Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Perfect Salida

Just over the Monarch Pass, and after 10 miles of 6% downgrade, is one of our very favorite boondocking spots. About 5 miles west of Salida, Colorado, is some gorgeous BLM land with nearly unlimited room for those of us who prefer dry camping.  And it's within a short distance of one of the prettiest towns anywhere.

Here we are with our backdrop of Mt. Shavano and the locally famous Angel of Shavano.

What?  You don't see her?   How about now?

Downtown Salida is a fun and active place with the wild Arkansas river to provide entertainment for rafting and white water kayaking.  But what I like is how the town is surrounded on three sides by mountains with numerous trails.  Although we stick with hiking, many of the trails allow biking, horseback riding, and dirt bikes.

We tried three of the choices while we were in the area.  The first was part of the Colorado Trail along the base of Mt. Shavano.  It began as a lovely walk through the newly-budded aspen.

With some nice wildflowers along the way.

I brought along my hiking sticks thinking we might need to cross some streams and, whew!, am I glad I did.

Speaking of wildflowers, how about that gorgeous carpet of dandelions?

Soon we had to make a choice.  Let's see - should we climb Mt. Shavano or continue on the Colorado Trail?

Okay, there was not really a choice for us, especially since I forgot to mention that the trailhead was at 9800 ft. elevation.

But the Colorado Trail had some surprises for us as it began to climb also.  And you know how it is, "Let's just see what's up the next hill."  The answer - another hill.

One more picture on the way back to the trailhead.

Another day we took the Lost Trail just outside of town to the south.  That's Salida with its population of 5000 nestled at the foot of the mountains to the east.

The lady at the visitors center recommended the Greens Creek Trail which follows Greens Creek up a canyon.  She thought the wildflowers would be blooming.  Well, although we saw lots of budding activity, I guess early June is just a couple weeks too early.

With the continued snow melt, the creek was quite impressive.

In a few places, the path was its own little cascade.

Mr. Fix-it Ron did his best to encourage the water to stay in the creek, sometimes with more success than others.

I was actually quite happy when this trail climbed partway up the side of the canyon for a nice, dry hike.

For those of you who are interested, the BLM land begins about two miles north of US 50 on CR250.  We turned as soon as we hit the mesa top at 38.55431, -106.11692, but that's just the beginning of the available area.  Next time I think we'll continue on a little farther.  


  1. So Ron is gonna fix the leaky creek...love his attitude!! Nothing I hate more than wet hiking sox...omg looks like you hit the jack pot on solitude! BEAUTIFUL!!

  2. That was our favorite campsite in Colorado. In fact we were just talking about Salida tonight and how much we liked it there.

  3. Thanks for the co ordinates. Its looks a great place to spend some time. I'm always fascinated by place names no matter where I am. How did a place get its name etc and maybe who decided to call it this /that etc. Its all good fun for the imagination and summising.

  4. Amazing picture of the angel! I never knew about her, but she has definitely has settled in.

  5. Into every trail, som hills must fall!

    Ron fixed tht stream? What a handy guy, even on the trails. :c)

  6. We liked the BLM east of Salida along the river in Big Horn Sheep canyon. We could watch the big horn's play on the cliff's across the river. And we took a day trip to tour Bishop's Castle. Awesome place. We blogged about it last fall.

  7. Oooooh, what a fabulous hike! Love Salida. I have an Angel of Shavano Xmas ornament.

  8. I'll have to get Mui to fix a couple of the trails I like here ... would be nice not to get our shoes muddy.