Colorado

Buena Vista, Colorado

A- Overview:
Known as the Whitewater Capital of Colorado, the picturesque town of Buena Vista is one of the major gateways to recreation in the 1,109,782 acre San Isabel National Forest and the 148 mile long Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area. Here you’ll find larger than life mountains, a louder than life river, a respectful bow to the past, and an artful eye toward the future.

Buena Vista, Colorado, nestled at the foot of the Rocky Mountain’s Collegiate Peaks,on the east slope of the Continental Divide, is the sort of community most people only dream of. The hard working, quiet people who have always resided in this area are a large part of what has made this town a great place to live and play.

Buena Vista, (Spanish for “Good View”) is aptly named. There are 19 trailheads for most of Chaffee County’s 14,000 peaks – all located within an hour of Buena Vista. There are approximately 300 days with sunshine every year, with surprisingly mild temperatures in all seasons. Buena Vista is considered by many the capital of whitewater rafting for the United States. Many Arkansas Valley outfitters use the Buena Vista area for launch sites to some of the country’s best whitewater rafting down the exciting Arkansas River, and you’ll understand why Buena Vista is both a vacationer’s destination of choice for peaceful relaxation, AND a targeted destination for business, personal or retirement relocation. Fishing, mountain biking, hiking, and rafting, combined with one of the state’s most acclaimed art communities, makes Buena Vista a “don’t miss” for visitors and a “place to move” for those looking for a peaceful area to relocate a business and family.

The mountains bordering Buena Vista have a profound effect on the climate. Annual rainfall is 10-12 inches making it comparable to places in Arizona. The surrounding high peaks receive considerably higher amounts of precipitation and thus provide the valley with ample irrigation water during the growing season. The semi-arid climate provides very little humidity and the average summer highs are 78-80 degrees and winter highs from 45-55 degrees with lows in the teens. The locals refer to the area as the “Banana Belt of the Rockies” and enjoy outdoor activities year round.

When the snow falls the ski season starts. The Monarch Ski Area, just minutes from Buena Vista, is said to have the best natural snowfall each year. There are numerous trails to enjoy in the high country if cross country is your preference. Other popular winter sports are snowmobiling in the mountains and ice fishing on frozen lakes

Some of the spring and summer activities include hiking, camping, mountain biking, horseback riding, off-road exploring, and golf.

The economy and population are steady and thriving. The beautiful scenery, tree-lined streets, year-round mild climate, clean air, and clear sparkling water are just some of the things that make Buena Vista a truly great place to live, work, and visit.

B- City Information:
Buena Vista Population: 2,195

About Buena Vista: Got the big city blues? Tired of high crime, dirty air and overcrowded schools? the 30- 90 minute commute to work every day? Wish you didn’t have to pack the car and drive 2 or 3 hours to find a quiet place to enjoy a Saturday or even a weekend? Ever thought of spending time in some peaceful mountain community, but were sure it was only a dream? There is a vacation destination that can make that dream a reality! Buena Vista, Colorado. Pay a visit, and you may decide to stay for a lifetime!

Time Zone: Mountain Time Zone.

Summer Average High Temperature (July)
81.4° F

Summer Average Low Temperature (July)
47.3° F

Winter Average High Temperature (January)
40.2° F

Winter Average Low Temperature (January)
10.7° F

Growing Season
113 days

Annual Rainfall
10.15″

Annual Snowfall
30.4″

Average Wind Velocity
W 10 MPH

Number of Frost Free Days
80 days

Number of Sunshine Days
300 days

Elevation
7,950 ft
above sea level

Winter Weather Note
When enjoying the region’s back country, remember to prepare for changing weather conditions. Also, notify someone about where you plan to travel and your expected time of return. Register at forest service register boxes at trailheads when they are available. Not all trails are available for all types of users.

Snowmobiles are excluded from wilderness areas. Check with the forest service before going into unfamiliar territory. Most of the trails you will find described here are marked with diamond signs by the forest service – blue diamonds designating ski and snowshoe use and orange diamonds for snowmobile use.

