Welcome to the Best of Colorado

Welcome to Chaffee County!

This beautiful valley is flanked on the west side by the mighty Collegiate Peaks and Arkansas River makes up the eastern boundary. In between are beautiful valleys, filled with rich ranch land, ghost towns, mountain lakes and streams, abundant wildlife and quaint Historic Towns.

Chaffee County stars the small towns of Salida, Buena Vista, Poncha Springs and Monarch. Folks drawn here enjoy the welcome contrasts to the state's more glamorous destination resorts. You don't need the trendiest clothes or newest equipment to fit in with the locals.

However, if you do have a thirst for adventure we have more than 100 miles of Arkansas River and her tributaries, to raft, fish, float or kayak in. A dozen of the states 53, 14,000 ft peaks touch the sky here in the Sawatch Range.

Complementing the outdoor recreation, the valley is home to a diverse population made up of ranchers, artists, outfitters, entrepreneurs, teachers, bakers, brewmeisters, just to name a few. The vital arts and music scene resounds year around with performers showing their wares or performing at local galleries, cafes and auditoriums.

In spring, summer and fall Chaffee County is a mecca for the outdoor enthusiast. Visitors can choose from recreational activities such as hiking, biking, OHVing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, flyfishing, camping, horseback riding, swimming and golfing.

Winter sports fans can enjoy skiing and snowboarding at Monarch Mountain, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing. Unspoiled since 1939, Monarch Mountain annually boasts more than 350 inches of 100 percent all-natural powder.Family-oriented prices from lift tickets to food and beverage and rentals make Monarch Mountain one of the most affordable ski resorts in the state. A ridiculously short walk from the free parking lot to short or nonexistent lift lines means more time on Monarch’s uncrowded slopes. At Monarch you will lose the crowds, not your friends.

Year-around visitors in the “banana belt” can enjoy distinctive restaurants, unique shops, incredible art galleries, glorious hot springs and a large selection of antique shops in the historic towns of Salida and Buena Vista. Lodging options range from motels to rustic inns, bed and breakfasts, hostels to guest ranches. From the outdoor active enthusiast to the extended family looking for a place to relax and unwind, Chaffee County has it all. Come discover why we say, “Now this is Colorado”.

Salida Weather





Humidity: 90%

Wind: 5 mph

  • 22 Dec 2014

    Partly Cloudy/Wind 39°F 13°F

  • 23 Dec 2014

    Sunny/Wind 32°F 12°F

Buena Vista Weather



Buena Vista


Humidity: 78%

Wind: 13 mph

  • 22 Dec 2014

    Partly Cloudy/Wind 34°F 10°F

  • 23 Dec 2014

    Sunny/Wind 27°F 8°F

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