Whitewater Rafting Buena Vista, Colorado
Mild to Wild Rafting on the Arkansas River
Buena Vista, Colorado is one of the premiere whitewater rafting and kayaking towns in the world and is an easy and scenic drive from any Colorado vacation destination. This unspoiled Colorado mountain town is located along the world-renowned Arkansas River and is shadowed by majestic 14,000-foot mountains. The weather here in Buena Vista, Colorado is incredible. Every May – as sure as the spring snow melt – whitewater enthusiasts from all over the world converge on Buena Vista to run the wild and mild rapids of the Arkansas River.
Riverside Rafting Resort
The River Runners Riverside Rafting Resort is six miles south of Buena Vista, Colorado on the banks of the Arkansas River. Enjoy our private put-in for rafting Browns Canyon or choose an advanced rafting trip like The Numbers or Pine Creek.
Group Camping on the Arkansas River
Three riverside group campsites are available. All campsites include picnic tables, fire pits, and use of our restroom and shower facilities. Get full use of private river access, picnic areas, a sand volleyball court, horseshoe pits and the Riverside Bar & Grill. Call to reserve. Space is limited.
Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort
Just 10 minutes away
Raft the Arkansas River with River Runners and receive discount tickets to soak at Colorado’s premier hot springs. Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort features newly built cabins and remodeled hotel rooms with incredible views; a rustic, but elegant restaurant; a spa center; and a variety of natural creek-side pools, swimming pools, relaxation pools, and a designated kids pool with a 400-foot water slide. Stay at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort and receive on rafting and on lodging. This family-friendly resort has incredible mountain views and is surrounded by things to do in Buena Vista.
Time Lapse at River Runners Riverside Rafting Resort in Buena Vista, Colorado
This is why we are called the whitewater professionals.
Enjoy the best riverside dining in Buena Vista, Colorado
During the summer months, one of the best restaurants near Buena Vista, Colorado is the Riverside Bar and Grill – located on Hwy 285, six miles south of Buena Vista, at the River Runners Riverside Rafting Resort.
Relax on the banks of the Arkansas River and enjoy good friends, delicious food, tasty drinks, and spectacular Colorado scenery.
The Riverside Bar and Grill at River Runners has a small, but unique menu and order-up style service – making it a great casual dining experience. The menu ranges from carne asada burritos and Buena Vista made famous fish tacos to chicken quesadillas and chips and homemade salsa. All products are purchased locally when possible and handcrafted items like the pico de gallo make this a unique dining experience.
We offer a small but delicious selection of alcoholic drinks including local micro brews, domestic pilsner, our legendary River Rummers, and famous Margaritas. Other beverage options include natural sodas, ice tea, organic milk, and organic apple juice.
Riverside Camping Buena Vista, Colorado
Group campsites $55 per night
There is no better way to experience the natural beauty of the Colorado Rockies than camping in Buena Vista, Colorado. This authentic mountain town is located in the Upper Arkansas River Valley and is surrounded by majestic 14,000 foot peaks. The Arkansas River runs along the eastern edge of town and offers a wide range of whitewater rapids – from family-friendly to extreme. Popular summer activities in Buena Vista, Colorado include whitewater rafting, mountain biking, horseback riding, ATV touring, hiking, mountaineering, hot spring soaking, and more.
Choose from a number of camping options near Buena Vista, Colorado. Whether you are looking for an established RV park, private campgrounds like the Buena Vista KOA, or secluded campgrounds on National Forrest, Bureau of Land Management, or Colorado State Park land – there is no shortage of camping in Buena Vista, Colorado.
One of the more unique campgrounds near Buena Vista, Colorado is River Runners Riverside Rafting Resort, just south of Buena Vista on the banks of the Arkansas River. This catch and release fishing property has three large group sites available along the river with picnic tables and fire pits. Each site is $55 and can accomodate 10-25 campers. Amenities include hot shower and bathroom facilities, a sand volleyball court, horseshoe pits, and a Riverside Bar and Grill that serves Baha-style food, handmade cocktails, and local beers on tap.
Book a River Runners whitewater rafting trip and enjoy our private beach and access point to the Arkansas River.
Space is limited, so advanced reservations are recommended. Sites and rafting trips start filling up in fall and winter for the summer season.
