Chaffee County Real Estate: Salida and Buena Vista Rural property

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Performance Realty


Salida Colorado Arkansas River



Chaffee County Real Estate: Salida and Buena Vista Rural property


This is the third of a 6 post series about the 6 distinct areas around Salida. I have listed the other posts below if they are of interest to you.

1. Salida Colorado Historic Downtown area
2. Greater Salida Colorado and the nearby neighborhoods
3. Chaffee County Real Estate: Rural Properties
4. Howard Colorado Real Estate
5. Cotopaxi and Texas Creek Real Estate
6. Buena Vista and Nathrop Real Estate


 Many folks who come here want more privacy than Salida and the outskirts.  In this case, the entire county and Fremont County (in a future post) open up to you. We have more rural than City, which is why so many come here to play. 85% of Chaffee County is Public Land and the remaining 15% is mostly rural.

There are three different terrains for our rural property.

1. First, the Valley. The Arkansas Valley runs through the entire county and on into Fremont County. Valley land tends to have stunning views of the surrounding mountains, fewer trees, and more grassland.  The collage below gives you an idea of having a home or land in the valley.
Salida Colorado Real Estate: The Arkansas Valley
2. 2nd, the Foothills. Foothill land has more trees, including Pines, Aspens, Pinon Pines, Junipers, and more, depending on how high up in the foothills you are. The views from the foothill can be territorial (you see trees, little creeks, cliffs, etc) or vistas (the valley below, mountains on the other side, etc). This land tends to be more private because of the rollling hills and the trees. The collage below will give you an idea of our foothills homes and land.

Salida Colorado Real Estate: The Foothills
3. Mountain property. Although a bit harder to find and a bit harder to get to, some love the complete isolation of the mountains. Some places have to be entered by snow machine in the winter. The terrain is more rugged with lots of aspens and pines.  Many people here think this is what they want until they realize that privacy is easily attainable, even if you are no more than 5 minutes from town.
Chaffee County Real Estate: Mountains

Click on the following link to preview land and homes that are not in subdivisions/neighborhoods.  Chaffee County Colorado Rural Properties

For an overview of Salida Colorado Neighborhoods and surrounding areas, use the links below. Enjoy!

Salida Colorado: Overview and Six Unique Places to Live

Salida Colorado Real Estate: Historic Downtown

Salida Colorado Real Estate: Great Salida Neighborhoods

Salida Colorado Real Estate: Chaffee County Rural Properties

Areas Near Salida Colorado: Howard, A Great Place to Live and 12 minutes from Salida

Areas Near Salida Colorado: Cotopaxi and Texas Creek

Areas to the North of Salida Colorado: Buena Vista and Nathrop


Chaffee County Real Estate: Salida and Buena Vista Rural property



Posted by


Paula Bradfield, PhD, GRI, EPro, CIAS, CDPE, Realtor
Phone: 719.221.6108 | Email:  

Keller Williams Performance

Your Salida Colorado Realtor Team





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Specializing in homes and land in the Colorado river towns of Salida, Howard, Coaldale, Cotopaxi, Nathrop, Poncha Springs  and Buena Vista, I am here to work for you as you buy or sell your home or land. 


It is not just about buying in this area. it is a statement about lifestyle. Our residents generally are active people, whether it involves horses (my passion), white water rafting, cross county or downhill skiing, hiking, mountain biking, or Contra dancing. Some prefer quiet sunrises, strolls through town and time in one of our fabulous coffee shops or restaurants. Whatever the style, folks appreciate this area for its charm and beauty.


Want to get more information on available homes or condos in the Central Colorado River Valleys? Go to SouthernColoradoHomesonline to search the area listings by town, zip code or county.


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Our Colorado Mountain river communities: A Snapshot


Salida ColoradoSalida:  As quoted in the 2004 edition of Outside Magazine, Salida is “Sweetly unpretentious” as they ranked it as one of their “Dream Towns and Adventure Hideouts.” You might agree. Our community of 6,500 (9700 counting the surrounding homes) is surrounded by Forest Service and BLM lands, a haven for bicyclists, campers, folks who love to fish, hikers, skiers, nature photographers and hunters. It is a lovely natural setting with several converging mountain ranges  (We have15 peaks surrounding us that reach over 14,000 feet in elevation).

 We are known for being the Banana Belt of Colorado and this area is known as one of the Colorado River Towns. The Arkansas River winds its way through the Arkansas Valley, through downtown Salida and more; creating an invitation to rafters, kayakers, fishers, and “beach lovers” alike.

 Salida’s charming downtown area had the largest historical downtown district in Colorado. We have blocks and blocks of Victorian and other historic buildings. Because so many folks also come here to play, we have many of the advantages of a smaller resort town: great restaurants, 22 art galleries, fabulous boutiques, outdoor sportswear stores, and an array of shops for music, kitchen, sports, natural foods, children, books, knitters, and quilters.



