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Originally named Tenderfoot Mountain, some locals refer to it as “S Mountain”, because of the large white “S” that can be seen throughout much of Salida. During the holiday season, the mountain is decorated as a Christmas tree and is a huge attraction for admirers of Christmas lights.
When Spiral Drive is fully open, one can drive practically to the top of the mountain. Others enjoy walking on the dirt road or take on the rigorous workout via a mountain bike.
At the top, one has grand views of the entire town of Salida, including a remarkable view of the streets and buildings of downtown Salida, seemingly directly below.
Of course, the mountain views are spectacular. Methodist Mountain and the Sangre De Cristo Range are positioned to the south, while Mt. Shavano stands gracefully to the west with numerous Sawatch Range peaks lined to the north.
Directions: At the traffic light at F Street and First Street, travel north of F Street for approximately one mile and make a right on CR 175 (across from the hospital). Cross the Arkansas River and turn right at 0.3 miles to remain on CR 175. Cross the railroad tracks and turn left on Ute Trail. Then a short distance ahead, make a right on Spiral Drive (CR 176). Follow the signs to the top.