Planning a Colorado weekend getaway to the Upper Arkansas River Valley is made richer by the depth of events and performances offered year round. Art Festivals are popular among fine and aspiring artists year round. FIBArk is the nation's longest running White Water Festival - challenging professionals & Hooligans since 1949.

Discover local talent in a gallery stroll, on stage at the historic Steam Plant theater, at Riverside Park's open-air amphetheater, or catch an impromptu kayak rodeo in either the Salida or Buena Vista White Water Park. Named as one of the Top 100 Best Little Art Towns, Salida is home to a variety of galleries, studios and events where artists are happy to chat about their most current project on the easel.

Can't decide where to start? Here is just a sampling of what you might look forward to on your next Colorado day trip:

Seasonal Events & Entertainment:

 Chaffee County Cycling Events

History:

Railroad, mining and history buffs love spending time hiking and 4-wheeling in and around Garfield, Monarch, Salida, and Chaffee County.

Arkansas River Valley & History of Chaffee County:

  • The Garfield Boom: Garfield was a boomtown in the 1880's. The mining camp featured three hotels, 12 saloons, a dance hall, and gambling establishments. Wyoming Kate was well known as "the Queen of Faro" in Garfield. Crime was common, but vigilante committees meted out severe justice. Gold, silver, copper & marble were mined in this area. (Images of America Around Monarch Pass, by Duane Vandenbusche)
  • Ghost Towns in Chaffee County: Garfield had its beginning in 1879 and was at the junction of 2 wagon roads. Its first name was Junction City. At one time the population exceeded 500. A great fire burned the town in 1883 but the town was rebuilt and renamed in honor of President Garfield. Snow and avalanches plagued the town and it dwindled. Today, there are a few buildings right along the highway. Submitted by: Ghosttowns.com
  • Collegiate Peaks Scenic and Historic By Way - Garfield Heritage site
  • Arborville Station, Garfield, Monarch history
  • Denver & Rio Grande, Monarch Branch
  • Taylor Mountain,  Mining history by Summit Post: Area produced about $10 million in gold, silver, lead and copper between 1878 and 1910.
  • History of Hwy 50 A Brief History of America's Backbone
  • History of Chaffee County from the 1800's to 2001
  • Collegiate Peaks Byway
  • Chaffee County Mines
  • Buena Vista Heritage Museum - Making history come alive June till October!
  • Zebulon Pike - The Pike expedition's adventures in Colorado.

Area Information:

Colorado Road Condition Reports, Map of the area & Trip Insurance to help you in your Colorado vacation planning:


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