 Real Estate in Salida CO


Poncha Springs COPoncha Springs: Poncha Springs is a small Salida “bedroom community” (population of 474 but a few thousand when you consider the outlying neighborhoods and ranches). Because it was surrounded  by hot springs (99 nearby) and had a strong early  influence of Spanish culture, the community became known as  Poncho (meaning cape and warmth) Springs. In 1924, the town officially became Poncha Springs.


Real Estate in Poncha Springs


 Howard ColoradoHoward: Howard, part of what is known as Pleasant Valley, is nestled along the Arkansas River as it snakes its way from Salida to Canon City. Some of the early settlers in the area were prospectors (some still pan for gold in the tributaries of the Arkansas).  Besides gold and silver, rhyolite, travertine, and limestone were sought after. Just a bit north of Howard is a tiny community of Wellsville where the locals used to soak on their time off in the natural hot pools. The area became more populated when the Rio Grande Railroad came through. Today, Howard is a charming, quiet ranch community and “bedroom Community” for folks who work in Salida. Many avid fly fishing folks have 2nd homes here. I love this valley.


Real Estate in Howard CO  


Coaldale Colorado


Coaldale: Coaldale, a tiny community just SE of Howard opens up into a lovely, meadow-like area with many horse properties, ranches, and folks who like the open meadows and surrounding mountains. It got its name from being called Charcoal Valley. In the early days, the Pinon Pines were burnt in beehive kilns to turn them into coals used for the silver smelters in Leadville Co and Pueblo CO. Some of the early kilns can still be seen. Every valley in Coaldale has a creek in it and with just a few minutes drive to the west, you can be on national forest trails. Absolutely lovely community.


 Real Estate in Coaldale CO


This image can be found at Cotopaxi, named after an Ecuadorian Volcano, grew from being a “whistle stop” for the Rio Grande railroad. Now it is known for world class white water rafting and fly fishing. Folks who live around here can commute for work to either Canon City, further east or back to is almost midway between the two. Cotopaxi is a great location for vacation/second home or your primary residence if you don’t mind the commute or can work from home.




Real Estate in Cotopaxi CO


This image can be found at  Nathrop, a quiet community north of Salida has always been known as the access point to Mount Princeton Hot Springs. To this day, folks come to soak in the restorative waters. It is my personal favorite in hot springs because the 104-degree water not only comes into the soaking and lap pools but comes out in Chalk Creek, running alongside the pools. I can spend all day there with a book, adjusting the rocks so that the water is neither hot nor cold. Lovely. Many folks choose to live in the area because of access to the hot springs and national forest.





Real Estate in Nathrop CO


This image can be found at Vista: Buena Vista was named after it’s stunning 360-degree views. Folks originally settled here because of the gold mining. Later, families began farming and ranching as they discovered the good soil in the area. The stagecoach and subsequent railroad brought more families to the area. With a population of about 2500 people, the town remains quiet and gracious. It is known as the best kept secret place to stay for folks skiing at the premier resorts near Denver and Aspen…because the town is so friendly and hotel rates are inexpensive. It is a few miles from Cottonwood Creek Hot Springs and Mt. Princeton.


Real Estate in Buena Vista Colorado


Crestone...beginning of the sunsetCrestone: Unique, magical and beautiful are words that tumble out of my mouth when I think of Crestone. The tiny town proper is 150 and the surrounding area is no more than 1500 when everyone is home. The magic of Crestone however, is its history. Early on, a rancher was instructed to bequeath parcels of his ranch to spiritual groups around the world which he did. It is now known for having the most diverse spiritual community in the world. Spiritual seekers in North America eventually hear about Crestone. And, it generally takes knowing a local or more than one visit for the fullness of the area to emerge…the 5 creeks heading up into the Sangre de Cristos, the temples hidden in the trees, the lovely residents and the “happening”. The local newspaper, the Crestone Eagle, has calendars of event for local happenings that rival a town 10 times its size. If you want a sanctuary, Crestone offers just that.


Real Estate around Crestone CO



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Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

Hi, Paula...nice work on the pictures. They are just beautiful. I like the foothills area.

Jun 25, 2012 09:30 AM #1
Cal Yoder
Keller Williams Elite - Lititz, PA
Homes For Sale in Lancaster PA - 717.413.0744

Paula, Chaffee County offers so much natural beauty. I am realizing that I prefer small towns/small cities more than rural. I love being within walking distance of so much.


Jun 25, 2012 11:01 AM #2
Paula Bradfield
Keller Williams Performance Realty - Salida, CO
Your Salida Colorado and Nearby towns Realtor

Yes, that is why so many folks like to be in town... get on your bike and get groceries.... walk to dinner, etc. The rural appeals to me only because of my 2 horses....which makes sense.

Jul 05, 2012 11:08 AM #3
Paula Bradfield
Keller Williams Performance Realty - Salida, CO
Your Salida Colorado and Nearby towns Realtor

Debbie, thanks. Yes, the foothills area is one of my favs....nestled into the trees yet views to forever. Don't you have similar where you are?

Jul 05, 2012 11:10 AM #4
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Paula Bradfield

Your Salida Colorado and Nearby towns Realtor
Is the Heart of the Rockies calling you?
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