Salida, Howard, Coaldale and Cotopaxi are all situated in the Arkansas River Valley. It is a beautiful valley with the Arkansas River winding through the entire area and running parallel to the spectacular snowcapped Sangre De Cristo Mountain Range. Howard, Coaldale and Cotopaxi are small towns or communities located just east of Salida, with Howard being about 12 miles east, Coaldale about 20 miles east and Cotopaxi about 25 miles east of Salida. The drive through the valley on Hwy 50 follows the Arkansas River where you will see many fishermen fishing in the gold medal waters of the river. This entire section of the drive is through the Big Horn Sheep Canyon, so it is normal to see herds of Big Horn Sheep as well as deer and sometimes elk along the way. It is not uncommon to view the huge Bald Eagles that spend the winter in this area, either swooping over the river or perched in the Cottonwood Trees which line the river. It is a very pleasant drive with no stoplights and minimal traffic along the way. Also, if you are a ski buff, you are only about 45 minutes from Monarch Ski Area where the “powder” is awesome.
The other “big plus” for this area of mountains, canyons and valleys is that approximately 83% of the land is public land, so overcrowding will never be a problem. And there are several access points to enjoy the BLM or National Forest lands for recreation such as hiking, camping, hunting and ATV riding. There are also numerous ranches in the area, so the feel of openness and space is immediately noticed.
The communities east of Salida boast of not only larger parcels than in-town Salida and more tranquility, but lower prices as well. Your financial investment gets you much more in this area.
Howard, Coaldale and Cotopaxi consist of all ages of residents and a friendly community spirit. Even at the rural Cotopaxi Schools, which have a very high rating for quality education and small classrooms, the students all know and help each other. It is also great if a child has a desire to be involved in a sport or any other type of activity, they can always get on a team. No one is excluded no matter what their level of talent and that helps them build self-esteem. The kids from all three communities go to the Cotopaxi Schools, but there is open enrollment if someone desired to go to Salida to a larger school instead.
All this is available to you and yet even from the farthest town of Cotopaxi, you are only a half hour’s drive to Salida for shopping and all the other amenities Salida has to offer. Howard is only about 15 minutes drive to Salida. You need to come investigate these communities and you will quickly discover that this is where you want to live and enjoy your life in a laid back atmosphere.