For any traveler who loves the outdoors, but is looking for something more down to earth than the offerings off of I-70, Salida is a mandatory stop. The town itself is charming and laid back, while also vibrant. Locals are friendly and helpful. There is a good selection of restaurants to choose from and a wide range of accommodations. Salida has a thriving arts community, with more than 20 art galleries, art-house movies and community theatre to prove it. But the big draw of Salida is the recreational opportunities. Surrounded by parklands, 14ers, and hot springs, Salida also has the abundant Arkansas River traveling right through its downtown. Winter and summer, Salida has something for every kind of traveler.
We arrived in Salida in mid-March, and having left our skis at home, we were quickly filled with regret, as the mountains we getting lots of fresh powder and had great spring skiing conditions. All the while, downtown Salida was sunny and warm, and we were very comfortable walking around with light sweaters. We hiked to the top of “S” mountain an exposed hillside on the northeast side of town. Though this hike is likely to be very hot in the summertime, it was enjoyably warm in March, and the top provided us with lovely views of downtown Salida and the Sawatch mountain range. Despite the regrettable absence of bikes and skis, we still managed to enjoy the many other offerings of Salida, from the numerous galleries to the memorable meals and sumptuous hot-springs soaks.
Elevation: 1,700 feet
Avg Temp in January: 30/12
Avg Temp in July: 86/49
Known for: Nordic Skiing, Fishng, Biking