By Car -- U.S. 50 connects Salida with Gunnison, 66 miles west, and Pueblo, 96 miles east on I-25. Colo. 291 heads north from Salida, providing a vital 9-mile link between U.S. 50 and U.S. 285, which runs north-south 5 miles west of Salida (through Poncha Springs), connecting Alamosa with Buena Vista and eventually Denver.
By Plane -- The nearest airport with commercial service is at Gunnison, 65 miles west.
Consult the Heart of the Rockies Chamber of Commerce, 406 W. Rainbow Blvd. (U.S. 50), Salida, CO 81201 (tel. 877/772-5432 or 719/539-2068; www.salidachamber.org), which operates an information center Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm.
Salida sits on the southwestern bank of the Arkansas River, just above its confluence with the South Arkansas. U.S. 50 (Rainbow Blvd.), which follows the north bank of the South Arkansas, marks the southern edge of town. At the eastern city limit, Colo. 291 (Oak St.) turns north off U.S. 50, and 6 blocks later turns northwest as First Street through the historic downtown area.
The Medical Clinics, 550 W. U.S. 50 (tel. 719/530-2000), provide 24-hour emergency care. The post office is at 310 D St. Contact the U.S. Postal Service (tel. 800/275-8777; www.usps.com) for hours and other information.
Second Saturday Art Events, year-round; Continental Divide Auto Hill Climb, early June; FIBArk Whitewater Festival, mid-June; Art Walk, late June; Colorado Brewers Rendezvous, early July; Crest Crank Mountain Bike Ride, late August; Banana Belt Bicycle Weekend, mid-September; Lighting of Christmas Mountain USA, Thanksgiving weekend, late November.