The town of Salida is the county seat for Chaffee County in Colorado and has a population of 5,666 as of the 2020 U.S. Census. Salida translates into "exit" in Spanish, and the town was named due to its proximity to where the Arkansas River exits the valley into Bighorn Sheep Canyon as it flows toward the Royal Gorge.
With the Arkansas River in town, and forests surrounding it, there are plenty of outdoor activities. You will find angling opportunities all along the river. Kayaking and white water rafting are big here, and you can find guided trips taking half or full days that let you take on Class Two through Class Five rapids. The Monarch Scenic tram takes about an hour and is a great way to get impressive views of the region. You can also visit the nearby Monarch Ski and Snowboard area during the winter.
Salida offers several locales you can shop and explore, including fine art establishments. You'll find multi-medium items in the Green Cat and oil scenes from nature showcased at The Michael Clark Gallery. You might find that perfect buy at Old Log Cabin Antiques, or you can visit the Salida Museum if you'd like to learn more about the local history of the area and the local indigenous Ute culture.
If you need something to eat after driving all day in the RV, Moonlight Pizza & Brew Pub might hit the spot. Fiesta Mexicana and Quincys Steak & Spirits are also popular establishments. Soulcraft Brewing off Rainbow Blvd. also gets good reviews from patrons wanting lunch or dinner with a friendly pub atmosphere.
The Pleasant Valley RV Park is 14 miles east of Salida, in the nearby town of Howard. There are 55 back-in or pull-through sites with full RV hookups, 30- or 50-amp power, laundry facilities, showers, Wi-Fi, and some cell reception. You and your pets can stay here for $40 per night.
Nearby Prospectors RV Resort is 50 miles east down US Route 50, in Cañon City. It has 89 back-in or pull-through sites starting at $40 daily with full RV hookups and either 30 or 50-amp power. Other amenities you will find here include a camp store, cell reception, and Wi-Fi.
Another excellent Cañon City RV campground is the Mountain View RV Resort. The 40 back-in or pull-through sites at this facility start at $47 per night. You will find full RV hookups, 30- and 50-amp power, showers, a playground, strong cell reception, and a camp store in a pet-friendly environment an hour away from Salida.
Eleven Mile State Park is 71 miles northeast of Salida. This reservoir covers 7,622 acres and is one of the state's largest human-made lakes. Summer offers the best conditions for visiting, but storms can move in quickly, and it is often breezy here. You will have access to 325 campsites, with the Rocky Ridge campground offering electrical hookups. The wind at the park makes it a good place for sailing and sailboarding, and anglers love to fish for trout and northern pike. There are miles of trails here you can bike or hike, and wildlife viewing is also popular in the area.
A 76-mile road trip to the south will place you at San Luis State Park. It covers 580 acres, with San Luis Lake being the feature attraction. Boating, fishing, swimming, and other water activities are popular, but you can also explore the many hiking trails in the area. The weather is considered mild here, but it gets cold during winter. There are 51 campsites here that provide electrical hookups, a weather shelter, a fire pit, and a grill. There is an on-site dump station, and camping here is free.
Trinidad Lake State Park is 150 miles southeast of Salida, west of Trinidad, and north of the New Mexico border. The lake draws in anglers and is stocked with 50,000 trout each year. Other water sports to enjoy during your visit include boating, jet skiing, sailing, and windsurfing. Waterfowl and other avian species make birding popular here, and you can explore nine miles of trails on your bike or by foot. Summer is the most popular time to visit Trinidad Lake State Park. There are 73 RV campsites here with electricity and access to the dump station. Some spaces have full RV hookups.
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument sits 82 miles northeast of Salida, west of Manitou Springs. The fossil beds house over 1,700 different species, including giant 14-foot-wide petrified Sequoias. Most of its fossils are impressions of insects and plants, and the monument can keep you busy for half the day. Start with the visitor center film, help in the fossil lab, and talk to rangers. You can then head out on the Ponderosa and Petrified Forest loops, both short and easy-rated.
Curecanti National Recreation Area is 80 miles west of Salida, showcasing volcanic cliffs as a backdrop for glistening bodies of water. It is a popular water location with three reservoirs on the Gunnison River. Visitors enjoy water sports on Blue Mesa Reservoir, while canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards are popular on Crystal and Morrow Point reservoirs. Angling is a big draw, with a gold medal and wild trout water certification in parts of the Gunnison River here. Bird watching and hiking are also possible in the recreation area.
A 168-mile road trip east of Salida places you on the eastern plains and at Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site. The current structure resembles the original fort. Its Pueblo-style architecture helped to create the nickname "Castle of the Plains" used by traders, soldiers, and settlers alike. Take a self-guided tour after watching the documentary film, and then head out to explore the two nearby trails that let you explore the terrain in more detail. During the summer and fall, the area experiences an annual tarantula migration between Colorado and Oklahoma, offering a unique sightseeing opportunity once you finish at the fort.
