Rocky Mountains: Salida, CO


I love little mountain towns and Salida is one of my favorites so far. Overlooked by the Collegiate Peaks and on the banks of the Arkansas River this beautiful little town was a joy to visit. Since we were staying with family near Salida we did get the opportunity to know this town better than we have others.

I loved the downtown area near the river with a big riverside park and rafting opportunities down the Arkansas. Downtown Salida is pedestrian friendly, they even have parts of the main area permanently closed to vehicles to allow for more outdoor seating at local restaurants along with places for artists to show off their work. On Saturday’s Salida has a farmers market in a large park that is about 5 blocks from the main downtown area. There is plenty of free parking in the area. When you drive through town just make sure to keep an eye our for deer. They like to hangout in green spaces, from yards to parks, and are not phased in the slightest by cars or people.

I like to joke that in every town in Colorado there is at least one art gallery and that gallery has at lease one piece that features an aspen tree in the glory of a golden fall. I make this jest with a light heart. Aspen trees have this almost magical quality to them. In the spring and summer their leaves seem to flicker green and silver on the breeze and in the autumn they turn to a brilliant yellow-gold, staining all the world with light. And each of these artist captures these trees in their own unique way. I love art and supporting artists but most of the time I can’t afford to. However, I was super happy to find these adorable little animal paintings at the Bork and Watkin’s Gallery. These two artists have such different and beautiful styles and yes, one of them paints aspen trees.

If you are into sunset views or sunrise, don’t miss Spiral Drive. This is a winding road up Tenderfoot mountain and it provides a wonderful 360° view of Salida and the Collegiate Peaks. This road is gravel but it is worth it for the view. Right before the road gets to the “spiral” there is a large pull off where people like to park and watch the sunset. If you don’t have time to do much in Salida, then check out this area. It is free and there are hiking trails in the area of Tenderfoot.

If you have a day in Colorado I highly suggest visiting Salida for good food, nice people, great art, and beautiful views. I’d love to know what you think of this mountain town, see you in the comments. Remember, leave no trace and safe travels.

Thank you KW Photography for allowing me to use your wonderful photos!

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