Magazine article Sunset

Salida's Perfect Pitch: Hitting the Right Autumn Note in a Quaint Old Town. (Travel Mountain Day Trip)

Magazine article Sunset

Salida's Perfect Pitch: Hitting the Right Autumn Note in a Quaint Old Town. (Travel Mountain Day Trip)

Article excerpt

You can't sing to save your life, but that doesn't stop you from belting out the lyrics to "Rocky Mountain High." After all, singing along with performances does seem to be one of the high notes of the weekend-long John Denver Celebration this month in Salida, Colorado.

But there's more to this Victorian railroad town, with its turn-of-the-century charm, than the annual Denver tribute. Start your visit with a morning cruise up the graded gravel of Spiral Drive, which coils around Tenderfoot Mountain all the way to its 7,560-foot summit. The 360[degrees] views from this cone-shaped volcanic land-form take in the old brick buildings of downtown Salida and the peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

It can be chilly up here this time of year, so head into the north end of town for a steaming latte or light lunch on the riverfront deck at Bongo Billy's Salida Cafe. If that doesn't warm you up, swing by the recently renovated Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center for a toasty dip (88[degrees]) in the largest indoor hot springs pool in Colorado.

Towel off, then head next door to the Salida Museum, which houses bric-a-brac from years gone by, including an impressive array of photographs depicting the town's mining and railroad past. …

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