Drink in the Scenery of Central Colorado

3
 days
Share:

Hit the mountain, byway and water trails around Buena Vista, Salida, Nathrop and Poncha Springs, with plenty of stops along the way for tasty treats and locally crafted beverages. 

Sustainability Activity
Help Chaffee County Search & Rescue

Purchase a CORSAR card to help benefit search and rescue, and cover costs in the event of an emergency. You can also opt to travel midweek to avoid traffic. And don't drink and drive — get a crew together and book a shuttle with Colorado Adventure Tours (they have a limo license so you can have beers en route).

Day
1
Activity
Hike the Colorado trail

From Denver head south on Hwy. 285 towards Fairplay and take in the scenery at the top of Kenosha Pass. A quick hike will put you on the Colorado Trail to stretch your legs.

Insider's Tip
Post-Hike Pit Stop

Stop for a quick beer at South Park Brewing in Fairplay before heading to Buena Vista.

Simple Eatery & Spoon-It-Up in Buena Vista Photo
Lunch
Simple Eatery & Spoon-It-Up

Stop in for for a great burger, soup or salad. Also an all-natural frozen-yogurt bar where you choose your flavor and then top it off with more…

Insider's Tip
Go Shopping Next Door

Do some shopping at the adjoining Trailhead; they have a great selection of outerwear and climbing gear. 

Activity
CKS Main Street Rentals

Kayaks, cruiser bikes, stand-up paddleboards, rafts, and many more rentals for Buena Vista-area adventure.

Insider's Tip
Choose Your Activity at CKS

Depending on your mood, choose from a tandem towny bike and cruise Buena Vista while putting your relationship to the test or take it to the next level and try out a Honda Ruckus. If it's not too chilly, rent a stand-up paddleboard and head up the road to Cottonwood Lake for some mellow flat water paddling and beautiful views. If climbing is your thing, get some beta from the trailhead and head out to some of the climbing routes five minutes from downtown Buena Vista.

Dinner
Princeton Club Restaurant at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort
The quintessential Colorado dining experience is in the heart of our historic resort campus at the Princeton Club restaurant. Conveniently located in…
Activity
Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort

Enjoy a touch of luxury in these modern cozy log cabins. Rustic at heart, each cabin houses either a 1 or 2 bedroom layout, a loft with 2 queen…

Insider's Tip
Stay the Night

Book a room at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort. If you're traveling in a group, try to secure a cabin, but they book out well in advance.

Day
2
Breakfast
Princeton Club Restaurant at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort
The quintessential Colorado dining experience is in the heart of our historic resort campus at the Princeton Club restaurant. Conveniently located in…
Activity
St. Elmo Ghost Town

It is said that St. Elmo's population rode the last train out of town and never came back.

Insider's Tip
Peek into the Past

Drive up to the historic ghost town of St. Elmo to stroll around. To burn more calories, hike up the Alpine Tunnel trail and smell the wildflowers while getting heckled by marmots (don't steal their raspberries).

Lunch
Boathouse Cantina

We serve fresh, organic and local produce and there is no doubt that you can taste the difference! Sit next to the river and sip on one of our…

Activity
BYOB

Bring your own bike or rent one from Absolute Bikes in downtown Salida. Get all the necessary trail information there, and head out and ride the trails on "S" mountain (they are all really well marked and maintained). For a real lung burner, ride the Monarch Crest (modify plans for an early start if you ride the crest to avoid afternoon storms).

Insider's Tip
Drive to Salida

Head to Salida to grab lunch and take in the river views at the Boathouse Cantina (the hand-battered Red Bird Farm chicken strips rock). For the beer nerds, they might have Pliny or Blind Pig on tap in addition to numerous local and Colorado craft beers. 

Dinner
Moonlight Pizza and Brewpub

A community center need only serve great pizza. We take pride in the freshness of our dough and veggies. Our dough was made today. It wasn't made…

Activity
Bike to the Beer

Ride that bike you rented from Absolute up the Rodeo Run Trail (3.5 miles) to Elevation Beer Co. in Poncha Springs for a flight of beers. Local tip: If you buy an Elevation Beer Co. T-shirt, they will buy you a beer, and happy hour is Monday–Thursday 3–6pm. They have a food truck if you already burned off that T-guns (unlikely). Plus, Elevation Beer Co. is a member of The Conservation Alliance and donates a portion of it's annual revenue to the protection of and access to America's public lands. Drink great beer for a great cause.

Insider's Tip
Pie & Brew

Opt for a T-guns pizza (a local favorite) and some of their house-brewed beers. The Mexi-Lager or Cream Ale pair well with the pie.

Lodging
Simple Lodge & Hostel of Salida
Like a budget B&B. Private rooms, bunk beds, kitchen. Sleeps 20 or more. Great for groups.
Day
3
Breakfast
The Patio Pancake Place

The Patio Pancake Place strives to deliver the best in wholesome breakfast and lunch fare.

Activity
Relaxing Drive

After you have recovered from the Frankie, take a relaxing drive up Monarch Pass for some great Aspen viewing and be sure to ride the scenic tram at the top of the pass.

Lunch
Elevation Beer Company
We all had the same dream of starting a brewery that brewed the highest quality barrel aged and specialty beers we could imagine. At the same time we…
Insider's Tip
Grilled Cheesin'

If you are still hungry after the Frankie, head down the Monarch Pass and back to Elevation Beer Co. for a BYO grilled cheese from Sonny's food truck and some more amazing beers, and grab a six pack to go while you frisbee golf. Be sure to stop by Vino Salida in Poncha Springs to try some local wine as well.

Activity
Poncha Springs Disc Golf Course
The course is located on 20 acres in the South Park, and promises to challenge golfers of every skill level with ominous hazards and wicked doglegs.
Dinner
Mo Burrito
Burritos, bowls, tacos, salads, nachos, quesadillas and much more, with tasty extras like spice-ranch pickled onions, handmade salsa and more.
Activity
Wood's High Mountain Distillery

Wood’s High Mountain Distillery offers hand-crafted distilled spirits made from local ingredients and pure mountain water. Tastings, tours and…

Insider's Tip
Drink with Locals

Walk over to Wood's High Mountain Distillery for a finely crafted cocktail and chat with the mayor of Salida, who started the distillery, about spirits and town history. He's the guy with the beard and Patagonia jacket who can ski, paddle, bike and whiskey better than you.

Lodging
Creekside Chalets and Cabins

Each of our charming cabins sleep 6-10 people and have a full kitchen, open living room with vaulted ceilings, Internet, gas fireplace & a private…