Buena Vista Area - South Central Colorado

Includes Johnson Village, Nathrop, St. Elmo

Experience Buena Vista, Johnson Village, Nathrop, St. Elmo Colorado

The small town of Buena Vista, nestled at the base of the Collegiate and Sawatch Mountain Ranges, is named for its "good view." In the Upper Arkansas River Valley, Buena Vista and its surroundings were once home to the Ute Indians. Lt. Zebulon Pike, who passed through in 1806, found evidence of some 3,000 Utes. Like many other Colorado towns, miners came when they learned of gold strikes in the area and ranchers eventually followed. The city has a rowdy past, once hosting 36 bars and a hanging judge.

Buena Vista Colorado with Mt Yale in the background
Mt. Yale is a Hike-able 14er and part of the Collegiate Peaks near Buena Vista
rafting near Buena Vista, Colorado
The bridge near Johnson Village is a calm portion of the Arkansas River


Buena Vista lies right in the middle of the Collegiate Peaks Scenic Byway. The impressive Collegiate Range lies to the west and has the most concentrated number of peaks above 14,000' in Colorado. This area is filled with hiking trails, mountain bike trails, and riddled with ghost towns.

The Buena Vista Whitewater Park is located on the Arkansas River right in Buena Vista. There are 5 main recreational features and numerous eddies. This park is becoming one of the premier whitewater parks in Colorado. The Arkansas River runs along the eastern edge of Buena Vista and offers over 100-miles of whitewater rafting fun. Raft the lower part of The Numbers and the Milk Run in the upper Browns Canyon.

Jeeping & ATVing is abundant in this area. The San Isabel National Forest has lots of trails to choose from year round. Or start in St. Elmo, a fun little ghost town located southwest of Buena Vista.

Other fun activities in the area are the natural hot springs (choose from public pools or a private pool with your accommodation), snowmobiling in the Collegiate Peak range, and fishing along the Arkansas River Headwaters North and East.

Buena Vista Roastery Coffee shop, Colorado
Enjoy a Nice Cup of Joe
Chalk Creek Canyon, Colorado
Chalk Creek Canyon Near St. Elmo


A few food favorites in the town of Buena Vista: the Buena Vista Roastery has freshly roasted coffee and espresso drinks and a beautiful patio and indoor lounge area. The coffee shop is supported by WI-FI. Also try Punky's! It has a 50s style dining with Texas smokehouse BBQ, fountain drinks, and Blue Bell ice cream.

Buena Vista Area is near: Leadville & Twin Lakes Area, Park County & Salida Area

Premium Buena Vista Area Businesses

BV Jeeps and ATVs
Buena Vista = Mountain Back-Country Adventure! A true Colorado Experience: ride a Jeep or ATV have a fantastic time getting to our highest peaks, see ghost towns, wildlife. Rentals: Hourly, half-day, full-day.

 Web page link icon Photos on page icon Scenic Byways and Drives ATVing, UTVing, and Offroading Jeeping and Offroad Vehicles 

Featured Buena Vista Area Businesses

All Season Adventures Inc. - Snowmobile and ATV Rentals and Tours
Adventures All Year - Pick Your Season! RIDE the DIVIDE! Explore the Explore the Collegiate Peaks near Salida and Monarch. Snowmobile or ATV, guided tours or unguided rentals. Golden Autumn Color Tours.

 Web page link icon Photos on page icon ATVing, UTVing, and Offroading Snowmobiling 

Antero Hot Springs Cabins - Private Soaking Pools
Vacation near Buena Vista and Salida, Colorado at Historic Antero Hot Springs Cabins. With a PRIVATE Creekside NATURAL HOT SPRING POOL. In the heart of the Fourteener Region - the Collegiate Peaks!

 Web page link icon Photos on page icon Cabins, Glamping and Cottages Lodging by water Scenic Byways and Drives Hot Springs Winter Lodging 

Arkansas River Rim Campground & RV Park
WALK to Arkansas River FISHING! North of Buena Vista, the Banana Belt of the Colorado. Campground: RV and tent sites. On rim of the River, vast mountain views. ON-SITE RENTALS: cabin, trailer, 5th wheel.