Elevation, Sun, and Altitude Tips

High elevation affects your body and influences the weather. It impacts every decision made in planning for a trip: route and clothing chosen, evaluation of fitness and ability, and amount and types of liquid and food consumed.

The effects of altitude are usually felt immediately upon arriving in the mountains. All excercise is harder at first. Visitors might experience heavy breathing, rapid heartbeat, fatigue, headache, nausea, or insomnia. This is normal. At 9,000 feet, each breath takes in only 70 to 80 percent of the oxygen available at sea level.

You can minimize the effects of high altitude by drinking lots of water, avoiding alcohol, eating light, high-carbohydrate meals, increasing physical activity gradually, and rest when tired. After about four or five days, most visitors begin to feel better.

Water loss occurs rapidly when exercising at high altitude. Low humidity and direct sun cause perspiration, a potent combination. While exercising, the movement of air over your body is accelerating water loss from skin. If you are thirsty, dehydration has already begun.

Drink water or sports drinks before, during and after exercising. Try to consume no less than a pint of liquid per hour while exercising. Drink every 15 to 20 minutes even if sensation of thirst is absent. Carry a large water bottle for access to water.

Sun

With less atmosphere to filter out the sun’s harmful rays, mountain travelers are more vulnerable to sunburn. There is five times more ultraviolet light here than at sea level. Apply sunblock lotions or wear protective clothing. The intense sunshine can produce withering heat in open areas. At midday it can sap energy, deliver headaches, and contribute to dehydration. In hot weather, try to get out in the early morning or late afternoon. And drink lots of water to avoid heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

National Holidays:

New Year’s Day Jan. 1

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day 3rd Mon. in Jan.

President’s Day 3rd Mon. in Feb.

Memorial Day last Mon. in May

Independence Day July 4

Labor Day 1st Mon. in Sept.

Thanksgiving Day 4th Thurs. in Nov.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Dec. 24 and 25

New Year’s Eve Dec. 31

Important Addresses to Know

Postal services
Buena Vista Post Office is at 110 Brookdale Ave., just one block west of U.S. 24. The lobby is open 24 hours daily, seven days a week. Service window hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday; Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to noon. Phone: 395-2445.

Nathrop Post Office, next to Nathrop General Store, about eight miles south of Buena Vista, is open from 8 a.m. to noon, and 1:00 to 4:45 p.m., Monday through Friday; 8 to 10 a.m., Saturday. Phone: 395-2720.
Granite Post Office, at Granite General Store, 17 miles north of Buena Vista, is open from 8 a.m. to noon, Monday through Saturday. Phone: 486-1679.

Public library
Buena Vista Public Library is at 131 Linderman Ave., next to the police station. It is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday. The library is closed Sundays and holidays. Phone: 395-8700.

Emergency services
For emergency calls in Chaffee County (police, fire or health) call 911.
Buena Vista Public Safety Complex is headquarters for police, sheriff and state patrol offices and volunteer fire and ambulance crews in northern Chaffee County. The complex is at 123 Linderman Ave., south of Main Street. The business office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Non-emergency calls: 395-8654

Medical Services

For health care in the area, locals utilize one or a combination of the resources listed below:

St. Vincent General Hospital (Leadville)
822 West 4th Street
Leadville, CO 80461
(719) 486-0230
Provides basic medical/surgical services to all age groups, operating rooms perform elective and

emergency surgery, 24 hour emergency services and full scope radiology, respiratory, therapy, laboratory, pathology and rehab services. Home Health Care provides care to the homebound patient. Level IV Designated Trauma Center is fully equipped. Hospital owned ambulance service with emergency helicopter transport service is also available.

Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center (Salida)
448 E 1st Street (P.O. Box 429)
Salida, CO 81201
(719) 539-6661
HRRMC is a full-service hospital with extensive surgical treatment, rehabilitation services and diagnostic capabilities. They have a new bone densitometer and the only OPEN MRI between Durango and Colorado Springs.
They have over 60 physicians practicing in specialties ranging from family practice to orthopedics to internal medicine to general surgery, just to name a few. Their caring, highly qualified (and much-loved) nurses provide exceptional care as well as the personal attention you deserve.
Their Emergency Department is a Level-IV designated trauma facility, staffed by physicians and nurses 24 hours a day, and supported by Radiology, Laboratory, and Cardio-Pulmonary services around the clock.

Buena Vista Family Clinic (Buena Vista)
836 US Hwy 24 South
Buena Vista, CO 81211
(719) 395-9048
Provides X-Ray, laboratory, physical therapy, 24 hour on-call service. (Affiliated with St. Vincent’s Hospital in Leadville.)

Mountain Medical Clinic (Buena Vista)
36 Oak Street
Buena Vista, CO 81211
(719) 395-8632
Provides total family care including obstetrics, pediatrics, adult medicine and spinal adjustments. 24 hour on-call with physical therapy on site. (Affiliated with Heart of the Rockies Medical Center in Salida).

The Medical Clinic (Salida)
550 West Hwy 50

Salida, CO 81201
(719) 539-2000
Provides urology, orthopedic surgery, radiology, podiatry, GI endoscope, internal medicine.

Upper Arkansas Home Health Care/Angel of Shavano Hospice
543 E. First Street
Salida, CO 81201
(719) 539-7638
(Affiliated with Heart of the Rockies Medical Center)

Town Hall
Buena Vista Town Hall, in the second block of East Main Street, is office to the town clerk and administrator. Town hall is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Phone: 395-8643.

Chamber of Commerce
Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Phone 395-6612.

The chamber office is in the white historic chapel in Forest Square Park, along the east side of U.S. 24.

Economic incentives for creating new businesses or relocating existing businesses are available in the area, as this is a state designated Enterprise Zone. The schools are ranked well above State averages with many teachers winning State and National honors – many with Masters Degrees. Buena Vista’s area crime rate is ranked extremely low, with strong community support of its service infrastructure.

C- Attractions/Things To Do:
Nature area
Buena Vista’s E. Alfred Marquard Nature Area is behind McGinnis Middle School, at South Railroad Street and Marquette Avenue, and includes 10 acres bordering Cottonwood Creek, with foot paths, bird blinds and learning stations.

Buena Vista Heritage Museum
Buena Vista, CO 81211
719-395-8458

Learn about the history of Buena Vista Colorado!

River Park
The 90-acre Buena Vista Recreational River Park is located at the east end of Main Street, along

the Arkansas River. The park has picnic tables and trails overlooking the river, access to the river for trout fishing, (including handicap access), public restrooms, a footbridge across the river, a soccer field, softball and baseball fields, a sand volleyball court, basketball court and covered pavilion.

Ghost Towns and Historical Places

Perhaps you’ve heard of such names as Doc Holliday, Bat Masterson, The “Unsinkable” Molly Brown of Titanic fame (Margaret Brown), Baby Doe Tabor, the Cole-Younger Gang, and “Soapy” Smith. Surprisingly, all of these personalities and countless more just as famous, infamous (and even some not-so-famous), are an integral part of the amazing history of the Upper Arkansas Valley.

Untouched ruins, as well as restored ghost towns and mining camps, are found throughout the Valley. If you’re a hiker, mountain biker, ATV enthusiast or 4-wheeler, there are ruins left over from the mining boom era that are located in spectacular areas at elevations well over 12,000 – 14,000 feet above sea level. Other locations, including the various Historical Districts like Twin Lakes and St. Elmo, can be easily accessed by passenger vehicle. One of the nations most amazing engineering feats, the famous Alpine Tunnel (which brought the railroad from Buena Vista, through the ghost towns of St. Elmo, Romley and Hancock, and then through the mountain to Gunnison on the west portal) is accessible via the old railroad bed and is one of the State’s most spectacular walking hikes.

