Hike the High Rockies: Best Hikes in Salida, Colorado

Salida, Colorado is surrounded by mountains filled with hundreds and hundreds of miles of amazing hiking trails!

Alpine Climbing, Hiking Easy, Moderate, Difficult

Mt. Princeton looms mightily while walking the River Access Trail.
Mt. Princeton looms mightily while walking the River Access Trail. Photo: Scott Anderson


Salida, Colorado sits at the bottom of the Arkansas Valley surrounded by mountain ranges on all sides. If you climb to the top of S-Mountain, which rises right above downtown, and turn around in a full circle, all the hills and mountains that you see are filled with trails. Trails upon trails, hikes upon hikes—more hiking than you can do in a full year, and more than some people may do in a lifetime.

This amazing array of hiking opportunities makes choosing the best hikes in Salida a formidable task—but this guidebook is my best attempt. Herein, you’ll find a spread of the most popular and most beautiful hikes directly adjacent to Salida. Since there are so many hikes to choose from, I kept the radius for this guidebook rather tight around the Salida, only going as far north as Nathrop and as far west as the Continental Divide. Even so, this guidebook is chock-full of world-class hikes.

The hikes detailed in this guidebook also present a broad spread of lengths and technical difficulties. Looking for an easy hike? Start with the climb up S-Mountain mentioned above, and go from there. Looking for a challenging mountain summit? Then bagging both Shavano and Tabeguache in one long day hike is the route for you!

From S-Mountain to Mount Shavano, and everything in between, this guidebook unveils the best hiking in Salida, and some of the best hiking in the USA!

Routes included

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