Things to Do
Salida and the Arkansas Valley offer a wide range opportunities for fun. From skiing, and rafting, to hot springs and libations, we’ve got it all in our beautiful valley.
Located five miles west of Buena Vista along Cottonwood Creek, this hot springs resort provides a small friendly feel. This hot springs includes a hotel, cabins, and spa treatments for anyone looking for a relaxing experience. Hot water from nature. Come soak in Colorado's purest, geothermal, gravity-fed mineral spas. Historically noted for their medicinal and therapeutic value, the springs were used for centuries by the Ute Indians as a spiritual gathering place. Today, people have come from all over the world to soak in the curative waters.
These hot springs are located in Nathrop, Colorado between the towns of Buena Vista and Salida, Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort is ideal for family vacations, romantic getaways, mountain weddings, or corporate events. Enjoy a one-day hot springs experience or relax with an overnight stay at this unique family friendly, historic Colorado hot springs resort. Book your lodging today and enjoy VIP access to the Spa & Club. Make the most of your vacation by treating yourself to a wonderful spa service.
Joyful Journey Hot Springs Spa, located in the northern gateway to the beautiful San Luis Valley. Be sure to visit the peaceful spa for a relaxing retreat. Enlighten your senses with the rejuvenating waters, relaxing massage therapies and magnificent views of the Sangre De Cristo mountain range. Joyful Journey offers a variety of accommodations, ranging from gorgeous hotel rooms with private bathrooms and aspen-wood furniture, to tipis, RV and camp sites, or yurts. Treat yourself at Joyful Journey.
Go on a guided dog sled run through beautiful alpine forest, along a stream, by beaver ponds, an old miners cemetery, through a campground and all surrounded by 13,000ft peaks and beautiful pines, spruce and firs. Meet the dogs, learn about the sport of mushing, learn how to harness a dog, and take a 30-35 minute dogsled ride through the national forest.
Whether you choose to rent and create your own snowmobile adventure, or enjoy one of the guided snowmobile excursions. Monarch Snowmobile Tours will make you "King of the Mountain". You'll be invigorated by the crisp, clear air as you ride through a winter wilderness and enjoy the awe inspiring views of the surrounding 14,000 foot high mountain peaks and the panorama of the valleys below. Monarch Snowmobile Tours offers a wide variety of tours in and around the historic and scenic areas of Garfield/Monarch, Colorado and Monarch Ski Area. No matter what your snowmobile skills or level of snowmobile experience, they have the ride for you.
Open since 1939, this independently owned and operated ski area features a variety of terrain and all natural snow at the top of Monarch Pass. Monarch Mountain offers ski lessons for beginners looking to improve their skill and Cat Skiing for the adventure prone expert wanting to experience the infamous Mirkwood Bowl. Be sure to visit our favorite mountain and ski local!
The Monarch Crest Scenic Tramway and Gift Shop are at the summit of Monarch Pass at 11,312 feet (3.45 km). Monarch Pass is located on the Continental Divide at the southern end of the Sawatch Mountain Range. The Monarch Crest is located along the border of Gunnison and Chaffee counties, approximately 25 miles (40 km) west of the town of Salida. The Monarch Crest Gift Shop is a family run business. The business opened in 1954 as a Greyhound bus stop and now it is a tourist attraction that attracts people from all around the world. The original building burnt down in 1988, and was rebuilt in 1989. The new building was built with a unique concrete structure that has 12 domes that total 10,800 square feet. The gift shop is open from early spring to late fall. With an excess of 350 inches of snowfall per year, Mother Nature dictates opening and closing dates. Take time to explore hiking and biking trails in the area!
Soar over a rugged canyon and explore the majestic Rocky Mountains on Colorado's first World-Class Zipline Tour, challenge yourself on Colorado's largest Aerial Course, or test your climbing prowess and scale the cliffs on our Via Ferrata. Captain Zipline is Colorado's largest and most exciting adventure park with a variety of ACCT-certified courses. Located in Salida, CO, Captain Zipline is Colorado's largest aerial adventure park where you can climb, zipline, and traverse.
Anderson Motors/Rocky Mountain Jeep Rentals welcomes you to Salida, CO in the heart of the Rocky Mountains! Located in Chaffee County, where there more 14,000 ft. mountain peaks than any other county in Colorado (and America, for that matter!). Anderson Motors/Rocky Mountain Jeep Rentals will help you get off road, off the beaten path, and experience all that Colorado has to offer! Have you ever wanted to travel to the high mountain lakes or traverse passes high above timberline, travel over narrow gauge railroad beds converted to 4x4 roads, visit ghost towns straight out of the Wild West? Rocky Mountain Jeep Rentals is the place to make that happen!
Granite Mountain Outfitters is a summer & fall activity business with twenty years of experience, specializing in western outdoor and ranch fun for everyone. What better way to view the beauty of Colorado’s wilderness than from the back of horse? Small ride sizes ensure that guests receive the personal attention they deserve to have a truly interactive horseback experience. With a variety of beginner to experienced riders, this outfitter provides trips in the spring, summer and winter. Located in Poncha Springs, Granite Mountain Horses is within a close distance to Vino Salida.
Independent Whitewater is Salida’s local rafting connection on the Arkansas River. Whether it’s scenic family floats, advanced whitewater, or the longest half-day trip through Browns Canyon National Monument, the have a trip to fit your needs. Family-owned Independent Whitewater has been in business in Salida for 35 years, and has a strong dedication to safety and good old-fashioned American fun. Come spend the day with Wiley and Mike, Independent Whitewater’s owners, along with their highly trained and professional staff. More miles, more smiles!
River Runners at Salida is an activity booking center and paddle sports rental shop on the Arkansas River in Downtown Salida, Colorado. You can find it on the river walk between the boat ramp and Boathouse Cantina. The Salida Whitewater Park is a world-renowned attraction and home to FIBArk, America’s oldest whitewater festival. Rent tubes, inflatable kayaks and SUP boards at River Runners – right next to the boat ramp on the Arkansas River.
Trails, forests, and National Parks
Great Sand Dunes National Park
This massive series of sand dunes lays in the middle of the San Luis Valley, whether you want to hike the dunes, sled down the dunes, or just cool off and play in the creek this national park is something to experience. With camping options available within and outside of the park, visitors can come explore and play on the dunes to see one of the wonders of Colorado. For more information click here.