Tours of Mines

Early development of Colorado was, in great part, the result of gold discoveries when literally thousands of hopeful prospectors flooded the area with pick and shovel – later when the gold boom passed, it was the silver boom that exploded. As techniques improved, fortunes were made and paupers became millionaires overnight. Lake County brags a newly paved biking/hiking trail that winds through restored mining gallows and ruins. The Silver Kings self-tour can be made by auto, and explores many of the biggest producing mines in the Leadville area.

Jeep tours and guide services are available for those not experienced in trekking to the high elevations themselves, and offer spectacular trips to the high country that many will never see on their own.

Jeep and ATV rentals are available for self guided touring.

Southern Chaffee County hosts The Lost Mine… one of only 13 historic mines in the State of Colorado open to the public for an amazing and educational tour inside, showing the crystals and caverns left behind from early day mining.

The National Mining Hall of Fame

is nationally recognized for its vast collection of books, displays, artifacts and tours which detail the amazing story of the nation’s mining history from the early prospectors to modern day mining that continues today. Art, life-size replica mines, detailed models, antiques, interactive displays and a world class mineral collection are tastefully housed in a Victorian era, 70,000 square foot facility. Come and learn how mining affects you everyday. The Hall of Fame features biographical sketches of individuals that have made an impact on mining. Stories include the school-boy playing hooky who discovered a gold mine and a mining engineer who later became the President of the US.

Other Tours

Countless other tours are available throughout the Valley during all or part of each year, including the world famous Tabor Opera House, Healy House, Dexter Cabin, Matchless Mine, Lost Mine.

Indoor Activities

Although the Arkansas Valley is very proud of its snowfall quality and volume, which add enjoyment to so many outdoor activities, there is also a myriad of other things to do inside:

Art Galleries and Cultural Events
The valley has been recognized as one of the nation’s best art and cultural centers and a visit to many locally operated galleries and shops proves why. Many events such as Leadville’s Victorian Home tour, and a number of local Art Walks throughout Chaffee County present some of the very best architectural and artistic talent. Some facilities offer craft activities, such as pottery-making classes, quilting, water color painting, etc.

Sports and Recreation

Rafting

Whitewater rafting defines summers in Colorado’s Headwaters of Adventure like nothing else. In fact, the Arkansas is the most popular rafting river in the world.

Some of the nation’s very best whitewater rafting is found on the exciting Arkansas River… running right through the center of the Arkansas Valley with the spectacular 14,000 ft. mountains running with it.

Rafting at Brown’s Canyon

Probably the most famous and popular stretch of river is Brown’s Canyon, Situated between Buena Vista and Salida, Browns is a moderate and popular trip with Class III and IV whitewater flowing through a beautiful, hidden granite canyon.
Visitors can choose to take easy and moderate family float trips for all ages or get the adrenaline pumping through some of the nation’s most intense rapids with such apt names as.

Staircase, Zoom Flume, Big Drop, Graveyard, Widowmaker, and Raft Ripper and countless other thrilling advanced-to-expert rated rapids. Highly qualified outfitters offer river guides for beginners, as well as experts.1/2 day or 5 day… raft or kayak… all here in the Arkansas Valley!

What makes the Arkansas numero uno is its:

· variety and types of trips

· amount of white water per mile

· accessibility to major metropolitan areas

· number of places along the river rafters or kayakers can put in or take out

· length of season

· spectacular scenery

Whitewater Kayaking

The Arkansas River is a kayaking mecca! Over 100 miles of whitewater runs through our valley with all types of rapids from class I to Class V. Also two world-class whitewater parks in Salida and Buena Vista.

Hiking & Backpacking

The San Isabel National Forest has easily accessible trails that provide great mountain scenery.

