The Salida Trail - Buena Vista & Salida, Colorado Visitor Guide

The Salida Trail

Published with permission from the guide book: The Local’s Adventure Guide to Singletrack & Tarmac – Mountain Bike Trails and Road Rides in the Upper Arkansas River Valley by Nathan Ward.

  • Featuring 36 Mountain Bike Trails and 18 Road Rides in and around Buena Vista & Salida, Colorado – beginner to expert, town to summit, smooth tarmac to extreme singletrack.
  • Maps and Elevation Profiles for each ride, including altitude gain and loss.
  • Local Advice on riding areas and seasons, where to sleep, where to soak, where to find the best pizza, the best coffee and the best bars in Buena Vista & Salida, Colorado.

The Salida Trail is a paved bike path that leads through several sections of town and offers a ride suitable for nearly anyone on any type of bike. Ride it for an introduction to the community’s neighborhoods and history. Share the trail with walkers, dogs on leashes and other cyclists.

Trailhead Access: Downtown Salida. Park at the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area headquarters at the corner of Sackett and G Streets or at the public lot immediately west of Safeway at the corner of 3rd and H Streets. The ride starts from the corner of Sackett and G Streets.

Location: Downtown Salida
Distance: 4.6 Miles – Loop
Riding Time: 1 Hour
Riding Surface: Paved Bike Path and Streets
Shoulder: Narrow on streets
Traffic: Light
Aerobic Level: Easy
Elevation in Feet: Low 7,031; High 7227; Climbs/Descends 275

Note: Ride slowly – many older walkers use this path. Take time to read the interpretive signage – a community project by local educators and artists.

The Salida Trail Mileage Log

0.0 Turn south on the bike route in front of the AHRA building. This is the route for the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad which led from Salida over Marshall Pass to Gunnison.

0.1 Pass the skateboard park and cross 1st Street/US 291. Cyclists do not have the right of way when crossing streets so stop and look for cars before crossing. The remodeled brick home directly across the street is the old Coca Cola Bottling Plant. Continue on the trail through town.

1.2 Intersection with Holman Avenue. Turn right on Holman Avenue – there is a dirt trail next to the road. Ride up the short hill to the intersection. (Cross Holman Avenue to continue on the old railroad grade bike path, which ends at Walmart.)

1.4 Continue straight across the intersection to Airport Road/CR 140 which turns sharply left (west). The Salida Trail resumes about 100 yards ahead on the left side of the road.

2.3 Turn right (north) on CR 144. Look for the nice bike lane on right.

2.8 At the T-intersection, turn right (east) back on the trail on the right side of CR 160. If you need a quick swim, turn left here and head to the O’Haver Lake just down the hill.

3.7 Trail intersects with Crestone Avenue/CR 160. Continue east on Crestone Avenue.

3.9 Follow Crestone Avenue, a 45 degree turn to the right. It’s the middle of the three roads. This road takes you past the county courthouse.

4.2 Just past the courthouse, turn left (north) at the intersection with Poncha Blvd., and turn immediately right (east) on a long downhill corner.

4.3 Sharp left (north) back onto the bike path.

4.6 Turn left on Sackett Street to finish the loop.


We want you to have a safe and enjoyable trip into Colorado’s backcountry. Be prepared it could be a long walk out. Be sure to read this list of equipment you should bring on your ride along with tips to make your biking trip more enjoyable.


The Colorado backcountry is popular – bikers, hikers, motorcycle riders, hunters and equestrians use the trail system in the Arkansas Valley, and everyone wants a private piece of heaven. Even if you don’t agree with everyone’s motives or methods of travel, please treat them in a courteous manner.


If you require search and rescue services, it can be costly. Buy a Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue (CORSAR) card to protect yourself. Funds from the CORSAR program go into the Colorado Search and Rescue (SAR) Fund. If a CORSAR card holder becomes lost or injured in the backcountry, the Colorado SAR Fund pays eligible search and rescue expenses.



Bicycle riding is a physically strenuous activity with many risks and dangers. Hazards, natural or man made, whether noted in this book or not, can be encountered at any time under any situation. As a cyclist, we assume you know your personal abilities and limitations. This book represents nothing more than a guide to the trails and roads and is not meant to replace your common sense, your ability to navigate in the wilderness or in traffic, or your ability to ride a bicycle safely.

In addition, the mileages and routes listed in this text are only suggestions. There may be variances and you may get lost. We recommend everyone uses a GPS and topographical map to navigate. Most routes in this text are located on public land, but some trails pass through or adjacent to private land. Respect the land owner’s rights and obey all signs regarding trail use. The same goes for wilderness areas which prohibit mountain bike riding. Neither the author, nor the publisher, nor anyone else mentioned in this book are responsible or liable in any way for any accident, injury or any action brought against anyone traveling any route listed in this book. All cyclists and their companions assume responsibility for themselves. Ride at your own risk.

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Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce
111 E Main St
Buena Vista, CO 81211

Salida Chamber of Commerce
406 W Rainbow Blvd.
Salida, CO 81201

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