Picturesque Westcliffe is a tucked between the Wet Mountains to the east and the Sangre de Cristo Range to the west. It’s the Custer County seat, with plenty of places to eat, sleep and shop.
The 2010 census recorded the population at 568. The elevation is 7,888 feet. Its neighbor Silver Cliff, lies one mile east. Situated in Custer County, Westcliffe was incorporated on November 21st, 1887.
Frontier Pathways Byway – You can start along the Frontier Pathways Byway heading west on Highway 96 from Pueblo and finishing in Westcliffe, or do it in reverse. There’s a lovely detour before Wetmore where you can head southeast on Highway 165 toward Rye and Colorado City at I-25. This is also part of the national scenic byway and passes by the one-of-a-kind Bishops Castle, well northwest of Rye.
Stargazing – Both Westcliffe and Silver Cliff are Dark Sky Communities, a unique designation in Colorado. It means the towns take certain steps toward minimizing light pollution and as a result, the night sky is spectacularly bright. See the stars here like few other towns. The Smokey Jack Observatory is one prime place to observe through a high tech telescope or do it the old fashioned way from Bluff Park.
Read about the things to do in Westcliffe.
Camping – The San Isabel National Forest offers several campgrounds just west of town.
- Read about the camping near Westcliffe and Rye.
- Read about the hiking trails near Westcliffe.
Hotels and lodging:
- Read about the best hotels in Westcliffe and Silver Cliff.
Jul – High Mountain Hay Fever Bluegrass Festival – Four day music festival held in mid July.
Sep – High Peaks Music Festival – Summer Saturday of awesome acoustic music held at the town amphitheatre in mid September.
Activities near Westcliffe
- Hermit Lake (11mi)
- Lake of the Clouds (14mi)
- San Isabel National Forest
- Sangre de Cristo Wilderness
- South Colony Lakes (16mi)
- Bishop’s Castle (29mi)
- Cañon City (48mi)
- Coaldale (28mi)
- Colorado City (50mi)
- Cotopaxi (23mi)
- Florence (37mi)
- Gardner (34mi)
- Hillside (12mi)
- Howard (36mi)
- Penrose (43mi)
- Pueblo (56mi)
- Rye (45mi)
- Salida (48mi)
- Silver Cliff (1mi)
- Texas Creek (25mi)
- Walsenburg (60mi)
- Wetmore (26mi)
Visit the town’s official website.