In my new series, Road Trip Colorado, I’ll be sharing the best adventures all within a few hours from Denver. From summer resort getaways, glamping and camping across the state and of course my favorite ski towns, this will be your one-stop resource for planning your next adventure.
Destination: Salida, CO
About: Located in Upper Arkansaw River Valley, Salida is known for its water sports and abundance of 14er surrounding the quaint town. The historic downtown is filled with shops, galleries and restaurants all butting up against the Arkansaw River.
Route: US-285 S to CO-291 (directions)
Distance: 142 Miles
Time: 2h 45m
Sleeping: Airbnb Stoney Springs Barn
2021 Update – Sadly Stoney Springs is no longer for rent anywhere I can find
One of my favorite parts of Colorado is that every weekend can be a vacation. I love exploring new small towns, while adventuring in the mountains. For my Birthday we wanted a weekend getaway to an area of Colorado we had never visited. We hoped on Airbnb and Drew’s apartment was the first listing we saw. We immediately knew it was a winner. Lucky for us May is still the mud season so the price was right and the apartment was still available.
We headed down to Salida early Saturday morning. Honestly, I wish we had left at the crack of dawn so we could have spent more time on the property.
We pulled into town just before lunch and headed to The Rivers Edge to enjoy burgers and tacos right on the river. This restaurant is so cool, with plenty of outdoors seating covered and in the sun. Plus, they have a very cool area with fire pits. After launch, we explored downtown. I was surprised by how many cute boutiques spotted this downtown. I picked up a cute tank and navy pants from YOLO and the white dress pictured above from Opal. For sporting, gear checks out Salida Mountain Sports. need something for the pup? We loved Gone to Dogs.
Monarch Mountain Tram
I had been over monarch pass 100x before we stopped to ride the tram to the top! I highly recommend especially on a clear day – you can see forever in every direction! Get more info here
When we pulled up to the barn we were greeted by the host himself Drew. We had fresh flowers eggs and a bottle of wine waiting for us in our apartment Drew gave us a full tour of the property. Drew has basically built the property from the ground up and you can tell the love and care he puts into the property and the relationships he builds with every guest.
The two-bedroom one bathroom upstairs apartment is quite big and has everything you could need. Around the barn is a beautifully landscaped yard with a pond area for hammocks and a hot tub. Drew has also built a large grilling area out of recycled materials. While it was just the two of this trip the barn can sleep up to 20 comfortably. A barn wouldn’t be complete with out some animals, right? Well besides this being dog heaven Drew has a hen house and one very large pig, Tammy.
What really drew us to this property was the riverfront access. Drew has been working to turn one of the banks into a beach so we settled down there to enjoy some cheese and wine in the afternoon sun. From the beach area, there is access to a boat put in. When we return to the barn in a few weeks we will float the Arkansas on some friend’s boats and take it out at the barn.
We spent the night enjoying the sunset from our balcony. Another cheese plate? Of course!
We were lucky for a clear night but the moon was SUPER bright so all of my night photography photos were less about stars and more about capturing the light even when it was pitch black.
We woke up early to walk the property. Drew gave us a thousand ideas for hikes in the area, but we opted for another lazy morning by the river.
Before we left town we drove up Spiral Drive for spectacular views of all of Salida.