From Colorado Springs, head up highway 24 to Woodland Park through Divide to Buena Vista and down 285 to Salida. This drive is one of the best kept secrets of beauty in Colorado. Remember to have a tank of gas and snacks packed, as you’re accending in elevation and off the beaten path of restaurants and gas stations at every stoplight.
On the way, if you’re into the Colorado Craft Beer scenery, check out Paradox Brewing in Divide. Sitting at 9,165 feet, this is a great “off the map” secret to the Craft Beer Industry.
As you continue down 285 past Buena Vista you can turn west off the highway to visit Mount Princeton Hot Springs. At 8,250 feet this is a hot spot to cool down on the side of the Collegiate Peaks, a range of Colorado’s Famous Fourteeners the views are certain to take your breath away. There are 15 14,000 foot peaks in the area, another great opportunity to mark a “fourteener” off the hiking list.
Once in Salida, 7,080 feet, some don’t-miss activities include whitewater rafting and Gold Medal fishing on the Arkansas River. The downtown activities also include art walks, festivals, and fun for everyone. Home of the largest indoor hot springs, you can soak your troubles away each day of your stay.
Another hidden gem, or spooky sanctuary is a ghost town just south of Salida. St. Elmo was home to a mining village, and now the remains of this important part of Colorado's history are left to tell the story. Sitting at 10,000 feet, the town had near 2,000 people who quickly abandoned in the early 1920’s. 30-40 structures are still standing in this glimpse of real rural Colorado.
A stay in Salida can range from one to a many days, all of which can be adventure packed for whatever type of Colorado Road trip you’re looking to experience.
What makes for the best road trip no matter the route or destination? A car that is reliable, comforable, and safe. To that end, Haglin Automotive definitely can help by getting your vehicle checked and ready before you leave.
Along the way, pay closer attention to your car than you normally would. Get a pressure guage and check the tire pressure every morning. Wash the windshield when you get gas. Speaking of gas, fill up frequently - stay above half a tank. You never know when you may be delayed or have a detour. Have a safe trip, enjoy yourself, and know whatever happens you're making lifetime memories in the process!