Salida Attractions

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Written by Cassidy Barnes posted on Friday, February 26th, 2010

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Salida, Colorado is located on the Upper Arkansas River Valley in a place known as “The Banana Belt” for its relatively warm weather. The micro-climate is created by the surrounding high mountains.

Kayaks on their way to the Arkansas River are a frequent sight in Salida. (Colorado Tourism Office)

Surrounded by 12 peaks over 14,000 feet in elevation, the Sawatch Mountain Range is to the northwest, Sangre de Cristo to the south and the Mosquito Mountain Range to the north. The result is a temperate climate ideal for outdoor recreation.

Stay in one of the affordable Salida hotels to enjoy the area’s rafting, kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, skiing, hot springs, fly-fishing, zipline tours and historic downtown. Outside Magazine even once named the “sweetly unpretentious” town of Salida as one of the 20 “Dream Towns + Adventure Hideouts.”

Here are a few ideas for things to do in Salida, Colorado.

Monarch Ski & Snowboard Area sits high on the Continental Divide. It is a medium-sized resort with 63 trails and an average of 350 inches of snow per year! The area is 20 miles west of Salida on U.S. 50. No lift lines!

Whitewater Rafting & Kayaking
Rafting begins in May and doesn’t let up until September. The Arkansas River is the most popular river in Colorado, and you’ll have direct access to it right here in Salida! Class I float trips to Class V and V1 whitewater rafting available.

Art Gallery Hopping
There are over 40 art galleries showing off Salida’s many fine artists. The galleries are sprinkled throughout the historic downtown, which is also a great place to antique shop!

Salida Hot Springs and Aquatic Center and Recreational Park
This aquatic center is home to the town’s hot springs. Soak those tired muscles right in town!

Mountain Biking
Cyclists love the mild climate and trail variety in Salida. Fat tire riders love the Rainbow Trail and the Monarch Crest Trail. A local shuttle takes you to the top of Crest Trail, a 12-mile route along the Continental Divide.

The Upper Arkansas offers a variety of opportunities for anglers. There are also a few mountain streams and lakes that are worth checking out. The area has stocked and natural streams. Come during the Caddis hatch in the spring and you’ll never want to fish anywhere else!

A fisherman throws in some lines in the Arkansas River near Salida, Colorado. (Colorado Tourism Office)

Off Roading
ATV and four-wheelers are available for rent from Salida. There are a ton of old railroad grades and mining roads to discover in the area. For the really daring, head (almost) to the top of Mount Antero at 14,269 feet. Great views!

Salida is home to a nice 9-hole course that has gorgeous mountain views and well-maintained greens. The Salida Golf Club also features a restaurant and Bar. With 300 days of sunshine, you’ll almost never get rained out!

Take your pick between hiking in the Sawatch Range, the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area and the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range. Explore the Colorado Trail, the Continental Divide Trail or just stroll on the Salida Trail that runs throughout town.

Colorado Rockies Activities

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