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138 miles SW of Denver, 96 miles W. of Pueblo, 82 miles N. of Alamosa

With a strategic location on the upper Arkansas River, it was natural that Salida (elevation 7,080 ft.) should become an important farming, ranching, and transportation center in its early days, and a major river-rafting and kayaking center today. Zebulon Pike opened the area for Americans in the early 19th century; he was followed by trappers, then miners after the discovery of gold in 1859. When Leadville boomed on silver in the late 1870s, the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad built a line up the Arkansas from Pueblo, and the town of Salida was founded at a key point on the line. The downtown core has kept its historic ambience alive, and now has a growing arts community while it serves as a base camp for outdoor recreation enthusiasts, namely river rats. About 25 miles north, Buena Vista is another rafting center on the Arkansas.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.