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“Buena Vista” which means “beautiful view” in Spanish, is pronounced BYOO-nah VIS-ta by most locals. It was named by Alsina Dearheimer, who suggested the name with its unique pronunciation when it was incorporated as a town in 1879.
For many, one’s first impression of Buena Vista is the mountain scenery as they travel west of U.S. Highway 24 from Trout Creek Pass and into the Arkansas River Valley … and that’s only the beginning. Throughout town and its outskirts, the Buffalo Peaks, Collegiate Peaks and Sangre De Cristo Range surround this postcard town in nearly all directions.
Buena Vista is sometimes referred as the “banana belt”, because of its temperate and arid climate that provides 300+ days of sunlight. It’s common for someone to ride a snowmobile or cross-country ski in snowy, frigid conditions in the mountains, and then return to Buena Vista, where snowfall tend to be minimal and melts quickly.
Stand at the base of the Continental Divide and watch the aspens turn gold in the embrace of snow-covered peaks. Hurl yourself down the most profound whitewater rapids in the country under the heat of the sun at 8,000 feet, or climb the hills until it feels as if you could reach and touch that sun (we advise sunscreen for this venture).
Large enough to have most services, but small enough that life is slow-paced, Buena Vista embodies the concept of friendly small town living and high “quality of life” that most people only dream of.
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