The Wet Mountain Valley boasts breath-taking views and a pristine outdoor paradise. The Sangre De Cristo Mountain Range to the west is the longest continuous mountain range in the world. In the Westcliffe area there are ten “14ers,” mountain peaks that are at least at 14,000 feet. The Wet Mountains along the east side of the valley are filled with natural wild life, hiking trails, and scenic forests. San Isabel Lake Recreation area offers hiking trails, fishing, boating and picnic areas.
Our valley has a long history of ranching and farming. These assets make our area ideal for horseback riding, mountain climbing, miles of mountainous hiking trails and camp sites, hunting opportunities (make sure you have a tag from the Colorado Department of Wildlife), and clear, natural mountain lake fishing. There is also boating, camping, and fishing at the Lake Deweese reservoir. Join Westcliffe residents for music festivals, art festivals, shopping, dining, antique car displays in the summer, biking, and hiking.
Royal Gorge Route Railroad
Cañon City, about 45 minutes from Westcliffe, offers the famous Royal Gorge Bridge and Railroad with activities for all ages! The Royal Gorge Route Railroad is a heritage railroad that transits the Royal Gorge on a 2-hour scenic and historic train ride along what is considered to be the most famed portion of the former Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. The railroad offers variety of service classes, lunch and dinner experiences, and special events such as the Murder Mystery Train, an evening of delicious food, breathtaking scenery, outstanding service and a classic “who-dunnit” Murder Mystery.
The 1950s-era train departs the Santa Fe Depot in Cañon City daily. The scenery and service aboard the Royal Gorge Route Railroad are second to none, as is the the train’s full service bar of well-curated local, organic and domestic wines and micro brews, as well as your favorite libations and aperitifs. Well-priced meals are made with natural and organic ingredients whenever possible and practical; and all meats, and virtually all produce, are raised and grown locally as well.
Great Sand Dunes National Park
Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park, which contains the highest sand dunes in North America, provides stunning views in the shadow of the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Within driving distance, the Park offers hiking, sand sliding, wildlife, and many different sights to see.
Bishop Castle is outside Wetmore, Colorado, on the edge of the San Isabel National Forest. It is a treasure to be explored! For 40 years, Jim Bishop has been building a castle on a mountainside in central Colorado. Every year since 1969, he has single-handedly gathered and set over 1,000 tons of rock to create this stone and iron fortress in the middle of nowhere.
The Colorado mountain town of Salida sits in the middle of the state, literally in the “Heart of the Rockies,” about 2 hours from Colorado Springs and 3 hours from Denver. Salida is 45 minutes from Westcliffe and is home to white water rafting, fishing along the Arkansas River, music festivals and Monarch Mountain Ski Resort.
The Visitor Center for the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA) is located in Salida. The Arkansas is the most commercially rafted river in the United States. The AHRA follows the beautiful wild-to-mild river for 152 miles from the historic town of Leadville, through the Sawatch mountain range and Colorado’s tallest mountains, all the way to Pueblo on the edge of Colorado’s eastern plains. The AHRA also offers opportunities for camping, hiking, picnicking, wildlife watching, mountain biking, rock climbing, and even gold panning along the river’s shores, deep canyons, broad valleys and towering mountain peaks found within the upper Arkansas River valley.
Pueblo has so much to offer and is only one hour to the North East. Whether it is a stroll on the River Walk or boating and fishing at the Pueblo Reservoir- you can enjoy a relaxing vacation a short drive away!
Colorado Springs is a little over an hour north of Westcliffe. Visitors to the area will enjoy the activities and sights that Colorado Springs area has to offer. These include Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Garden of the Gods recreational area, and so much more!