Salida, Colorado is located in Chaffee County on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains in central Colorado. Bordered on the west by the Sawatch Range, including the 14,000-Ft. Continental Divide, the eastern boundary of the county follows the Mosquito Range, descending toward the south. Located high in the Upper Arkansas Valley, the Arkansas River flows toward the southeast, between the two mountain ranges.
The Salida, Colorado area is the crossroads for the three state highways: U.S. 24, 50 and 285. Driving distances to Salida are: from Denver - approximately 130 miles; from Colorado Springs and Pueblo - 100 miles; from Gunnison - 60 miles.
The elevation of the Salida, Colorado area ranges from just under 7,000 to over 14,000 feet on its highest peaks, providing some of the most spectacular views to be seen anywhere in the world. In fact, Chaffee County where Salida, Colorado resides has more mountain peaks of 14,000-foot or more than any other county in Colorado and is often referred to as the "Fourteener" Region.
With its location in the heart of Colorado's Rocky Mountains, Salida is a mixture of the best of Colorado. The area has plenty of lovingly restored history, and was originally settled by the Ute Indians, for whom many of the local mountain peaks are named. Chaffee County was established in 1879 and named for Jerome Chaffee, a United States Senator and local investor. Early in its history the Salida, Colorado area experienced an influx of explorers, miners, railroad expansionists, farmers and ranchers. The influence of each has dwindled over the years, but their mark in the history of the Salida area is evident throughout the valley.
A museum displaying Chaffee County's rich heritage is located next to the Salida,
Colorado Heart of the Rockies Chamber of Commerce office, and is open throughout
the summer months. Enjoy winter activities
such as cross-country skiing, down-hill skiing and snowboarding, snowmobiling,
snowshoe hiking. Summer recreation
in Salida includes the United States best river rafting, and kyaking on the
Arkansas River, hiking, street and mountain biking, mountain climbing, shopping
and of course relaxing. In fact, you may find it so enjoyable that you will
want to settle down here.
Salida, Colorado is bordered on all sides by mountains which have a profound
effect on it's climate. Average snowfall in the valley is 50 inches, while in
the surrounding mountains our local ski area boasts 400 inches or more. Annual
rainfall in the valley is 10 to 12 inches and Salida residents can anticipate
330 days of sunshine with humidity in the 20 to 30 percent range, making it
comparable to places such as Tucson, Arizona. Even with the low precipitation
and numerous days of sunshine the Salida area appears lush due to the surrounding
high peaks' considerably higher amounts of precipitation. That, coupled with
the extensive annual snowmelt from the mountains, provide the valley with a
comprehensive irrigation system during the growing season. Temperatures in Salida,
Colorado and the valley are much milder than surrounding communities such as
Alamosa and Gunnison. The average high temperature for January is 49°F.
Night time temperatures average 19°F but can drop well below 0°F and
usually do a few times each winter. July is the hottest month with daily average
high temperatures of 77°F. Rarely does one experience temperatures over
90°F in Salida and the nights usually cool off into the 60's. For current
road and weather conditions see the Salida,
Colorado Area Information page.
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