Select a Whitewater Rafting Trip in Buena Vista, Colorado
River Rafting Trips for Families with Small Children
FAMILY FLOAT RAFTING TRIP BEGINNER CLASS I-II
Children who weigh at least 35 pounds and who are accompanied by a parent or guardian can go whitewater rafting in Colorado on our Family Float rafting trip. This beginner scenic float is just 1.5 hours round trip and departs daily out of our Riverside Rafting Resort in Buena Vista, Colorado. After a five-minute shuttle, float right down to our private beach where you can walk to your car. Enjoy a free slide show of your Family Float rafting trip.Family Float Rafting Trip
The Most Popular Family-Friendly Rafting Trips in Colorado
If your children are at least six years old and 50 pounds you should consider either Browns Canyon or Bighorn Sheep Canyon – two of the most popular family whitewater rafting trips in Colorado. Experience fun class III-IV rapids and spectacular Colorado scenery on both of these rafting trips. Age and weight restrictions can change at high water flows. Please call for up-to-date conditions prior to booking your trip.Browns Canyon Rafting Trip
Advanced Rafting The Numbers
This premiere Colorado rafting trip is a perfect mix of alpine scenery and incredible whitewater. Paddle through the most continuous whitewater on the Arkansas River. This is an advanved class IV-V Colorado whitewater rafting trip. Experience is recommended but not required. If everyone in your rafting group is at least 16 years of age and of an adventurous spirit you should run the Numbers.
Numbers Rafting Trip
Want Extreme Whitewater?
If you have paddled The Numbers or Royal Gorge with River Runners and are still looking for something more extreme – try whitewater rafting Pine Creek (class V), the most difficult rapid on the Arkansas River. Participants must be 18 and have prior class IV-V experience with River Runners.
Pine Creek Rafting Trip
Package a River Runners Rafting Trip with Area Activities
Browns Canyon Zip & Raft
A great Colorado family adventure day. At 9:30 am enjoy a three hour zip line tour with Top of the Rockies Zip Line in Leadville, Colorado. This unique zip line tour features five cables with side by side zipping so you can soar alongside one another in the high country of Colorado. Cables range from 400-850 feet.
At 2:30 pm embark on a two-three hour rafting trip in Browns Canyon. This popular family rafting trip features class III-IV rapids, suitable for beginners and children who are at least six years old and 50 pounds.
Lunch Not Included.
Numbers Zip & Raft
Get ready to paddle and have fun. Depart at 9:30 am on a two-three hour class IV-V Numbers rafting trip. Rapids in The Numbers are so jam packed they are numbered instead of named.
After getting your heart rate up paddling, enjoy a hearty lunch at the Riverside Grill at River Runners. Meal choice and a soft drink included.
Allow 45 minutes travel time to Leadville and Top of the Rockies Zip Line. This 3:00 pm tour features five zip line cables with side by side zipping so you can soar alongside one another 11,000 feet. Cables range from 400-850 feet.
Browns Canyon Paddle & Saddle
At 10:00 am enjoy a two hour horseback ride with Arkansas Valley Trail Rides in Nathrop, Colorado. Take in spectacular views of the Chalk Cliffs and Collegiate Peaks on this family-friendly adventure.
At 2:30 pm embark on a two-three hour rafting trip in Browns Canyon, where you will challenge class III-IV rapids, suitable for beginners and children at least six years old 50 pounds.
Lunch Not Included.
River Runners Riverside Rafting Resort Amenities
- Private launch site for Browns Canyon (Class III-IV)
- Commercial campground with exclusive group camping
- Riverside Bar & Grill
- Sand volleyball court
- Horseshoe pits
- Free parking
- Shaded picnic areas
- Free restrooms
- Free showers
- Drinks & snacks
- Rafting apparel
- Rafting wetsuits
- Rafting booties
- Rafting splash jackets
- Rafting photos
- Rafting souvenirs
- Rafting information
- Certified raft guides
- The best rafting trips
- Discounts to Colorado hot springs
- Discounts to the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park
- Discounts to Captain Zip Line Colorado Zip Line Tour
River Runners Riverside Rafting Resort
24070 County Road 301 Buena Vista, Colorado 81212
Rafting trips available daily: May – September
CALL: 719-395-2466 or 800-723-8987
Buena Vista, Colorado Driving Directions: Located just 2.5 hours from Colorado Springs & 2.5 hours from Denver, Colorado.
WHY RAFT IN BUENA VISTA
With RIVER RUNNERS
Location, location, location:
We are one of only a few outfitters that have a riverfront property. Less time on the shuttle, more time on the river.
The best outdoor restaurant in Buena Vista, Colorado:
From Memorial Day to August, enjoy the Riverside Grill onsite for lunch or dinner.
Riverside group camping:
We have three campsites on the river. The perfect base camp for rafting, hiking, zip lining and more.
We are the whitewater professionals:
River Runners has been rafting Colorado since 1972.
The best rafting equipment:
Enjoy the best rafting equipment available..