Looking east from Monarch Pass. Photo: Scott Ingram
Chaffee County, the “Heart of the Rockies,” is named for Jerome B. Chaffee, Colorado’s first United States Senator. As of the 2010 census, the population was 17,809. The county seat is Salida.
National forests and wilderness recreation areas are plentiful in Chaffee County, as are trails and bicycle routes. San Isabel National Forest, just south of Salida, contains 19 of the state’s 54 fourteeners.
Visit the Chaffee County Government website.
- Fremont – southeast
- Gunnison – west
- Lake – north
- Park – northeast
- Pitkin – northwest
- Saguache – south
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Featured Chaffee County articles
4 Ghost Towns of Clear Creek Canyon – Clear Creek Canyon is full of ruins from Colorado’s early mining days. There are four remaining ghost towns in the canyon, which lies just west of Clear Creek Reservoir from Highway 24. Clear Creek runs the length…
Arkansas River Rafting in Browns Canyon – If you’re looking for summer adventure, head to the Arkansas River. It’s one of the most exciting landscapes to raft in Colorado, with numerous sections ranging in class and ability. Browns Canyon, which recently…
Whitewater Raft 4 Sections of Arkansas River – Whitewater rafting in Colorado has never been more popular or more exciting. And you can do it nearly anywhere in the Rocky Mountains! Due to its close proximity to the Front Range, the Arkansas River…
Autumn Drive Over Cottonwood Pass –
Cottonwood Pass is a high mountain route over the Continental Divide. It’s an easy drive beginning in either Buena Vista or Almont. From Buena Vista the road quickly climbs to its summit of 12,126 feet. It then turns to dirt…