side rentals can be found here.

Bonus Tip: Combine these activities! For example, try a morning raft adventure followed by an afternoon horseback ride. Check out combination trips here or we can help you put together any adventure combo you can think of.

There are too many amazing and fun outdoor activities to do in Buena Vista to name them all or do in a single day trip! We recommend coming for a few days if you have the time and if you need any guidance or recommendations please give us a call at (719) 275-2890.

Remember, safety first! Be sure to choose activities that match your skill level and research any necessary permits or equipment rentals.

So ditch the Denver crowds and head to Buena Vista for a day trip packed with adventure! These options will definitely leave you with a thirst for more mountain thrills.