Planning Your Visit to Poncha Pass

Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventure, scenic drives, or a cozy yurt stay, Poncha Pass has something for everyone.

With the never-ending mountain views, outdoor activities, and busy little mountain towns, staying on Poncha Pass offers an unforgettable Colorado adventure. Below is some helpful planning information about Poncha Pass.

Yurts at Poncha Pass - Colorado Yurt Rentals and Sustainable Building Workshops - wide landscape view of the yurts and storm clouds in backdrop

Poncha Pass Resides in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Sangre de Cristo is Spanish for “Blood of Christ”. The name is derived from the daily sunsets that turn the mountain range often into a blood red/orange color. The breathtaking views surely leave no room for doubt about its beauty. For deeper historical and geological insights, visit the US Forest Service site.
Natural cold plunge at Yurts at Poncha Pass

Poncha Pass Elevation and Weather

Get a breath of fresh air of the pass at 9,010 feet. Spring and Fall nights can still dip into the 30s or high 20’s, while daytime highs are upwards of the 70s.

Long story short, bring layers including a cozy sweater or jacket so you can relax outside under the stars before you retire for the evening. For more detailed typical lows/highs, you can check out the AccuWeather forecast.

Yurts at Poncha Pass - Colorado Yurt Rentals and Sustainable Building Workshops - Wood sauna and fire table outside

What to Wear when Visiting Poncha Pass, Colorado

Think of layers for the range of temperatures from morning through night. Layers give you the flexibility to be comfortable during the range of activities available. The difference in temperature from the top of Poncha Pass to going to the Arkansas River along Salida, Colorado can be quite different.

Comfortable footwear is a must-have. Hiking boots or durable athletic shoes, and durable sandals/shoes that can get wet.

Another must-have is sun protection. UV-B rays are up to 60% higher than at sea level. Sunglasses, a hat, long sleeves, UPF protective shirts, sunscreen, and SPF lip balm. Colorado gets more than 300 days of sunshine a year and less water vapor & clouds in the air causes 25% less protection from the sun.

Lastly, a reusable water bottle to keep yourself hydrated. The air is much thinner and drier in Colorado. Your body needs at least twice as much water here as you would drink at home closer to sea level.

Driving up to Yurts at Poncha Pass

Road Conditions & Road Cameras on Poncha Pass

I always recommend checking CoTrip.org before you approach mountain pass drives especially during the winter season to keep an eye on travel conditions.

 

For live Poncha Pass webcams
And real-time updates on road closures, construction, and weather warnings, head to CoTrip.org.

OHaver Lake Campground near Yurts at Poncha Pass

Lakes Near Poncha Pass

O’Haver Lake Campground is the perfect hidden gem of a lake and campground just off Poncha Pass. It’s a beautiful and tranquil lake filled with day-use and overnight visitors. Often in the summer, you’ll see fish jumping out of the water, tons of dragonflies, and people cruising around the lake on their Stand Up Paddle Boards with their pup or child hanging out with them.

The lake is perfect for camping, a picnic, paddleboarding, fishing, or simply just sitting and soaking in the scenery. Learn more information on the US Forest Service site.

Image credit to recreation.gov.

Image credit to colorfulcolorado.com Poncha Pass Summit

Poncha Pass Colorado Bicycle Trail – the Poncha Pass Summit

The trail systems near Poncha Pass and nearby mountains give you endless exploration.

Salida Mountain Trails is a great resource for trail maps, conditions, safe riding, and more. Learn more at SalidaMountainTrails.org.

The Poncha Pass Summit offers a fantastic climb from the town of Salida to the pass summit. For information visit ColorfulColorado.com.

Additionally, the Rainbow Trail and Monarch Crest trails provide fantastic mountain biking and hiking experiences. Find maps Singletracks.com.

Image credit to colorfulcolorado.com for Poncha Pass Summit

Dirtbike trails on Poncha Pass - person riding dirtbike on a trail

Dirt Bike Trails on Poncha Pass

The Rockies are an oasis for dirt bikers. You’ll often see them cruising on the highway on their way to or from a local trail.

Although we don’t have on-site riding options at Yurts at Poncha Pass, bike enthusiasts can find trails at the nearby Marshall Pass and Poncha Creek OHV Route, suitable for beginner riders. Information and access details can be found at Alltrails.com

Where to find public land map - image of kayaks at a lake

Poncha Pass Public Land Maps

The BLM Interactive Recreational Map provides valuable insights into public lands around Poncha Pass. Always keep in mind that BLM lands offer a rustic experience with fewer developed areas compared to other recreation destinations. Check out the interactive maps at BLM.com.

The Arkansas River people whitewater rafting

The Arkansas River in Colorado

Whitewater rafting is the name of the game in the Arkansas River Valley. When you talk to the locals around town you’ll often hear a consistent story on how they fell in love with and moved to Salida and Buena Vista years ago… “I was rafting when…” Or “I was a raft guide…” Needless to say, there are many outfitters today to choose from if you need a guide for your whitewater rafting adventure.
Visit the Arkansas River Outfitters site to see Outfitters, the water report, and tips to help plan your adventure at arkansasriveroutfitters.org

Yurts at Poncha Pass - Colorado Yurt Rentals and Sustainable Building Workshops - Starry Night Photo of Yurt

Yurts at Poncha Pass

Stargaze at night in comfort and satisfy your craving of a unique and relaxing lodging experience.

Yurts at Poncha Pass offer fully equipped yurt rentals with flushing toilets, queen beds, a kitchen, living space, and heated – all nestled amidst the stunning mountain scenery of the Sangre de Cristo mountains. Starlink wifi, a wood-burning sauna, a natural cold plunge, and cozy fire pit.

Check out the gallery or book your stay today.

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