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Quaint Retreat Nestled in the San Isabel National Forest

Flower called Snow in Summer, a green matt forming small white flowers with five petals and yellow center..s.

Mountain dirt road with pine and aspen trees, aspen leaves turning gold, fall colors.

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Events and History

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:

  • Buena Vista Heritage Museum -   Making history come alive!  Events June - October with Mount Olivet Cemetery tours, Madams of Central Colorado & more.
  • Bluegrass on the Arkansas Festival, hosted by Salida Rotary Club, will be at Riverside Park over Memorial Day weekend.  Admission is free. Come out and enjoy the music, food, drink and fun for all ages.
  •  FibArk, June. Lots of fun activities for the whole family! First in boating on the Arkansas - America's oldest and boldest Whitewater Festival!  Music line for 3 days along the Arkansas River.
  • Salida Aspen Concerts - The Aspen Music Festival & School present world-class performers in Salida. 
  • Salida Art Walk, June. Enjoy this creative annual art event.  Demos, art happenings, and plenty of live music.
  • 4th of July - Salida celebrates in a big way with a kids fishing derby, hometown parade, pancake breakfast, free live music and activities for kids of all ages at Riverside Park, with fireworks (weather permitting) at dusk from the “S” Mountain. Make sure you have a great view!
  • Salida Brew Fest, July. The Colorado Brewers Rendezvous is an excellent opportunity for everyone to tap into the rich heritage and tradition of Colorado craft brewing.  Enjoy live music throughout the event.
  • Christmas Mountain Lighting & Parade of Lights - Nov (annual day after Thanksgiving)
  • Event Calendar from Chaffee County - Now this is Colorado yearly events
  • Event Calendar for Salida & Chaffee County - Salida Chamber yearly events.
  • Steam Plant Theater - live entertainment
  • Colorado Travel and Tourism
  • Monarch Mountain - Ski area events

 Chaffee County Cycling Events


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:

  • Salida Walking Tours: Ghosts, murders, gunfights, over 100 preserved buildings, 2 devastating fires, and one helluva story behind it.
  • 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:
  • Collegiate Peaks Scenic and Historic By Way
  • Arborville Station, Garfield, Monarch history
  • 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
  • Chaffee County Mines

Area Information:

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


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