“Crossroads of the Rockies”, Poncha Springs is a unique highway town that lies at the intersection of US 50 and US-285. Both highways actually intersect twice within town. There are several places to eat in town along both highways. Salida is only about five minutes away.
National forests surround town, so recreation everywhere. In the winter, Monarch Mountain is a locals favorite, and only about twenty minutes from town. Comfortable accommodations can be found at the Poncha Lodge, a family-run motel right in town.
Things to do in Poncha Springs
Dining includes A Mimi’s Cafe, which serves Eastern and Western food ranging fromburgers and chicken nuggets, to pad thai and cheese rangoons. Ice cream is also served. Grimo’s Italian Restorante has a Charming atmosphere and handmade Italian classics, since 1985.
Pub & Grub is located inside the Happy Valley Center, which is a gas station that serves as a convenience store/liquor store/ bar/deli. It’s an odd place that serves beer, sells beer, gas and m.t.o. sandwiches. They also run a mountain bike shuttle for Monarch Crest. Tony’s Restaurant is another local favorite for Mexican and American food. Also try the Thai Mini Cafe for excellent Thai food.
Monarch Pass – Beautiful mountain pass and home Monarch Mountain Ski Area. You can ride the Monarch Scenic Tram Ride at the top of the pass.
- Primitive car camping is fairly easy to find on Monarch Pass, just look for dirt roads that lead to campsites.
- A favorite that most passenger cars can take is a detour over Old Monarch Pass (Co Rd 237). It’s 1.3 miles to the top and then meets back up with US-50 on the other side of the Divide. There is plenty of camping along this old pass, and throughout the area’s national forests.
- Arkansas River misses town, but can be accessed in Salida.
Near Poncha Springs
- Captain Zipline (5mi)
- Saint Elmo (31mi)
- Agnes Vaille Falls (24mi)
- Monarch Mountain (14mi)
- Arkansas Headwaters (5mi)
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