The Best Places in Salida for a Colorado 4×4 Adventure

Head into the vast wonders of Colorado from the quintessential mountain town of Salida. This central Colorado destination is brimming over with the Rocky Mountain excursions every adventurer dreams of. For visitors of all ages, getting in a Jeep is one of the best ways to explore the area off the beaten path.

You will be in the middle of all the beautiful scenery when you stay at Creekside Chalets. Here, setting off into the wilderness is as easy as stepping out your front door. You’ll want a few days to experience it all. From the swell of the Arkansas River to the crevices of the Sawatch Range, and into mine country, there is so much to explore in Salida.

Sights to See on Rocky Mountain Off-Road Excursions

Not only is Salida a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, but it also stands as one of the best places for off-road adventurers. While there are many ways to see the Rocky Mountain State, going on a 4×4 tour is a surefire way to unveil places rather unknown, off the typical tourist trail, and deeper into the heart of mountain country.

The mountains are full of epic landscapes that careen through mountains, valleys, and rivers. Some you will only get to see if you grab a set of wheels and head off into the sticks. From beyond the boundaries of civilization, there are dozens of sites worth seeing, all accessible with off-road Jeeps. Some of the most notable include Mount Antero, Hancock Pass, Tin Cup, and Old Monarch Passes, along with the Taylor Mountain Timberline, and the Ute mine country.

Mount Antero & Hancock Pass

Touted regionally as a ‘fourteener’ for it’s 14,000 plus elevation, Mount Antero is the highest peak in the area. Part of the Sawatch Range of the Colorado Rockies, rumbling through this landscape is an iconic experience in the Salida valley. Exploring these small streams offers a heart-pounding adventure through narrow roads highlighted by jaw-dropping switchbacks and challenging water crossings. Not for the faint of heart, but more enjoyable for many when experienced through a guided tour.

Hancock Pass is a 9-mile off-road trail that reaches the summit of Mount Antero, famously traveling along the Continental Divide and bordering the San Isabel National Forest. The old railroad access route passes along historic mining camps, villages, and other sites of historical interest. Because the trail dates all the way back to the late 19th century, this route is bumpy, rocky, and rutted, a joy to explore with ATVs or 4×4 Jeep. Ask the experts at Rocky Mountain Jeep Rentals for advice on the best mode of transport.

Tin Cup Pass & Old Monarch Pass

For additional off-the-beaten-path Colorado experiences, go exploring by ATV or 4×4 Jeep through Tin Cup Pass & Monarch Pass. Tin Cup Pass still offers the usual bumpy route of a dirt road, but with simple winding roads that careen through the Rocky Mountain backcountry, old mining towns, over the Continental Divide, and pass Mirror Lake. Old Monarch Pass offers an even softer option with wide graded roadways and stunning panoramic vistas. The ancient wagon road was used to transport gold and silver, resulting in several small mountain towns that dot the landscapes.

Taylor Mountain Timberline

Featured on Dangerous Roads, the Taylor Mountain Timberline, considered one of North America’s most spectacular roads. Therefore, it might be frequented more than other 4×4 destinations in the Salida area. The possibility of meeting other travelers coupled with notoriously steep roads, one of the highest peaks in the state, and unnerving switchbacks. Guided tours are recommended unless the driver is a genuine off-road expert. Either the way, the effort is worth it for the fantastic scenery and likelihood of encountering wildlife. Inquire within for tips on choosing an off-road Jeep Rental.

Ute Mine Country Trails

Opt for a mix of the best routes with the Ute Mine Country Trails. Discover the epic Alpine landscapes with historic trails that loop through the Sawatch Range. Originally designed by the nomadic Ute people, the road was created to connect the people to resources in both the mountains and the valleys and alternates between serene and adrenaline pumping trails. Today, it’s one of the most prolific spots to take a 4×4 or ATV tour, as it touts views of Mount Antero and the breathtaking surrounding Colorado landscapes.

Custom Colorado Tours & Rental Jeeps

Salida is a very tourist friendly community, making it possible for locals and visitors alike to embark on the Colorado off-road adventure of a lifetime. Many locally owned and operated companies offer Jeeps for rent as well as customizable guided tours. Although it’s possible to do any of these excursions independently, technical mastery of off-roading in mountain landscapes is crucial for some trips.

For those who would like to rent a Jeep or book a guided tour, there are many vehicle options to suit every need. All tours and Jeeps rented from Rocky Mountain Jeep Rental are family friendly, appropriate for all ages, including children. Choose from manual or automatic 2-door Wranglers, and 4-door Grand Cherokees or Chevy Trail Blazers.

Guided tours are offered as half day or full day excursion and include the adventures as noted above in addition to individually designed programs to take explorer virtually anywhere they want to go.

For more information about planning accommodations and off-road tours for your next vacation in Salida, contact us today at Creekside Chalets.


Old Monarch Road 4WD Trips –

Taylor Mountain Timberline (Tours, unclear info whether tours are ATV or 4WD)-

Ute Mine Country Trails (description under Ute Trail Mine Country – Half Day)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *