Buena Vista is an historic town in Central Colorado located in the Upper Arkansas River Valley. The Arkansas River and the Collegiate Peaks with numerous fourteeners dominate the region. Mining, railroading, and ranching are the major historical influences. Today outdoor recreation activities such as whitewater kayaking,rafting,mountain biking, road cycling,trail running, climbing, bouldering, hiking, and much more dominate the local scene. In winter, Alpine, Nordic, and backcountry skiing & snowboarding and snowshoeing are available. The Colorado Trail and the Continental Divide Trail transit the area, and there are many, many miles of other trails. The area is am outdoor enthusiasts' dream, and it's still pretty cheap. The vibe is really laid back and unpretentious. People wear Tevas, Chaco, Keens, Patagonia, The North Face, Mountain Hardwear, Royal Robbns, Marmot, etc. - to court or church. Buena Vista is home to one of the original independent outdoor shops, The Trailhead and Trailhead Cycle & Ski. They are small but very good and still one of the best outdoor shops - bar none - in the world. The Trailhead is the best place to go for any information on outdoor activities, places to go, and anything you need from outdoor gear, clothes, stove fuel, bike parts, footwear, travel items (you name it) while you're in the area. Locals and visitors all go there. They can handle everything and everybody from hard-core dirtbag hikers and climbers to trustafarians to MountainSexuals to a trip to Europe.
Kim - "What are you doing this summer?"
Joan - "I'm going to be a raft guide in Colorado on the Upper Ark. I hear it's a wonderful area and I'm really looking forward to it. I'll be living in Buena Vista, about halfway between Leadville and Salida."
Kim - "Wow, that's great. Go to The Trailhead in Buena Vista when you get there. They're great folks and they'll take great care of you. They'll make you feel really welcome."