Monarch Ski Area Snowboarding Cross Country Snow Skiing Colorado CO
Many activities can be done here year-round because of the mild winters and little snowfall in the valley. Even though Monarch Pass 20 miles west of here averages over 450” of snow a year, there is usually no snow in the valley.
Salida, CO is known as the banana belt of Colorado and averages over 300 days of sunshine a year. With low humidity, an elevation of 7000 feet, and often 50 degrees during the day, it feels like Spring. The most popular Winter Activities are:
Downhill Ski at Monarch Ski & Snowboard Area. It is often one of the least crowded ski areas in Colorado and often has some of the best snow in the state.
It is just 25 minutes west of us near the top of the Continental Divide. They have an excellent ski school and child care center. Our favorite run (blue) is Little Mo. We have either ski & stay packages or discount lift tickets. Snow skiing here is incredible!
Cross-country ski and snowshoe over Old Monarch Pass, Co. Just 25 minutes west and after a gradual slope, stand on top of the Continental Divide and look into the Gunnison Valley. http://www.coloradoheadwaters.com/Colorado-Snowshoeing-and-Cross-Country-Skiing/Buena-Vista-Salida-Snowshoeing-and-Cross-Country-Skiing-act4.html
Snowmobile and Ride ATVs along abandoned railroad beds Take a guided tour or go out on your own. Incredible scenery. http://www.allseasonrentals.com/
Captain Zipline Tour – Fly on 8 different lines that zigzag across Lost Canyon for a total of 2,600+ feet. Learn the geology and history of the area and soak in the rugged beauty. It is fun and exciting and very smooth.
Practice on the bunny line before going out over the canyon. Open year round. Meeting for the tour is 7 blocks away and less than 10 minutes to the zipline site. Reservations recomended. www.captainzipline.com
Rent a Jeep or bring your own and explore 100s of miles of old mining and logging roads. Visit ghost towns. From novice to expert. Prepare for snow in higher elevations. 10 minutes to. http://www.coloradoheadwaters.com/Colorado-Off-Roading-&-Jeep-Tours/Buena-Vista-Salida-Off-Roading-&-Jeep-Tours-act8.html
Fly-fish or spin-cast for German Browns on the Arkansas River or in small nearby lakes. Fishing is open all year around. There are even hatches in the winter. More info.
Hike on miles of old logging roads at lower elevation to avoid the snow. For more info visit the US Forest Service.
Rock Climbing & Ice Climbing – Enjoy the many bouldering sites, rock climbing sites all with various degrees of difficulty.
For the beginer or advanced “crag” expert in you. In the Winter, gear up for higher elevation Ice Climbing! http://www.coloradoheadwaters.com/Colorado-Rock-Ice-Climbing-&-Mountaineering/Buena-Vista-Salida-Rock-Ice-Climbing-&-Mountaineering-act45.html
Captain Zipline Tour – Fly on 8 different lines that zigzag across Lost Canyon for a total of 2,600+ feet. Learn the geology and history of the area and soak in the rugged beauty.
Open year round. Meet for the tour is 7 blocks away and less than 10 minutes to the zipline site. Reservations recomended. www.captainzipline.com
The Salida Golf Course is just 3 minutes from the Woodland Motel. At 7,000 ft, your drives will go farther and the views are breathtaking. The clubhouse is not open in the winter but you can still play the course with your own clubs. http://salidagolfclub.com/
Mountain biking on hundreds of miles of trails, old mining and logging roads from our local 7,000 feet elevation up to 9,000 feet (higher than that you will probably run into snow). http://www.absolutebikes.com/.
Downtown Salida, just 7 blocks down the street, is known for its great Art Galleries, Antique Shops and unique Jewelry Boutiques and excellent restaurants.
There is also a fabulous Skateboard Park. The KayakWhitewater Park , River Walk, Outdoor Sculpture Garden, local community theater, the Steam Plant and Bongo Billy’s Salida Café with live entertainment are all located on the banks of the Arkansas River. http://www.salidaartists.com/
Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center just 5 minutes from the Woodland Motel. The water is totally odorless, hot and piped in from Poncha Springs. Lots of activities for all ages. Half price tickets. http://salidapool.com/
Mt. Princeton HotSprings Resort – Enjoy the 100 degree creek side soaking pool or swim in the 90-degree lap pool. Or let your inner child go down the 300-foot long water slide. 30 minutes North in Nathrop. http://www.mtprinceton.com/
Cottonwood HotSprings -Soak in Colorado’s purest, geothermal, gravity-fed mineral spas. Experience the rock-lined soaking pools, cold plunge and sauna. 45 Minutes North in Buena Vista. http://www.cottonwood-hot-springs.com/hotsprings/
Royal Gorge Park – World’s Highest Suspension Bridge, gondola, incline train, miniature train, deer herd, theme park. Some attractions are limited in the Winter. 1 hour East on Hwy 50. http://www.royalgorgebridge.com/
Train ride through the Royal Gorge – Breathtaking and historic. Definitely worth it! Some attractions are limited in the Winter. 1 hour East on Hwy 50. http://www.royalgorgeroute.com/
Great Sand Dune National Monument – Climb dunes like the Sahara Desert and absolutly amazing with snow caped peaks! 1 hour South in the San Luis Valley. 1 hour, 45 minutes South in the San Luis Valley. http://www.nps.gov/grsa/index.htm
Alligator Farm –Visit all kinds of reptiles and huge alligators raised in thermal springs. Their greenhouse is splendid in the Winter months. 1 hour South in the San Luis Valley. http://www.gatorfarm.com/
Joyful Journey Hot Springs – Soak in outdoor pools protected by windscreens, great views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, very clean. Discounts. 45 minutes South in the San Luis Valley. http://www.joyfuljourneyhotsprings.com/
Penitente Canyon Climbing Area and Spiritual Sites -Quiet canyons and grasslands in western San Luis Valley.
World-class rock climbing, & Ice climbing when weather allows. Spanish rock art, wagon ruts from Old Spanish Trail, campground, picnic area, mountain biking. From Salida, approx. 1 hour 45 minutes South in the San Luis Valley. http://www.sangres.com/colorado/riogrande/penitentecanyon.htm
Crestone Spiritual Centers- The Crestone area has many spiritual centers espousing many different doctrines and disciplines. Crestone is also a meca for sustainable, green and alternative building.An enjoyable day get away to peruse the spiritual temples, art galleries, day hikes, and sustainable houses and buildings.
You should have a front-wheel-drive in the Winter as some of the roads are very steep and icy when snowed on. 1 hour South in the San Luis Valley. http://www.manitou.org/MF/spiritual_ctrs.php
Colorado Wolf Sanctuary and Habitat – Join wildlife conservationists and learn the crucial importance to the Native Colorado Wolf and Fox habitat. Get up close and see these animals in their own environment. Less than 2 hours East in Park County. http://www.wolfeducation.org/