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Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center
Located in:
Salida, CO

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Whitewater Kayaking, Rafting, Rock Climbing, & Mountain Biking: Guided Tours and Professional Instruction. Choose your own a (more...)
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Buena Vista Whitewater Park Whitewater Kayaking Trip on the Arkansas River

Scott Cunningham on the Uptown Wave at 1600 cfs
Uptown Wave at 1600 cfs Mike Annese on the Uptown Wave at 1600 cfs Downtown Hole....very sticky at 1600 cfs Midtown Feature at 1600 cfs

View larger map of Buena Vista Whitewater Park & get directions
Click 'Earth' to fly through the canyon!

Buena Vista Whitewater Park Video

Kayaking in Buena Vista's Whitewater Park
Buena Vista Whitewater Park Info
Use this information at your own risk. See our legal notices.
Put In:  Buena Vista Ballpark Access
Take Out:  River Trail next to Downtown Hole
Difficulty:  Park & Play
Run Length:  1 Mile
Good Level:  300-2000 cfs
Streamflow Comments: 
Season Comments:  January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
Primary Season: 

It gets cold in the winter and sometimes the river has chunks of ice. The flows usually come up in late May and are at least 700ish through mid-August.

Permit:  None required at this time.
Land Ownership:  City of Buena Vista
Wilderness:  no
Location:  In the Rocky Mtn Region (CO), 140 miles Southwest of Denver
Area Name:  Rocky Mtn Region
Shuttle Logistics: 

From Hwy 24 turn east onto Main Street at the stoplight. Continue to the end of main street to the Buena Vista Ballpark. The uptown hole is just upstream of the bathrooms and a trail on river right leads you down to the rest of the whitewater park. If you choose to boat the whole park you'll have to carry your boat back up stream on the path.

Buena Vista Whitewater Park on the Arkansas River

The original feature is the Uptown Wave which is the furthest upstream wave. It's good at almost all levels and is more gentle than it looks. Cartwheels, spins, and aerial moves are possible on the Uptown Wave.

About 1/4 of a mile downstream is the midtown feature which is a great spot for beginners. The gentle wave is good for surfing and spinning and it has a large eddy.

Downstream of the midtown wave is the Town feature where the pocket wave forms between 200-700 cfs.

The Downtown Feature is the last one in the whitewater park. The hole is for advanced boaters as it is retentive at all levels. Above 1000 cfs the hole gets very sticky. There is a less sticky chute on far river left.

You should get out here on river right to walk the trail back to your car. Below the Downtown hole the Arkansas River picks up and goes through a short class III gorge. If you continue you can't take out until Johnson's Village and you should set a shuttle.

Last Edited by josho on 5/16/2011

Towns near Buena Vista Whitewater Park Kayaking

Aspen Colorado
Colorado Springs Colorado
Manitou Springs Colorado
South Fork Colorado

Other Resources

Conservation Organizations
  • Save The Poudre
  • Sierra Club-Poudre Canyon Group
  • Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado
  • Newspapers
  • Chaffee County Times
  • Mountain Mail
  • River Managing Agencies
  • Colorado State Parks
  • Rocky Mountain Kayak Clubs
  • Colorado School of Mines Kayak Club
  • Colorado Whitewater Association
  • High Country River Rafters
  • Pikes Peak Whitewater Club
  • Poudre Paddlers
  • Rocky Mountain Canoe Club
  • Travel Guides
  • Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce
  • Chaffee County Visitor's Bureau
  • Colorado Vacation & Travel Guide
  • Heart of the Rockies Chamber of Commerce