Getting off the main roads can open up some of Colorado’s most breathtaking views, especially in Chaffee County, which has more peaks over 14,000 feet than anywhere else in the lower 48 states.
Craig Anderson with Rocky Mountain Jeep Rentals in Salida said there is plenty to see.
One ride Anderson said not to miss is through the old mining town of Bonanza, over Poncha Pass. Anderson said take U.S. 285 to FSR 890, which will take you into the mountains and eventually to the old mining town.
“This goes into the mountains before you get to the town of Bonanza. You’ll run into 8-10 old mining sites,” Anderson said and noted this was an easy-to-moderate trip. “Some of the buildings are four stories tall.”
Randy Wagner, owner of Buena Vista ATV/Jeep Rentals has some recommendations for all levels of off-road drivers, from narrow rock crawler trails to more stress-free endeavors.
A more advanced area is Mt. Antero, which Wagner said has some steep drop offs and hairpin turns and contains one drivable trail, despite the more advanced driving conditions, Wagner said the views are unbeatable.
“It’ll take you above 13,000 feet. It’s one trail that will get you real close to the top of a 14,000 foot mountain,” Wagner said.