With winter sports aplenty, soaking in hot springs, and plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities, Salida Colorado offers something for everyone. If you’re a skier, you’ll love the World Famous Monarch Ski Resort and other great skiing, snowmobiling, and cross country ski trails all year round.
Skiing and snowboarding are the most popular winter activities in Salida and the surrounding area. During the snowy season, Monarch Mountain has one of the highest base elevations in the state and offers a wide variety of slopes for skiers of all ages and abilities. The resort has a wonderful cafe and ski shop as well as lessons for beginners.
After you’ve hit the slopes, cap off your day with a visit to Salida’s natural hot springs. Sprawling Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort and rustic Cottonwood Hot Springs are both located a short drive away from downtown. You can also soak in Salida’s own indoor aquatic center, which has everything from a hot tub to an outdoor pool and is open all winter long.
The Arkansas River flows right through the heart of downtown, and it’s ideal for fishing and whitewater rafting. The river is known for its excellent trout fishing, so head to the local fly shops to get your hooks in a fish and enjoy the beautiful scenery while you’re at it.
During the summer, a number of events take place in town. For example, FIBArk is America’s oldest and wildest whitewater festival, and the Salida Riverside Arts & Music Festival is a classic community festival that features local art on the riverfront.
You can also visit the SteamPlant Event Center, a renovated power plant that pulsates with year-round film screenings, live theater, and jazz and symphony concerts. Or check out Second Saturday Gallery Art Tour show openings and artist receptions.
A Certified Creative District unfolds across dozens of studios and galleries that display the works of local artists. You can rub elbows with the talent during the monthly Second Saturday Gallery Art Tour and the FIBArk and Salida Riverside Arts & Music Festival.
Shopping in Salida is a delight, as is browsing the many antique spots and consignment racks that line F Street. Ruby Blues and Free the Monkey offer a bounty of vintage finds, while the more stylish boutique scores at Yolo Clothing are hard to resist.
Dining in Salida is a treat too, as you’ll find some of the best cuisine in the area. Try cocktails at Wood’s High Mountain Distillery, a distillery and tasting room with locally distilled gin, vodka, and whiskey. Next, grab a bite to eat at Amicas, an award-winning restaurant that uses their success to support a number of local charities.
The mountain views are amazing, and the hike up S Mountain (or Tenderfoot Mountain) is a local favorite. It’s a 1.7-mile walk to the top of Spiral Drive, a scenic narrow road that winds its way through downtown Salida and corkscrews up the mountain.