Chaffee County a to z

Chaffee County A to Z

Arts. A myriad of choices—from art galleries to dance troupes, musicians and photographers—await visitors. Come stroll along the downtown streets of Buena Vista and Salida and experience the unique aesthetics.

Beauty. The region boasts raw, jaw-dropping beauty. Whether hiking along one of many trails, or driving the Collegiate Peaks Scenic Byway, there are striking views to behold.

Cycling. On the road, on a mountain bike or on a town cruiser, it is one of the best ways to see the area.

Dining is always Colorado casual, but the cuisine ranges from fast foods to fine.

Events. Did you say fun? The region holds numerous events throughout the year. So, check the calendar to see what “floats your boat.” And, don’t miss FIBArk in June — the county’s largest event.

Fishing. A sport for all ages, some of the best fly fishing in the region can be found in the Arkansas Valley. For those wanting to spin cast at a high mountain lake, anglers will find that, too! Or, trout watch at a hatchery.

Geocaching. Yet another activity for all ages…Comb the mountains and valleys in search of natural treasures. Who knows, there just may be a crystal-laden geode in that rock you discovered.

History. Visit the ghost town of St. Elmo, the Salida Museum, Turner Farm or the Buena Vista Heritage Museum and the Hutchinson Homestead in Poncha Springs.

Inexpensive. While the valley has a wealth of natural beauty, Chaffee County is still an affordable alternative to the fancy resorts.

Jeep? Off-highway vehicle? Motorcycle? Tour mine sites, ghost towns, rugged roads, mountain tops … the possibilities are endless.

Kids. We love kids! Kids of all ages can find things to do here. Mini golf, horseback riding, camping, disc golf, water play, wildlife watching — just to name a few.

Lodging. Choose from cozy B&Bs to rustic campgrounds, family-oriented hotels and motels or perhaps romantic lodges. Whether you are a couple or a whole posse, there’s a pillow for you!

Monarch. Monarch Mountain, winter. Monarch Tram, summer. Monarch Crest Trail for the ambitious.

Nighttime sky. With no light pollution to speak of, the night sky explodes with wide swaths of twinkling stars. Count the constellations or just lay back in wonderment at the luminous canopy above.

Out-of-the-box adventures. These await at every turn. Visit abandoned railroad tunnels, the Turner Farm and Agnes Vaille Falls near Buena Vista or the Zebulon Pike Christmas 1806 pullout on US 285.

Peaks. With a dozen 14,000-foot peaks in Chaffee County, and 15 in the Sawatch Range, you can either “bag” one or just enjoy the glorious views.

Quiet time. Relax and reconnect with family and friends during your stay. Dip into a hot springs or recline in a cabin by a gurgling stream. Either way, life-in-the-fast-lane will seem a distant memory.

Railroading. You will be captivated by Buena Vista’s model railroad display, an ornate, miniature reproduction of the Arkansas Valley’s history. The Depot and the Caboose in Mcphelemy Park will be opening the Summer of 2010. View the steam engine at the Salida Museum.

Springs! Hot springs at Mount Princeton, the Salida pool, and Cottonwood are just a splash away.

Tours. Stroll through the Mountain Spirit Winery at the base of Monarch Pass, hop on an ATV and travel through thickets of forest punctuated by meadows or visit the Jumpin Good Goat Dairy Farm — it’s all here and waiting for you.

Unique. This perfectly describes historic downtowns with their shopping, art galleries, fine dining and colorful locals who make you feel right at home.

Venues. The scene is already set and awaits your arrival. The area can accommodate meetings, weddings, reunions, and celebrations of all shapes and sizes. The SteamPlant, Mount Princeton, Buena Vista Heritage Museum, and Chaffee County Fairgrounds are just a few options.

Whitewater. Glorious, churning whitewater for kayaking and rafting flows through both Buena Vista and Salida. Come and play. Or, simply watch in amazement from the banks of the Arkansas.

Xtra Terrestrials. The UFO Watchtower in Hooper has a magnetic draw for those seeking other-worldly locales. For the more down-to-earth, why not explore the bat caves, Sand Dunes, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, historic Leadville, the Royal Gorge, the gator farm near Mosca, South Park City in Fairplay, Florrisant Fossil Beds and Tincup in Taylor Park. All are short day trips from Chaffee County.

Yellow. Yellow, pink, blue, and red are just a few of the colors of flowers that carpet stately mountains, crisp alpine lakes and lush ranchlands. With a backdrop like this, even amateurs come away with professional-looking photographs. So, don’t forget your camera!

Zipline. Captain Zipline will take you on a journey that combines the thrill of zipping across a dramatic canyon with an appreciation for the history, geology, and ecology of this extraordinary area.