The best way to see the Upper Arkansas River Valley and Browns Canyon National Monument is on a raft. There are numerous world class rafting opportunities for all ages and skill levels. Rafting trips range from half-day, full day, to multiple day trips. There are even beginner trips for those that are looking for something a little less exciting than the typical picture found in the tourism brochures.
Trip locations and minimum age varies by rafting company and current water levels. Ask for details before making a reservation. The information below is intended to give you an idea of what to expect.
Class I-II is available in a couple locations depending on which company you choose. Ages 4+
- Trips above Browns Canyon begin in the area of Hwy 24 / Johnson Village and end near Fisherman's Bridge
- Trips below Browns Canyon begin around Big Bend and end near Salida
Class III-IV Ages 7+
- Travel thru Brown's Canyon
- Downriver from Salida in Bighorn Sheep Canyon close to the Royal Gorge.
Class III-V Minimum age is 14-18 depending on water levels and rafting company.
- The Numbers/Narrows - North of Buena Vista
- Royal Gorge
For more info:
- The Adventure Company http://theadventurecompany.com
- Monumental Expeditions - www.goraft.me
- Wilderness Aware Rafting www.inaraft.com
- Kodi Rafting www.whitewatercolorado.com
- Independent Whitewater www.independentrafting.com
Chaffee County Shooting Range
The free use facility is located between Buena Vista & Salida and is adjacent to the Chaffee County Landfill. Look for signs near mile-marker 137 on Highway 285. Ranges with options for several distances are available for rifles, shotguns, & pistols. Paper targets only. Outhouse on site.
Mt Princeton Hot Springs - Chalk Creek Canyon
Harvard City Riding Stables - Located on the road to Cottonwood Pass
Granite Mountain Outfitters - Poncha Springs (just west of Salida)
Buena Vista River Park
The Buena Vista River Park is located along a half mile stretch of the Arkansas River in downtown Buena Vista. Take Main Street east of Hwy 24 to the river. Most summer evenings you will be able to watch kayakers perfecting their skills in areas of the river that were specially designed for them. Buena Vista River Park has a network of hiking trails on both sides of the river. The Whipple Trail begins at the foot bridge over the river and has an elevation gain of 500-600 feet.
In addition to kayaking, rafting, & hiking opportunities, the park has the usual elements such as playgrounds, soccer & baseball fields, tennis courts, picnic areas, etc.
Showers are available at a rate of 25 cents per minute in the main restroom facility.
Comanche Drive In Theater
Located 3 miles west of Buena Vista on Chaffee Co Rd 306.