The Arkansas River is some of the baddest whitewater kayakingin North America and also has some of the most family-friendly whitewater rafting anywhere. "The Ark" begins near Leadville, Colorado and flows south through the Upper Arkansas River Valley. The area near Buena Vista is an outdoors aficionado's paradise with numerous fourteener peaks in the Collegiate Peaks, road cycling, mountain biking, trail running, climbing, bouldering, hiking, and much more. In winter, Alpine, Nordic, and backcountry skiing & snowboarding and snowshoeing are available. The floor of the Valley from Buena Vista to Salida has a pretty mild climate year-round and for this reason is sometimes called the Banana Belt. You can go skiing or snowshoeing on the west side of the Valley or rock clim...more...