Gunnison National Forest sits west of Salida, covering nearly 1.7 million acres of terrain in the Rocky Mountains. There are plenty of trails to choose from if you want to go hiking or mountain biking. Other popular activities in the region include fishing, hunting, off-roading, skiing, and snowmobiling. The vast size of this forest means you can find nearby RV camping in several locations with varying amenities, including SkyhighColorado RV Park overlooking Taylor Reservoir, or enjoy dispersed camping in most places within the park for up to 14 days.
Salida is part of the ranger district connected to the Pike National Forest, which extends north of the Salida Ranger District. The forest is known for breathtaking views and is home to 23 of Colorado's 14,000-foot-plus mountain peaks. Biking, fishing, hiking, rock climbing, and winter sports are popular here. You will find several roadways crossing the forest and nearly 250 trails to explore when you step outside the RV.
San Isabel National Forest sits southeast of Salida, offering visitors over 1.1 million acres of terrain to explore. One of the most enjoyable aspects of the forest is the 171 world-class trails you can bike or hike. Visitors like to identify and observe fauna and flora in the area, participate in geocaching, summit peaks, and fly fish in several streams. There is plenty of wildlife to watch here, like black bears, mule deer, elk, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, mountain lions, and several bird species.
Great Sand Dunes National Park is 86 miles southeast of Salida. It showcases the tallest dunes in North America, some of which reach 750 feet in height. There is more to this 100,000-plus acre park than the 30-square-mile field of dunes, however, as it also encompasses alpine lakes, conifer forests, grasslands, tundra, and wetlands. A favorite activity at the Great Sand Dunes National Park is to slide down the dunes on a sandboard or sled. You can backpack or hike the area even though there are no designated trails here, and the remote location offers good dark sky conditions for stargazing. The weather at the park varies by season, and the altitude plays a role in the temperatures. May and June are usually the peak season for visitors.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park sits 126 miles west of town. This park showcases the deep Black Canyon carved over the millennia by the Gunnison River. The 12-mile canyon has some of the oldest exposed rocks in North America. Fishing and kayaking are popular water activities here, and you'll also find plenty of opportunities for hiking and rock climbing. During your visit, you can follow the scenic Rim Drive in your RV, stopping at overlooks to take in the views and snap photos. The North Rim and South Rim campsites are fully developed for overnight stays, with the southern facility offering electrical hookups. July temperatures can reach 91 degrees but can drop as low as 18 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter months.
A 186-mile road trip north from Salida places you at Rocky Mountain National Park. It showcases Longs Peak, one of Colorado's 14ers. You will find four developed campgrounds to choose from, though you'll have to make reservations in advance. The park also offers one tent-only campground that is available without reservations. You can explore over 300 miles of trails at the park or drive along Trail Ridge Road. Scenic overlooks, mountain views with wildflowers, and wildlife like black bears and moose make great photo opportunities. Don't forget to visit the series of cabins at the Holzwarth Historic Site at Grand Lake. The best time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park is between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The weather here can change quickly, and snow during the summer is not an impossibility.
In most areas, the price to rent a motorhome is around $200 a night and the price to rent a towable trailer is around $120 a night.What does RVshare Protection cover with my Salida, CO RV rental?
RVshare's protection plan standard package covers up to $300,000 in comprehensive and collision coverage based on the value of the RV. It also includes free 24/7 roadside assistance and free towing and tire service. For more information on RVshare insurance, click here.What do I need to know before renting an RV in Salida, CO?
Salida has plenty of highway access to make RV driving a breeze. The city also has ample parks, bodies of water and open spaces to visit. Be sure to include time in your plans to explore the Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center, the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area, or the Monarch Scenic Tram.What are the RV rental requirements in Salida, CO?
There is no special license needed to rent an RV, but it never hurts to check state websites. if you are unsure about traveling there and any regulations they may have, double checking with the state will provide some peace of mind!What are some tips for first-time RV renters in Salida, CO?
Renting an RV in Salida, CO means endless blue skies, wide open roads and lots of outdoor adventures. With all the wide open space between destinations, make sure you have a full tank of gas and plenty of food before you hit the road. You'll find plenty of RV campgrounds with pools and other fun amenities. Busy season is in the summer so book early to get your spot, or off-season to avoid crowds.What are the minimum age requirements for renting an RV in Salida, CO?
The minimum age requirement for renting an RV is 25.What is included in my Salida, CO RV rental?
You should find any amenities that are included with your rental in the listing details. But it never hurts to check in with the owner before you arrive at the RV or have it delivered to ensure you have everything that is needed to have a fun and enjoyable trip!Are there pet friendly RVs for rent in Salida, CO?
Looking for a pet friendly RV rental? Use the pet-friendly filter when searching on RVshare.com to find the perfect one for you!Can I have my Salida, CO RV rental delivered to a specified location?
Many owners on RVshare.com offer delivery, and will even set it up for you at the campsite. Choose the 'Delivery' filter to narrow down your search results to RVs that can be brought to your home or destination. Check the listing details for any information regarding extra fees for delivery, or ask the owner if you are unsure.Are there one way rental options from Salida, CO?
One way rentals can add flexibility to your trip, but there are typically costs associated with returning the RV back to the owner. Learn more about one way rental options at rvshare.com/one-way-rv-rentals.