Agnes Vaille Falls Trail

This is one of the best trails for newcomers to the mountains. This trail begins at 8,700 feet elevation and finishes at 9,000 feet. It is a half-mile interpretive trail that ends at a waterfall. To get to the Agnes Vaille trailhead, take U.S. 285 to CR 162. Turn west and travel about six miles. Agnes Vaille Falls Trail is located in the Chalk Creek Canyon. Chalk cliffs, unsafe for climbing, surround the area. Mountain goats and bighorn mountain sheep can be seen.

Colorado Trail
Another easy hike is from Mt. Shavano Campground to Blanks Cabin. This two-mile section follows the Sawatch Range through some beautiful aspen groves. To get to the trailhead, take U.S. 50 to CR 240 north.

Hiking / Snowshoeing

The words “winter wonderland” can be truly experienced with a hike through the back country during the winter months. The air is crisp and clean, the snow is hanging from the pine trees, and mountain peaks make for post card views. Snowshoeing has rapidly become a favorite among those who want to enjoy the peace and quiet of a beautiful winter snow in our back country or along groomed trails.

Golfing

Tee Time. Breathtaking scenery, altitude enhanced drives and downright reasonable greens fees. What’s not to love about a quick round of golf in the Upper Arkansas Valley? Nine- hole, regulation length courses in Buena Vista and Salida are typically open March through November.

Horseback and Llamas

From short, one-hour guided trail trips to rigorous multi-day excursions, a great variety of rides await visitors looking for a truly Western experience. Outfitters provide a choice of rides for those who haven’t ridden as well as for those experienced cowboys and cowgirls. Those with horses who wish to visit the region can pick their trail and terrain. Stables are available and several Bed & Breakfasts will also board your horse during your stay.

For those who want to hike the 14ers region but do not want to carry all their gear, there’s llama trekking. In the Salida/Buena Vista area there are several llama guide and outfitter companies permitted through the US Forest Service to choose from for your Colorado Llama Vacation.

Why llamas? Llamas are outstanding pack animals, especially for those inexperienced with animals. Their intelligence, surefootedness, calm and friendly disposition, moderate size, and minimal impact to the environment make llamas easy to lead, even for young children as young as three years old.

Trails in the San Isabel National Forest wind through peaceful, stream-fed lush valleys, up wildflower carpeted alpine mountainsides, and across high mountain ridges and the Continental Divide. Friendly, trained, and experienced guides share their knowledge of the local area and history, geology, wildlife, and flora and fauna.

Mountain Biking

Pumped . Mile for mile, hiking and biking trails in the Upper Arkansas Valley stand toe to toe with some of the best in the country. Wildlife, miners, stagecoach lines and railroad barons have left the high country criss-crossed with everything from single-track to long abandoned narrow gauge railroad beds.

Every summer, those with a gusto for superlatives and leg power to match test their mettle along the border of land and sky on the Monarch Crest Trail – which overlaps the statewide Colorado Trail. Blissfully uncrowded lesser-known trails appeal to a wide range of abilities and tastes.

Off to an early start: While surrounding peaks may receive 30 feet of snow a year, the valley floor averages 10 to 11 inches of precipitation annually. this makes for great early-season riding locally.

Snowmobiling

When the days get shorter and the snow begins to fall, some Salida businesses find they are still in-season during the off season.

“Four-wheelers sell pretty steadily all year long, but snowmobiles are almost exclusively a winter seller,” said Paula Bullington, owner of High Country Connection in Salida.
Because most snowmobilers in Colorado ride above 10,000 feet, Bullington says they specialize in large engine machines.

“At 13,000 and 14,000 feet engines lose over a quarter of their sea-level power. The new machine for this winter has an 800 cubic centimeter engine that gives it power to spare for high elevation,” Bullington said.

Snowmobile Tours

Monarch Tours is conveniently located across the highway from the Monarch Mountain Lodge. Skiers and snowboarders who need to give their legs the day off can opt for a professionally guided tour, or rent and explore on their own. Call 719-539-2572 for rates and availability.

Cottonwood Country Snowmobile Tours began selling guided tours December 15. Tours begin at Denny Creek trailhead and go up Cottonwood Pass, into Taylor Park and to Tincup.

