Salida - South Central Colorado

Includes Howard, Monarch, Poncha Springs

Fishing, Arkansas River, Salida, Colorado
Fishing the Arkansas River near Salida, Colorado
ATVing, Salida, Colorado
Salida, Colorado has some Great ATV trails

Salida grew quickly in the 1880s when the railroad made it a hub. This rip-roaring town had a famous madam, Laura Evans, who ran a bordello in from 1896 to 1950! Today, it's still a roaring town, roaring with rapids, that is. Salida boasts the headquarters for the Arkansas River Headwater that flows north and east of town. The town has one of the largest, indoor, hot springs pools' in the nation.

The Arkansas River is a launching point for some of the best whitewater rafting and is the most boated in the country with rapids ranging from easy to challenging. Accessible from this area is the Colorado Trail for mountain bikers and hikers to enjoy. In the winter try skiing at the much-praised, less-visited Monarch Ski Resort whose basin traps 300 inches annually of fluffy powder.

Salida Whitewater Park is right on the Arkansas River is one of the most popular in Colorado. This course is great for beginners to start running whitewater especially at the lower hole; it's slower and gentler. More advanced kayakers will like the upper hole better as it's faster and gets rowdier at higher flows.

Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center, Salida, Colorado
Colorado's Largest Indoor Hot Springs Pool at City of Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center
Monarch Pass near Salida, Colorado
Monarch Pass is along Highway 50 west of Salida -- Stop to See the Continental Divide!

Located at the junction of US 285 and 50, PONCHA SPRINGS (AKA the Crossroads of the Rockies) is an excellent jumping-off point for a Colorado adventure. The town was named after a local natural hot spring by frontiersman Kit Carson. Today water from the springs is piped into Salida's Hot Springs Pool. Mountain bikers can hop a shuttle from the local gas station to the famed Rainbow Trail. There are several short loop and riverside trails that link to other trails running into Salida. Poncha Springs is also home to an 18-hole golf course and a popular Disc golf area.

The Collegiate Peaks Byway, was designated in November of 2005 and stretches 57 miles north to south connecting Granite, Buena Vista, Salida and Poncha Springs. This byway also connects to the nearby Top of the Rockies and West Elk byways. The impressive Collegiate Range, lies to the west with the most concentrated number of peaks above 14,000' in Colorado, and abounds with hiking trails, ATVing trails, Jeeping along old rail beds, mountain bike trails and is riddled with ghost towns. The snowmobile areas around Salida offer groomed trail riding with large meadows, snow play areas, and steep hill climbing. Snowmobile trails are in the Rio Grande and Gunnison National Forests.

In the heart of Pleasant Valley, 13 miles east of Salida, is HOWARD quiet and peaceful, and popular among recreational vehicle travelers. With the famed rushing waters of the Arkansas running right through Howard, this area is a popular whitewater rafting site and trout fishing area. To the west, the San Isabel National Forest provides many opportunities for adventure, from hiking to crystal-clear mountain lakes, looking for black bear, elk, wild turkey and mountain lions to ATVing to an old gold camp.

Salida is near: Buena Vista Area, Northern San Luis Valley & Royal Gorge Area

Premium Salida Businesses

All Season Adventures Inc. - Snowmobile and ATV Rentals and Tours
Adventures All Year - Pick Your Season! RIDE the DIVIDE! Explore the Explore the Collegiate Peaks near Salida and Monarch. Snowmobile or ATV, guided tours or unguided rentals. Golden Autumn Color Tours.

 Web page link icon Photos on page icon ATVing, UTVing, and Offroading Snowmobiling 

Featured Salida Businesses

All Season Adventures Inc. - Snowmobile and ATV Rentals and Tours
Adventures All Year - Pick Your Season! RIDE the DIVIDE! Explore the Explore the Collegiate Peaks near Salida and Monarch. Snowmobile or ATV, guided tours or unguided rentals. Golden Autumn Color Tours.

