Where to Camp, Play, Dine & Drink in Buena Vista, CO
‘Buena Vista’ is Spanish for ‘beautiful view. Though the spelling might look like the Spanish pronunciation, it’s actually pronounced by locals as ‘Byoo-na Vista’. Some affectionately refer to town as ‘Bewnie’ or simply ‘BV’. The origins of the town’s name are true to it’s Spanish translation – there is no shortage of beautiful views in Buena Vista, CO. From river banks to mountain peaks, and canyons to craggy rocks BV’s stunning landscapes will take your breath away.
Performance Tours Rafting has been running rafting trips in Buena Vista, CO since 1987. Over the last 3 decades, we’ve discovered the best places to camp, the most fun activities, and the greatest food and drinks in the area. We’ve put our heads together to build the ultimate Buena Vista, CO adventure weekend for our guests.
Buena Vista is an incredible Colorado camping destination. In summer, the average daily high temperature hovers in the upper 80’s with ample sunshine and comfortable weather. Depending on how adventurous you are, there’s almost no limit to camping opportunities, especially when you plan in advance. The Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area offers 6 campgrounds, that all lay on the Arkansas River. Some of our favorite developed sites are Railroad Bridge Campground and Ruby Mountain Campground. Both campgrounds have clean facilities, roomy tent sites, picnic tables, fire pits, and spectacular views. If you’re on our Browns Canyon National Monument trip, we’ll float past Ruby Mountain Campground within the first mile. The take-out for our Numbers half day trip is at Railroad Bridge
Some people consider Buena Vista the whitewater capital of Coloarado, and the Arkansas River is the main attraction. Whitewater rafting is the most fun way to experience the excitement and beauty of the ‘Ark’. Performance Tours Rafting has been running rafting trips in Buena Vista since 1987. We don’t like to brag, but we’re the best around. We offer trips for all abilities, including mild family float trips, exciting and moderate class 3, and wild class 4+.
If you feel like exploring on land for a day, we recommend an adventure in Four Mile Recreation Area. 100,000 miles of public land, located just outside of town. Four Mile is a mecca for all things recreation: camping, fishing, climbing, off-roading, biking, and hiking. There’s a few established campgrounds nearby, but if you’re okay with primitive camping (read: no bathroom facilities) there’s endless possibilities for dispersed, free campsites in Four Mile Recreation Area.
Buena Vista is tucked up against the Sawatch Range, providing stunning mountain views and ample hiking. With 12 ‘fourteeners’ in Chaffee County, peak baggers will want to carefully plan which summit to tackle. Before you hike, be sure to swing by The Trailhead for gear and advice from locals with first-hand experience.
After days packed full of whitewater rafting, exploring public lands, and tackling 14ers you deserve some rest and relaxation. Before or after one of our rafting adventures take some time to enjoy, Mount Princeton Hotsprings at a discounted rate. Discounted admission tickets are available to guests who have rafted with us, or who have an upcoming reservation.
Dine & Drink
Paddling builds up an appetite. Our guides are happy to share their favorite places to fill up after an exciting raft trip. Buena Vista has so many great options for food and drinks! If you’re craving a classic burger and milkshake, you won’t want to skip K’s Dairy Delite. For those with dietary restrictions or if you prefer to eat on the healthier side, House Rock Kitchen offers an extensive menu with many customizable options and a killer outdoor patio. If breweries are your thing, the Eddyline Brewery has an awesome taproom and restaurant in town to quench your thirst and quiet your appetite. Craving something different? Ask your raft guide for a recommendation!
There’s no shortage of options for activities, accommodations and dining in Buena Vista. Join us this summer for the ultimate adventure weekend in Buena Vista, CO!