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Area History


The area originally was settled by the Ute tribe and many of the mountains are still named after them. The first European settlers in the area were explorers, miners, railroad builders, ranchers, and farmers. Chaffee County was named for Jerome Chaffee, a local financier and United States Senator.

By 1928, Salida became larger than Buena Vista, and the courthouse building was turned into a school, which was later abandoned in 1968. After World War II, many railroads and other industries died down, but the natural beauty of the area kept it alive and tourism is a major contributer to the economy.

The great local climate, which approaches the sunshine levels and low humidity of Tucson, Arizona, is largely responsible for the influx of retirees and outdoors enthusiasts into the Salida and Buena Vista area. Located in the heart of Colorado's Banana Belt, the area is often much warmer than nearby areas with higher elevation or not protected by mountain rain shadows.

 

Fishing with Arkansas Valley Adventure