Fishing

Gone fishin’: Anglers would rather keep it a secret, but the Arkansas is one of the best brown trout fisheries in the country. The diversity in fishing waters, hatches and climate mean something is always going on on the Upper Arkansas. Couple that with one of the highest catch rates in the state and an occasional Rainbow surprise, and it’s no wonder anglers the world over find the Ark an addictive destination. Ssshhh . . . don’t tell.

Hunting

The Arkansas Valley is well known for its trophy hunting opportunities. Big game abounds here, including elk, deer, pronghorn antelope, big horn sheep, mountain goat, moose and bear. You can no longer obtain an over-the-counter deer license. You must apply. Guide services are available if you need assistance or are unfamiliar with the area.

(check DOW or local merchants for restrictions)

Skiing / Snowboarding

World renowned white powder downhill skiing can be best enjoyed right here in the Arkansas Valley. Ski Cooper, located just 10 miles north of Leadville opens in late November and remains open through March. Lessons and rentals are available at this family oriented resort. Taking an annual snowfall of 260 inches, Ski Cooper makes for some of the best and most affordable skiing in the state.

Chaffee County also brags the famous Monarch Ski and Snowboard Area, recently adding $350,000 worth of new improvements to its resort, including espresso bar, café and Gunbarrel Café and Sidewinder Saloon. Lessons and children’s services are available.

For those cross country skiers and snowshoe enthusiasts, the Arkansas Valley touts countless trails and beautiful places to visit… many are the same spectacular trails that are hiked during the summer months. Because of the popularity of cross country skiing and snowshoeing throughout the Valley, rentals, equipment, lessons, guides and supplies are abundant throughout the entire area.

The National Mining Hall of Fame is nationally recognized for its vast collection of books, displays, artifacts and tours which detail the amazing story of the nation’s mining history from the early prospectors to modern day mining that continues today. Art, life-size replica mines, detailed models, antiques, interactive displays and a world class mineral collection are tastefully housed in a Victorian era, 70,000 square foot facility. Come and learn how mining affects you everyday. Our Hall of Fame features biographical sketches of individuals that have made an impact on mining. Stories include the school-boy playing hooky who discovered a gold mine to a mining engineer who later became the President of the US.

Southern Chaffee County hosts The Lost Mine… one of only 13 historic mines in the State of Colorado open to the public for an amazing and educational tour inside, showing the crystals and caverns left behind from early day mining.

Art Galleries and Cultural Events
The valley has been recognized as one of the nation’s best art and cultural centers and a visit to many locally operated galleries and shops proves why. Many events such as Leadville’s Victorian Home tour, and a number of local Art Walks throughout Chaffee County present some of the very best architectural and artistic talent. Some facilities offer craft activities, like pottery-making classes, quilting, water color painting, etc.

Hot Springs

Relax; restore. To Native Americans, hot springs were sacred places. To today’s active, harried humans, hot springs are slices of heaven where you rejuvenate the body in soothing, naturally mineral – rich waters. Historic Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center is a family – friendly public indoor facility. Open-air creek side facilities can be found at Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort outside Nathrop and Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn and Spa just west of Buena Vista. Other hot springs can be found at lodging properties west of Nathrop, as well south in the neighboring San Luis Valley.

Barbara Whipple Trail

The Park also includes the, which connects with the Midland Trail. The Midland Trail follows the old Midland Railroad grade overlooking Buena Vista and the surrounding valley. The Midland Trail, open to hikers and mountain-bike riders, continues for about 12 miles east, toward Trout Creek Pass.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
Buena Vista Heritage Museum
Buena Vista, CO 81211
719-395-8458

Learn about the history of Buena Vista Colorado!

Ghost Towns and Historical Places

Perhaps you’ve heard of such names as Doc Holliday, Bat Masterson, The “Unsinkable” Molly Brown of Titanic fame (Margaret Brown), Baby Doe Tabor, the Cole-Younger Gang, and “Soapy” Smith. Surprisingly, all of these personalities and countless more just as famous, infamous (and even some not-so-famous), are an integral part of the amazing history of the Upper Arkansas Valley.

