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Buena Vista Whitewater Rafting

Buena Vista is Spanish for “good view,” and this small town in the Rocky Mountains offers that and so much more.  This picturesque place is centrally located in Colorado and sits at the bottom of the Arkansas River valley between 2 towering mountain ranges. Buena Vista, CO is an adventure lover’s paradise and offers some of the best rafting experiences in the state. The Arkansas River runs right through town and has incredible access for visitors looking for Buena Vista whitewater rafting tours. The Performance Tours Rafting Buena Vista outpost sits right below beautiful Mt. Princeton and offers half day and full day raft trips on the Arkansas River.

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Buena Vista


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Rafting Near Buena Vista

For more than 30 years, Performance Tours Rafting have been offering incredible Buena Vista whitewater rafting trips for guests in Colorado! We strive to provide great trips with our talented guides and friendly customer service. Our expert, professional raft guides prioritize guest safety, and are dedicated to providing the best Colorado river rafting experiences possible. Our Buena Vista outpost is located just two and a half hours southwest of Denver, and it is surrounded by gorgeous scenery, loads of outdoor fun, and lots of adventure-loving people. If you are looking for a whitewater rafting outfitter in Buena Vista, Colorado, choose Performance Tours.

Browns Canyon National Monument

Browns Canyon National Monument showcases some of the best whitewater rafting Buena Vista has to offer. The Browns Canyon area was recently designated a national monument, so you will be surrounded by nothing but mountain views, wildlife, and crisp mountain air as you paddle down this section of the river. This exciting section of the Arkansas River flows through amazing rapids like Pinball, Zoomflume, Bigdrop, Staircase, Punchbowl, and other remarkable sections of the river. This trip is perfect for every level of adventurer, leaving your group with unforgettable memories.

Lower and Upper Bear Creek

Located just down the road from the Performance Tours outpost, between Buena Vista and Salida, Bear Creek is a mellow section of the Arkansas River, offering an amazing experience for those looking for adventure on a smaller scale. It is a great option for families, young children, and those looking to take in the scenery as they float down the river with mild rapids. There is an upper creek half-day and lower creek full-day option on this stretch of water. Come enjoy the fun!


The Numbers is one of our favorite stretches of river, with action-packed whitewater around every bend. It involves the most rigorous paddling of our Buena Vista whitewater rafting tours and is a great option for those looking for a heart-pumping, scenic, and challenging adventure. The minimum age for this trip is 16 years and over during peak flows and is sometimes lowered to 14 years and older when the river is at lower levels. This section of thrilling rapids has half-day and full-day options available.

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Breckenridge to Buena Vista

Breckenridge to Buena Vista Google Maps Directions

  1. Head south on Hwy 9 to Fairplay (23 miles).
  2. Turn right onto Hwy 285 south and continue for 35 miles.
  3. After crossing the Arkansas River and passing Johnson Village, veer right onto Hwy 24 W toward Buena Vista.
  4. Travel 1 mile on Hwy 24, watching for the blue Performance Tours Rafting sign.
  5. Turn left onto CR 319 and drive ¼ mile to reach the office.

Denver to Buena Vista

Denver to Buena Vista Google Maps Directions

  1. Head south on Hwy 285 for 120 miles toward Buena Vista
  2. After crossing the Arkansas River and passing Johnson Village, veer right onto Hwy 24 W toward Buena Vista.
  3. Drive 1 mile on Hwy 24 and watch for the blue Performance Tours Rafting sign, located 1 mile before Buena Vista.
  4. Turn left onto CR 319 and proceed for ¼ mile to reach the office.


Buena Vista Rafting FAQs

With so many great activities in Buena Vista, CO, it is an outdoor paradise year-round. In summer, enjoy thrilling whitewater rafting on the Arkansas River, hiking, biking, and more. Downtown offers shops, galleries, and dining, while natural hot springs provide relaxation. Winter brings nearby skiing and snowshoeing. Experience adventure, culture, and stunning mountain views in Buena Vista.

The best time to raft in Buena Vista, Colorado is typically from May to August when snowmelt from the mountains increases water levels, providing optimal conditions for whitewater rafting.

The Arkansas River offers excellent whitewater rafting in Buena Vista in Browns Canyon National Monument, Numbers and more. Another popular area to raft the Arkansas River is in the Royal Gorge near Canon City, CO. 

The Arkansas River runs near Buena Vista, Colorado. 

There is plenty of free parking at the Performance Tours Buena Vista location.

Buena Vista is just over an hour fromBreckenridge.  The drive is through some of Colorado’s most historic mining towns with breathtaking scenery

Our most popular rafting trip, Browns Canyon, departs from the Buena Vista office which is located at the base of the majestic Collegiate Peaks mountain range. 

The office is located at 115 Gregg Dr. Buena Vista Co 8121.