Colorado River Towns in the Heart of the Rockies near Salida CO

September 11, 2018 | By Paula Bradfield

This is a get to know us post for our Arkansas Valley river towns.


The Salida Colorado Area has a total population of about 16,000 people if you count all of Chaffee county where Salida is and the area in Fremont County to the south east that encompasses Howard, Coaldale, Cotopaxi and Texas Creek. All are river towns, nestled on the banks of the Arkansas River which flows from the headwaters just above Buena Vista down through Pueblo Colorado and on to the Mississippi.

 

We are nestled in the Arkansas Valley with mountains all around. Known as the Banana Belt of Colorado, we have milder winters than most and less snowfall. The surrounding mountains, however get their share!

 

Travel to our area is relatively painless. There are major flights into both Colorado Springs and Denver. We are two and a half hours from Denver or 2 hours from Colorado Springs. Early in the morning and in good weather, we get do Denver in about 2 hours! There is a shuttle from Denver through Buena Vista, Poncha Springs and Salida.

 Salida (pronounced with a long "i" rather than the Spanish version) is the biggest of the river towns, about 5800. Downtown Salida is right on the Arkansas River. It is rated Gold for fly fishing and draws people from all over the country for white water sports. Monarch Ski area is 20 minutes away and has the 2nd best powder in the state. Since we are in the valley surrounded by a bowl of mountains, the area is nicknamed the banana belt. Every direction you go, you will find excellent hiking trails or bicycling trails. Although the elevation is 7000 feet, you can be snow free in town on your bicycle and then suit up for an afternoon on the slopes 20 minutes later.Come back to town and eat out. We have many dining and entertainment options, more than you would expect from a town this size.

 

Salida has several good restaurants, over 20 art galleries, a strong local music scene and a thriving downtown area. It has a very active horse community. Salida is called the best kept secret for destination resort towns. To see what is happening, the Salida Chamber of Commerce is an excellent site.


Buena Vista Colorado

Buena Vista, or BV or Bueny (pronounced Byoona Vista) is a quiet, charming community of about 3300 people. It is 25 miles north of Salida and still close to skiing and white water sports. Over the past few years, some very good restaurants have popped up in downtown BV. Folks who ski in Summit County often stay in BV because it is only about 1 hour from Breckenridge and does not have resort prices on their motels. It is a bit colder and 1000 feet higher. To see what is going on in BV, try the Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce.

 



Nathrop Colorado

Nathrop has a population of 1198 and is a spread out area with a smattering of homes around the post office with most of them in the area. Nathrop is really only known by locals as a nice place to live. It is only 6 miles from Buena Vista so we consider those two areas together.

 

Howard Colorado

Howard has a population of 723 and is about 500 feet lower than Salida, 6500' by the river. Lots of folks live near Howard on homes with acreage. There are 2-3 restaurants, a horse hotel for those traveling with horses, an RV park and a tiny hotel that mostly has permanent guests. The Sangre de Cristo mountains parallel the Arkansas river so 10 minutes away from the river, you are in the mountains.

 

Coaldale Colorado

Coaldale has a population of 255. It has a few homes around the post office and most folks live around there. Coaldale is considered part of Howard around here. It is right on the Arkansas and there are several public fishing places along the Arkansas. BLM land reaches down near Coaldale so there are lots of places to play.

 

Cotopaxi Colorado

Cotopaxi and Texas Creek are generally lumped together. They are about 25 miles SE of Salida towards Canon City. Most folks are spread out in the hills, about 3.2 people per square mile. They are surrounded by BLM and national forest so folks who do not care about the amenities of Salida head to that area. The terrain is stunning.. rocks, cliffs, and more rocks. The Arkansas Valley narrows considerably down there. The whitewater rafting business is very big in the area because of the drop in elevation and narrowing of the river.

Salida Colorado

Salida (pronounced with a long "i" rather than the Spanish version) is the biggest of the river towns, about 5800. Downtown Salida is right on the Arkansas River. It is rated Gold for fly fishing and draws people from all over the country for white water sports. Monarch Ski area is 20 minutes away and has the 2nd best powder in the state. Since we are in the valley surrounded by a bowl of mountains, the area is nicknamed the banana belt. Every direction you go, you will find excellent hiking trails or bicycling trails. Although the elevation is 7000 feet, you can be snow free in town on your bicycle and then suit up for an afternoon on the slopes 20 minutes later.Come back to town and eat out. We have many dining and entertainment options, more than you would expect from a town this size.

 

Salida has several good restaurants, over 20 art galleries, a strong local music scene and a thriving downtown area. It has a very active horse community. Salida is called the best kept secret for destination resort towns. To see what is happening, the Salida Chamber of Commerce is an excellent site.


Poncha Springs Colorado.

Poncha springs has a population of 742 and is considered a part of Salida (4 1/2 miles to the west). It has a post office, 3 gas stations and 3 restaurants. They get most of their stop-in traffic from folks heading out to ski Monarch or to hike/bike mountain trails.





Is Salida and the nearby towns calling you?

Salida Colorado Homes for Sale

Buena Vista Colorado homes for Sale

Nathrop and Poncha Springs CO Homes for Sale

Howard and Coaldale CO Homes for Sale

Cotopaxi and Texas Creek CO Homes for Sale

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