Just to the east of Monarch Mountain lies the breathtaking Arkansas River Valley. The Sawatch Mt. Range to the northwest, Sangre de Cristo Mt. Range to the south, and the Mosquito Mt. Range to the north provide a mild climate for this region known as the "Banana belt." All types of outdoor recreation can be enjoyed year-round in the area.
The Arkansas River Valley experiences over 300 days of sunshine a year surrounded by massive 14,000-foot snow-capped peaks. The unique combination of weather and location create a region that is truly magical. Many days you can ski deep dry powder in the morning and cruise serene single-track bike trails in the afternoon.
The towns of Salida, Buena Vista, and Poncha Springs each offer the visitor a unique experience. From the charming galleries and nightlife of Salida to the peaceful ambience of Buena Vista and the friendly hospitality of Poncha Springs, visitors are sure to find something for everyone.