 Email link icon Cabins, Glamping and Cottages Tent Camping RV Parks and Resorts 

BV Jeeps and ATVs
Buena Vista = Mountain Back-Country Adventure! A true Colorado Experience: ride a Jeep or ATV have a fantastic time getting to our highest peaks, see ghost towns, wildlife. Rentals: Hourly, half-day, full-day.

 Web page link icon Photos on page icon Scenic Byways and Drives ATVing, UTVing, and Offroading Jeeping and Offroad Vehicles 

Cabins at Chalk Creek
Historic mountain cabins: equipped kitchens on Chalk Creek - a trout stream flowing behind our cabins. Within a mile of two trout lakes! Near Mt Princeton Hot Springs and Buena Vista, CO. Near ATV trails!

 Email link icon Web page link icon Cabins, Glamping and Cottages Lodging by water 

Colorado Adventure Rentals: ATVs, UTVs and Snowmobiles
Explore the best trails in Colorado! Winter and Summer Rentals! Polaris and Arctic Cat: Snowmobiles, ATVs, UTVs, Side-X-Sides. Affordable Adventure rates include: insurance, helmets, gas. Go off-roading!

 Web page link icon ATVing, UTVing, and Offroading Snowmobiling 

Leadville Railroad
Spectacular railroad trip in Leadville CO. Ride into the untamed wilderness along the Southern rail line: view Colorado's two highest peaks, summer wildflowers and majestic aspen groves that turn gold in fall.

 Email link icon Web page link icon Photos on page icon Family Friendly Scenic Byways and Drives White-water Rafting and Kayaking Activities, Tourist Attractions 

Treehouse Hot Springs - A Dream Vacation House
Elevated in a treehouse fashion to enjoy the fabulous views, this octagon home is in Nathrop near Mount Princeton! Private 27-foot hot springs soak/swim pool. WiFi. A perfect family vacation winter or summer!

 Web page link icon Photos on page icon Vacation Homes Hot Springs Winter Lodging 

For more travel information contact:

Buena Vista Area Activities & Maps

National Parks and Monuments:
Browns Canyon National Monument

Scenic Byways:
Collegiate Peaks Scenic Byway

Seasonal Attractions:
Leadville CO & Southern Railroad Co

Hiking Trails:
The Colorado Trail

Arkansas River Headwaters Fishing Map - East
Arkansas River Headwaters Fishing Map - North

Rafting & Kayaking:
Arkansas River Rafting & Kayaking

Jeep & 4WD:
Buena Vista Jeeping & ATV/UTV Trails
Salida & Monarch Jeeping & ATV/UTV Trails
St. Elmo Jeeping & ATV/UTV Trails

Hot Springs:
Buena Vista Hot Springs

Buena Vista Area Snowmobile Trails

Local Area Maps:
Buena Vista, Park County, Leadville Area Map


Places to Stay, Rentals & Amenities
Cabins & Cottages | Motels & Hotels | Lodging & Lodges | Vacation Homes | Condos, Suites & Townhomes | Bed & Breakfast | Tent Camping | RV Parks & Campgrounds | RV Sales, Service & Rentals | Romance Packages | Family Friendly | Pets Welcome | By Water | Swimming Pools | Guest Horses | Groups, Reunions & Retreats | Weddings & Elopements | Winter Lodging

Fun Things to Do
Calendars of Events | National Parks, Monuments & Historic Sites | Scenic Byways & Drives | Fishing & Fly Fishing | Hot Springs | Horse Riding | ATV/UTVing | Jeeping & 4WD | Whitewater Rafting & Kayaking | Attractions | Golfing | Restaurants & Dining | More Fun Stuff | Hunting & Land Leases | Snowmobiling | Downhill Skiing & Snowboarding | Snowshoeing | Cross-Country Skiing

A-Z Towns & Areas | Colorado Maps | About Us

Established 1997 | ©Copyright by The Colorado Directory, Inc. This is a directory only; it is not and does not contain a recommendation, warranty, guaranty, inducement or endorsement of any kind. Representations herein were supplied by the individual businesses. The publisher, The Colorado Directory, Inc., does not assume any responsibility for truth, falsity or completeness of any representation made herein or any errors, changes, services rendered, or changes made in the use of this directory. This information was compiled as accurately as possible. Prices and services are frequently subject to change. Errors called to the publisher's attention will be corrected in the future. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form or by any means, without permission in writing from the publisher.