Vanlife in Salida Colorado and Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

Vanlife in Salida Colorado and Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

We loved spending time in the beautiful town of Salida in Colorado with our Van.


Salida is a great place for Van Life as there are many options for free and low-cost camping. There is plenty of free camping on BLM (public land that’s overseen by the Bureau of Land Management), at the surrounding San Isabel National Forest, the nearby Arkansas River Recreation Area, on commercial campgrounds; and street parking is available in and around town. And then there is even Harvest Hosts. Have you heard of Harvest Hosts? It’s a great program that allows members with self-contained Vans and RVs to stay overnight at participating host locations, such as farms, wineries, breweries, museums etc. As members, we were excited to find a participating winery in Salida where we parked overnight and enjoyed their wine and food and the beautiful views of the mountains and night sky. This beautiful winery is called Vino Salida, located just outside of town and they even have live-music on Friday and Saturday nights. We had a great time there for sure.

Salida was also a great spot as the Aquatic Center in town has a large spring fed lap-pool (85F) and a soaking pool (98F) and of course hot showers. During the last hour of the day admission is only $5 and it’s a great way to get a nice swim, hot soak and shower, a great option for vandwellers without a bathroom!

We loved Salida also for the many outdoor activity options. The area is just so beautiful. Salida is located adjacent to the Arkansas River Recreation Area and surrounded by fourteeners and National Forests. There are plenty of hiking and biking trails in and around Salida, and there is a plethora of activities in the area available from climbing, fishing, four-wheeling, golfing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, skateboarding, skiing, snowboarding, ziplining and zipline aerial adventures etc.

The stunning Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is only one and a half hours drive away, bring water, a hat and sunscreen and rent a sand sled at nearby retailers to sled down the sand dunes with!

Our Favorite Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly Restaurants in Salida:  Amicas and Boathouse Cantina.

Other Eco-Friendly Establishments and Favorite Places:
Salida has many restaurants that use locally sourced ingredients as available and many stores sell locally made products.
We especially loved the hand crafted natural body care products from Vital Living and the in-store made fleece jackets at J2 Softwear.

Salida is one of Colorado’s Certified Creative Districts and has some wonderful galleries, art displays and an active art community and scene. We loved Salida and are looking forward to return for another visit one day!


Check out our 20 Favorite Eco-Friendly Vanlife Gifts


Our Gear used in this Video:

Canon EOS Rebel SL2 DSLR Camera

Rode VideoMic with Fuzzy Windjammer Kit

GoPro HERO5 Session

Accessories Kit for GoPro

EVO Gimbal

Our Favorite Adventure, Vanlife and Full Time Travel Gear


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