Salida to Gunnison, 71 miles; Gunnison to Salida, 65 miles

Brief by Central Staff

Transportation – January 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

No, this sign doesn’t exist. But it does reflect the curious geometry of the Colorado Department of Transportation.

On the east side of Gunnison, the sign on U.S. 50 says that Salida lies 65 miles eastward — and our odometer agrees.

On the west side of Poncha Springs, the sign proclaims that Gunnison is 66 miles away. Since Poncha is 5 miles from Salida, that adds up to 71 miles. Thus when you take Highway 50, it’s 65 miles from Gunnison to Salida, and 71 miles from Salida to Gunnison.

Maybe that explains why the trip west often seems to encompass a greater distance than the trip east.

— And we thought it was just a peculiarity of psychology (due to the fact that when you’re approaching Gunnison you expect to see it for quite a while, but you don’t see Gunnison until you’re actually there).

Now we know that Gunnison really is farther down the road than Salida.