EXPLORE

THE COLLEGIATE PEAKS SCENIC BYWAY

Discover the heart of Colorado along the Collegiate Peaks Scenic and Historic Byway, where prairies sweep up from the Arkansas River’s famous whitewater canyons to dramatic 14,000 foot peaks. This 57-mile byway takes you to America’s Continental Divide where the Rockies get real.

Feel the freedom of the West’s wide open spaces and expansive vistas under endless indigo skies. With more than 80 percent public land, Chaffee County offers a bounty of natural and heritage resources including a National Monument, three Wilderness Areas, the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area, the San Isabel National Forest and State Wildlife Areas. Elk, antelope, deer, cattle and horses share the landscape with ghost towns and heritage homesteads.
Stop for a respite in historic Salida, Buena Vista and Poncha Springs. In vintage Victorian architecture, you’ll find galleries of nationally acclaimed artists and antique shop treasures. Savor the atmosphere and exceptional cuisine of locally-owned restaurants and uniquely Western events.

The Upper Arkansas Valley is renowned for its whitewater fun, trout fishing, wildlife, bird-watching and more 14,000 foot peaks than anywhere else in America. Folks of all skill and fitness levels come for an abundance of hiking and biking on pine-scented trails. And the powder light snow is perfect for winter sports. Snow-capped Fourteener peaks, wildflowers, golden aspen, 300 days of sun and rich history await you.