The town was named after a local natural hot spring coined Poncha Springs by famed Colorado frontiersman Kit Carson. Today water from the springs is piped into Salida's Hot Springs Aquatic Center. Another historical marker in this tiny crossroads community also designates the spot where explorer Zebulon Pike and party spent the winter of 1806.

In addition its historical significance, Poncha Springs is an ideal recreation area for outdoor enthusiasts. Mountain bikers can hop a shuttle from the local gas station to the famed Rainbow Trail, and within miles hikers can link to area mountain treks. Several short loop and riverside trails also dot Poncha Springs and will eventually link to other county trails running into Salida. In addition, Poncha Springs is home to an 18-hole golf course and a popular disc golf area. A variety of lodging, dining and shopping options are available in Salida.

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