Untouched ruins, as well as restored ghost towns and mining camps, are found throughout the Valley. If you’re a hiker, mountain biker, ATV enthusiast or 4-wheeler, there are ruins left over from the mining boom era that are located in spectacular areas at elevations well over 12,000 – 14,000 feet above sea level. Other locations, including the various Historical Districts like Twin Lakes and St. Elmo, can be easily accessed by passenger vehicle. One of the nations most amazing engineering feats, the famous Alpine Tunnel (which brought the railroad from Buena Vista, through the ghost towns of St. Elmo, Romley and Hancock, and then through the mountain to Gunnison on the west portal) is accessible via the old railroad bed and is one of the State’s most spectacular walking hikes.

Tours of Mines

Early development of Colorado was, in great part, the result of gold discoveries when literally thousands of hopeful prospectors flooded the area with pick and shovel – later when the gold boom passed, it was the silver boom that exploded. As techniques improved, fortunes were made and paupers became millionaires overnight. Lake County brags a newly paved biking/hiking trail that winds through restored mining gallows and ruins. The Silver Kings self-tour can be made by auto, and explores many of the biggest producing mines in the Leadville area.

Jeep tours and guide services are available for those not experienced in trekking to the high elevations themselves, and offer spectacular trips to the high country that many will never see on their own.

Jeep and ATV rentals are available for self guided touring.

Southern Chaffee County hosts The Lost Mine… one of only 13 historic mines in the State of Colorado open to the public for an amazing and educational tour inside, showing the crystals and caverns left behind from early day mining.

E- Events & Entertainment:
Events

January

Bike Festivals. January, the 2nd Annual Arkansas Valley Cyclocross Series takes off; in May, the Buena Vista Bike Fest is scheduled; and in September, the Banana Belt Weekend offers trials and a mountain bike race. The Crest Crank treks along the Monarch Crest Trail.

The Snowdrifters Snowmobile Club in Buena Vista, sponsors snowmobile rides each year. On New Year’s Eve, the club holds a chili supper, followed by a ride to the top of Cottonwood Pass to watch fireworks being shot from Pikes Peak.

March
A snowmobile rally is held the first weekend in March. Participants are invited to enjoy a chili supper, banquet, and dance. On the first day, snowmobilers ride to the top of Tincup Pass. The next day, riders will summit Cottonwood Pass. For more information call the Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce at 395-6612.

June

The Delaware Hotel in Leadville, hosts its annual “Murder and Mayhem” tour in June. Local historians host cemetery tours with colorful descriptions of those buried there…

July

On the classical side, the Annual Salida-Aspen Concert Series brings top talent from the renowned Aspen Music Festival to the valley with six concerts on consecutive Saturday nights beginning July 10.

August

Archery season opens: Aug 30th

September

September 1 Annual John Denver Festival

Mid-September A Taste of Italy Festival

Mid-September Annual Banana Belt Bicycle Weekend

Mid-September Applefest Revisit the early 1900’s – demonstrations, tractor and pony rides and tours.

Mid-September (Salida) Annual Angel of Shavano Car Show. Antique and new car show

Mid-September Muzzle Loading Rifle season opens:

October

Early October Aspen Leaf Open Golf Tournament Collegiate Peaks Golf Course, Buena Vista

Mid-October: Rifle season opens

Late October Annual ATV Historical Color Tour

December 31

The Heart of the Rockies Snowmobile Club in Salida holds an annual New Year’s Eve ride to the top of Marshall Pass. Riders meet at the parking lot at Shirley Site on CR 200 at 8 p.m., and are encouraged to bring a potluck dish. Food is shared at midnight, on the summit in the Hutchinson Barnett cowcamp cabin. For more information, contact Don or Paula Bullington at High Country Connection, 539-6168.