Fishing

When the leaves start changing in fall, it doesn’t mean that fishing, camping and dirt biking seasons are over. In fact, fall might be the best time to enjoy some of those activities, especially in Bighorn Sheep Canyon.

Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/Parks/ArkansasHeadwatersRecreationArea), a Colorado state park, is responsible for camping along the river, both in designated campsites and nondesignated sites.

Water Sports

When the leaves start changing in fall, it doesn’t mean that fishing, camping and dirt biking seasons are over. In fact, fall might be the best time to enjoy some of those activities, especially in Bighorn Sheep Canyon.

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The gin-clear waters of the Arkansas River and the tall granite rock formations that line the river in Browns Canyon create an enticing venue for outdoor recreation in Chaffee County.

Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/Parks/ArkansasHeadwatersRecreationArea), a Colorado state park, is responsible for camping along the river, both in designated campsites and nondesignated sites.

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As one of the biggest weekends in Buena Vista, the Memorial Day holiday is host to the town’s ultimate river festival: Paddlefest.

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Buena Vista outfitter Wilderness Aware Rafting co-owner Joe Greiner’s email address says it all:

The Arkansas River is a mighty and magnificent watercourse — no question about it. The nation’s sixth-longest river at 1,469 miles, the Arkansas travels from Colorado through Kansas and Oklahoma before ending its journey in Arkansas, where it empties into the Mississippi. But I like it best …

Commercially guiding for 18 seasons now, I trained with Adventure Specialist Whitewater and Tim McDonald, who may be intense at times, but has impeccable river skills. He laid the foundation of my river guiding. Then I went to work for KODI and have been there ever since. As a prodigy of Cam…

In 1949, with the Arkansas River raging from above-average runoff, 23 whitewater boaters prepared to race 57 miles from Salida through Bighorn Sheep Canyon and the Royal Gorge to Cañon City. “An invitation to death” claimed the boaters as they looked over the course.

Hiking

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While it doesn’t cross 10,842-foot Marshall Pass, the American Discovery Trail does wind through parts of Chaffee and Lake counties.

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In the Upper Arkansas Valley one man has made it his life’s work to build trails where many Coloradans play each day.

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Located in the center of the Colorado Rockies along the route of both the Continental Divide Trail and the Colorado Trail and bordered by several mountain ranges, Chaffee County has a wealth of hiking options.

One of the many benefits of living in Buena Vista is the system of excellent trails traversing the Mosquito Range to the east, used by mountain bikers, equestrians and pedestrians alike, beginning right at the two bridges that cross the Arkansas River.