Warm Salida mountain weekend

Bask in a Rockies hot spot

1. Soak in the springs

Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort

Carmel Zucker

Getting there

  • map of Salida

    Salida is 114 miles southwest of Colorado Springs. From Colorado Springs, head west on U.S. 24. Then head south on U.S. 285 to State 291. INFO salidachamber.org.

Share your weekend finds

  • Favorite new restaurant? Local hike? Email your suggestions to the weekend guide editor at wgeditor@sunset.com.

Why go now: Winter may be dragging on, but in this town, there are plenty of ways to get warm.

Why it’s warmer here: Situated in Colorado’s "Banana Belt" and surrounded by three mountain ranges, Salida gets only a fraction of the snow that blankets the surrounding high country―and milder temperatures too.

Dress code: Gore-Tex jackets and Levi’s.

Snowmelt sighting: The Angel of Shavano snow formation emerges on the east face of Mount Shavano every spring.

Number of nearby hot springs: Several; Cottonwood, Joyful Journey, Mount Princeton, and Salida are open to the public.

Best place to warm up with the locals: Try a Colorado brew at the Victoria Tavern, known as the Vic (143 N. F St.; 719/539-9003).

Where to work up a sweat nearby: Monarch Mountain ski area, 20 miles west of town, with 63 ski trails (22720 W. U.S. 50; skimonarch.com).

3 other hot spots in Salida:

See a show Catch a curtain call at the SteamPlant Theater & Event Center. Salida’s old municipal steam plant has been reborn as the city’s multi faceted event center, hosting art exhibits, concerts, and theater productions. 220 W. Sackett Ave.; salidasteamplant.com.

Take a dip Stop by the Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center, Colorado’s largest indoor hot springs pool facility, where you can ease into natural, odorless mineral water piped into a large 85° lap pool and a smaller 98° soaking pool. $11, $5 ages 6–17, $3 ages 5 and under; 410 W. U.S. 50; salidapool.com.

Try a spicy dish Check out the hot dishes like chile-roasted duck on a cheddar chile relleno with squash sauce at Laughing Ladies Restaurant. $$; 128 W. First St.; 719/539-6209.

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