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Poncha Springs, Co. or simply Poncha, as locals have coined it, is located at the junction of U.S. 285 and 50 and is an excellent jumping-off point for the ultimate Colorado-style adventures. Some have described Poncha Springs as the Crossroads of the Rockies. In addition to its prime location at the south end of the state's most concentrated string of 14,000-foot peaks, including the state's tallest mountain, Poncha Springs also neighbors the quaint art town of Salida and offers east access to skiing on Monarch Pass.

The town was named after a local natural hot spring coined Poncha Springs by famed Coloradan frontiersman Kit Carson. Today water from the springs is piped into Salida's Hot Springs Aquatic Center. Another historical marker in this tiny crossroads community also designates the spot where explorer Zebulon Pike and party spent the winter of 1806.

In addition its historical significance, Poncha Springs is an ideal recreation area for outdoor enthusiasts. Mountain bikers can hop a shuttle from the local gas station to the famed Rainbow Trail, and within miles hikers can link to area mountain treks. Several short loop and riverside trails also dot Poncha Springs and will eventually link to other county trails running into Salida. In addition, Poncha Springs is home to an 18-hole golf course and a popular Disc golf area. A variety of lodging, dining, and shopping options are available in Salida.

Map: Poncha Springs

Region: Colorado South Central Regional Information

County: Chaffee

Proximity to other towns: Located 91.5 miles from Colorado Springs, 5.6 miles from Salida, 22.8 miles from Buena Vista, 28.1 miles from Cotopaxi, 29.8 miles from Saguache

Population: 461

Elevation: 7465 feet

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