High-Altitude Art Towns in Colorado

When Ryan and I travel, we like to pop into the occasional art gallery. We’ve found some great ones along the way, including Harperrose Studios in Leadville and Firedworks Gallery in Alamosa. While I wouldn’t describe Leadville or Alamosa as “art towns,” there are a few high-altitude art towns that art lovers should visit in Colorado.


Situated along the banks of the Arkansas River, Salida is a charming town that’s been long known as a Mecca for kayakers. The town also attracts artists of all kinds, but none as quirky as Pat and Suzanne, owners of The Bungled Jungle.

I visited The Jungle last spring with my artist friend, Kerri Ertman who was determined give a few of this gallery’s monsters a home. Yes, The Bungled Jungle’s many monsters are looking for their forever home.

To say The Bungled Jungle is a gallery full of colorful and imaginative art just doesn’t cut it. Each monster here is an original, and no molds are used in their creation. To wander into this gallery is to be transported into the peculiar minds of two of Salida’s most interesting artists.

For an in depth look at Salida’s active art scene, visit SalidaArtists.com.


Vail is for shoppers of all kinds, but for anyone hankering to add a new piece to their art collection, Vail Village is the place to do it.

On my first extensive visit to Vail, Ryan and I went impromptu gallery-hopping. There are a lot of galleries in Vail; art aficionados could spend hours visiting one after another. We made it to quite a few and were impressed with the varied selection, from contemporary art to traditional pieces.

Most surprising was the way in which we were treated in every gallery: with friendliness and respect. We were obviously not in the market for a $200,000 painting, but the assistant at this gallery spoke to us extensively about the work anyway.

It was such a delightful experience that, should we find ourselves in Vail in the future, we’ll go gallery-hopping again.

Photo courtesy of Open Shutter


On our first trip to Durango we stumbled across Open Shutter and now, on each subsequent trip, we go back to this outstanding contemporary fine photography gallery. The first time we visited they had an Instagram exhibit in the back room, and this is probably why I fell in love with the placeI love Instagram.

To be frank, photography doesn’t always inspire me. After all, I take pretty good photos, but when I see a show at Open Shutter, I realize I’m just a hack.

This gallery features the world’s most amazing photographers, and while some of it is beyond reach of our pocketbook, there are always several reasonably priced artworks there too.

Categories: The Heidi Guide