Skyscraping mountains, the most impressive being the Collegiate Peaks, ring Buena Vista (pronounced byoo-na vis-ta by locals). The 14,000-foot, often snowcapped peaks were first summited by alumni from Yale, Princeton, Harvard, and Columbia, who named them for their respective alma maters. A small mining town–turned–casual resort community, Buena Vista's main street is lined with Wild West–style historic buildings. On
U.S. 24, which bisects the town, there are inexpensive roadside motels. The town is also a hub for the white-water rafting industry that plies its trade on the popular Arkansas River, and a great central location for hiking, fishing, rafting, and horseback riding.