 Web page link icon Photos on page icon ATVing, UTVing, and Offroading Snowmobiling 

Anderson Jeep Rentals and Tours
Serving Salida and Royal Gorge: Jeep rentals and trail maps. Anderson will get you off the beaten path to play in the Collegiate Peaks. Guided Jeep Tours: Discover private mines, rock hounding claims.

 Web page link icon Photos on page icon ATVing, UTVing, and Offroading Jeeping and Offroad Vehicles 

Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area
Near Salida, Arkansas Headwaters is one of the nation's premier recreation areas! Camp (bring drinking water), fish, raft, kayak, picnic, hike, mountain bike all along 152 miles of the Arkansas River.

 Web page link icon Tent Camping RV Parks and Resorts White-water Rafting and Kayaking 

Arkansas River Tours - Family Floats to Extreme Adventures
Celebrating 50 years, 300,000+ happy river guests! ART offers tours for timid beginners to experienced veterans on the Arkansas River. In Cotopaxi, between Salida and Cañon City. Families are our specialty!

 Email link icon Web page link icon Photos on page icon Family Friendly White-water Rafting and Kayaking 

Black Bear RV Park and Motel on Paradise Hill
Near Salida in Howard, Black Bear is an RV Park with glamping tents and motel rooms. On Paradise Hill in the Bighorn Sheep Canyon, with cool nights and sunny days. Adventures: raft, fish, hike, bike, ATV.

 Web page link icon New Colorado business icon Hotels and Motels RV Parks and Resorts Winter Lodging 

City of Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center
Open year-round in Salida. Relax in natural, hot, mineral water with family swimming and soaking pools. Private European style natural hot baths. The largest indoor hot springs aquatic center in Colorado!

 Web page link icon Location map of property icon Hot Springs 

Creekside Chalets and Cabins: Year-Round Quality Vacation Rentals
Near Monarch Mountain Ski Area. Creekside has luxury cabins, mountain chalets with full kitchen, open living room, WiFi, gas fireplace and private hot tub. NEW 2023: Camping Sites! We are PET FRIENDLY!

 Web page link icon Photos on page icon Cabins, Glamping and Cottages Vacation Homes Tent Camping Family Friendly Pets Welcome White-water Rafting and Kayaking Winter Lodging 

Pleasant Valley RV Park of Howard on the Arkansas River
East of Salida and West of the Royal Gorge Bridge in Howard, along the Arkansas River, away from Hwy noise, Pleasant Valley RV Park offers: full hookups on the RIVER, rec room, playground and dog park.

 Web page link icon New Colorado business icon RV Parks and Resorts Lodging by water 

For more travel information contact:

Salida Activities & Maps

National Parks and Monuments:
Browns Canyon National Monument

Scenic Byways:
Collegiate Peaks Scenic Byway

Hiking Trails:
Rainbow Trail Hiking
The Colorado Trail

Arkansas River Headwaters Fishing Map - East
Arkansas River Headwaters Fishing Map - North

Rafting & Kayaking:
Arkansas River Rafting & Kayaking

Jeep & 4WD:
Salida & Monarch Jeeping & ATV/UTV Trails

Hot Springs:
Salida Hot Springs

Ski Areas & Resorts:
Monarch Mountain Ski & Snowboard Area

Buena Vista Area Snowmobile Trails
Salida & Monarch Snowmobile Trails


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Fun Things to Do
Calendars of Events | National Parks, Monuments & Historic Sites | Scenic Byways & Drives | Fishing & Fly Fishing | Hot Springs | Horse Riding | ATV/UTVing | Jeeping & 4WD | Whitewater Rafting & Kayaking | Attractions | Golfing | Restaurants & Dining | More Fun Stuff | Hunting & Land Leases | Snowmobiling | Downhill Skiing & Snowboarding | Snowshoeing | Cross-Country Skiing

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