Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
607.00 ft (185.01 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
3.41 mi (5.49 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Tenderfoot Hill is a prominent landmark just across the river from Downtown Salida. You may know the hill because of its large, iconic “S” for Salida. Stunning views await from the summit and, while it is possible to drive most of the way, why not enjoy a nice hike up?

The trail starts from the parking lot at the end of F Street. Find your way across the railroad tracks and look for the start of the Frontside Trail - just to the right. Once on the trail you’ll begin gently climbing your way up the hill, past a few rundown homes. Before long you’ll walk close to the gravesite of Loyal Duke - an American Water Spaniel that made the Salida train depot his office during the 1890s. Duke was Salida’s ambassador of sorts for 13 years, always welcoming visitors and accompanying locals around town. His funeral was held here on Tenderfoot Hill and this monument erected shortly thereafter.

Continuing onward you’ll eventually make your way to a junction. Follow the Burnpile Trail uphill, until it connects with the Lil’ Rattler Trail. Continue uphill until this trail leads you to the road. Lastly, follow the unpaved road until you near the summit. There is a staircase that leads to a small white structure (which sadly is covered in graffiti). This is the top of Tenderfoot Hill. The views are stunning. In addition to the gorgeous views of Salida and the Arkansas River, several 14ers are visible to the east including Mount Shavano, Antero, Princeton, Yale and Harvard.

On the descent follow the same route or, if you have the time, further explore the impressive network of trails located here.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Spectacular views. Close to town. Extensive trail system.

Cons

Graffiti in places.

Trailhead Elevation

7,050.00 ft (2,148.84 m)

Highest point

7,503.00 ft (2,286.91 m)

Features

Near lake or river
Family friendly
Big vistas

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Biking

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Sawatch Range + Elk Mountains, Colorado
Sawatch Range + Elk Mountains, Colorado
Sawatch Range + Elk Mountains, Colorado

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