Every road trip needs a rest stop. The new and much-improved Crossroads of the Rockies Poncha Springs Visitor Center welcomes travelers to-and-through Chaffee County in style.
Located at the intersection of U.S. Highways 285 and 50, the center’s official grand reopening is July 4.
Fresh from a complete overhaul, the volunteer-staffed Visitor’s Center is like an oasis in the mountains.
The Welcome Center is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, while the public restrooms, parking lot, and RV Dump Station are open 24/7.
Visitors can pick up maps, travel guides, and information on local events and attractions, while enjoying free Wi-Fi, and coffee.
The list of improvements to the center is long and impressive. “A “ranch style” entryway was installed using Engelmann spruce from Wolf Creek pass.
The newly resurfaced parking lot, framed by sidewalks and landscaping, makes an ideal stretch-your-legs spot.
Illuminated by solar powered lights, RV travelers will appreciate the relocation of the RV Dump Station that allows for better traffic flow. An additional loop for large truck and RV traffic was created, to separate short-term and long-term parking areas. ADA accessible parking spots were also added.
The site provides a convenient meeting-place for Park-n-Ride and carpooling to Monarch, and nearby trail systems, too.
Public transportation also gets a boost, with a designated CDOT’s Bustang stop. This bus service provides service from Denver and surrounding towns. Local transit providers may also use this stop.
Bicyclists can also connect to Salida on the CR120 paved pedestrian and bike trail. Even the canines are taken care of. A new dog park on-site offers worry-free rover-romping
On July Fourth, the renovated All Veteran’s Memorial will be dedicated with a formal flag raising.
The memorial has been resurfaced and eight brand new flag poles were installed. The flags represent each branch of the military, the Colorado, POWs, and the US.
Two new memorial stones were installed and etched with the names of Chaffee County residents killed in action in the Vietnam and Korean wars.
There is also an All Veteran’s Memorial Stone.