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Collegiate Peaks

Length: 57 miles (one way). Driving time: 90 minutes.

Collegiate PeaksCollegiate Peaks MapNo matter where you begin your tour of the Collegiate Peaks Byway, you will be ushered into one of Colorado's most scenically spectacular, historically rich and recreationally diverse areas. This paved 57-mile route parallels the Continental Divide at the foot of the Sawatch Range, the highest concentration of 14,000+ foot peaks in the country. The greater part follows the Arkansas River, the most commercially rafted river in the nation, a world-class kayaking destination, and one of the state's premier trout fishing resources.

The constantly unfolding views of impressive peaks, intermittent stretches of lush riverside, numerous fishing and boater access points, extensive national forest and other public lands, active high altitude ranches and an variety of commercially developed natural hot springs together define the amazing scenic, recreational and geological contrasts that are the Upper Arkansas River Valley. Nowhere else in Colorado is found the state gemstone, the aquamarine, mined on Mt. Antero. The classic mining towns of Vicksburg, Winfield and St. Elmo are accessible from the byway, the communities of Poncha Springs and Buena Vista are historically rich and vibrant, while the town of Salida boasts the largest historic district in the state.

Largest concentration of 14,000+ ft peaks
Arkansas Headwaters State Park
San Isabel National Forest
Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area
Historic downtown districts

Local Chamber of Commerce(s):
Buena Vista
Chaffee County Visitor Bureau

Byways Corridor Management Plan:
Chaffee County Heritage Area &
Collegiate Peaks Scenic and
Historic Byway Management Plan 2008
Contact Information

Chaffee County Heritage Area
PO Box 1522
Salida CO 81201

Contact Information


Lenore C. Bates
Colorado Scenic Byways Coordinator
(303) 757-9786
4201 E Arkansas Ave, Shumate Bldg
Denver CO 80222-3406
(303) 757-9727 fax

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Colorado Scenic and Historic Byways 2015 partnerships

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