Press "Enter" to skip to content

Another top town list

Brief by Ed Quillen

Salida – October 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

While we have no idea just what it takes to be one of America’s “101 Best Outdoor Towns,” we won’t argue that Salida is a pretty good place to live if you like the outdoors, and can handle the mud, dust and dreariness of February, March and April.

Salida, along with Alamosa, Gunnison, and Fruita, was among the 101 towns listed in a new book, 101 Best Outdoor Towns: Unspoiled places to Visit, Live and Play, published last June by Countryman Press. The places listed “have fresh vitality without having been overrun with fourth-home buyers and resort developments.”

Fair enough, though some local promoters are doubtless doing their best to change that.

However, the authors missed a few details. For instance, Salida is “surrounded by fifteen peaks higher than 14,000 feet. Actually, the fifteen 14ers of the Sawatch Range lie west and north of Salida, which is hardly “surrounding” the town. And on a clear day, you can see only Shavano (it hides Tabeguache from view), Antero, Princeton, Columbia, and Harvard — just five 14ers, not 15.

Salida is “located about seventy-five miles southwest of Colorado Springs.” It’s more like 100 miles on the ground.

Then we get to “Salida lies under the morning shadow of the Sawatch Range of the Rockies to the west.” The Sawatch Range is to the west of town, but wouldn’t that put Salida under its evening shadow? Or did we miss something about where the sun now rises?

Carping and nitpicking aside, the authors did a decent job, concluding that it “seems as if everyone strolling among the art galleries, bed-and-breakfasts, restaurants, and gear shops knows everyone else, giving Salida a down-home vibe that visitors to Gucci havens like Vail and Aspen will never experience.”