Spiral Drive Steam Shovel-image

The Making of Spiral Drive

Spiral Drive was built in 1922 by the Lions Club, Warden Capp, and civic-minded citizens of Salida.



Tenderfoot Road Project is Now An Assured Success — Salida Mail article from June 22, 1920.

Volunteers Throw Bulwarks – articles detailing the building of Spiral Drive, from the Salida Mail, 1922

The observation at the top of Tenderfoot was built the summer of 1925 by I.W. Haight who gifted it to the city. The Salida Mail reported: “Mr. Haight made this donation to the city because he loves his home town and is impressed with the value of the Spiral driveway.”



The ‘S’ on Tenderfoot Mountain was built by the Salida High School senior class in 1932.

School Notes – Salida Mail, March 11, 1932

Work on ‘S’ is Nearing Completion – Salida Mail, March 22, 1932

Seniors Thank Salidans – Salida Mail, April 5, 1932

These images are from the Bob Pierce Collection.

Tenderfoot Trail Real Thriller Colorado Highways June 1922

Tenderfoot Trail, Real Thriller

A commendable civic improvement, financed entirely by the public spirited citizens of Salida, Colorado, both in the way of volunteer labor and money contributions, is just now nearing completion — the Tenderfoot Spiral Drive illustrated herewith. It is destined to become one of the most popular short automobile drives in the entire Rocky Mountain region, both from a scenic point of view and from the “thrills” experienced by those who look over a vast panorama of exquisite mountain scenery and fertile valleys. In some places the road threads around the mountain like a huge serpent, and seemingly almost straight down is the Arkansas River and the City of Salida, a beautiful mountain metropolis of 5,000 people. The road gains an elevation of about 600 feet in a distance of 1.6 miles. It is wide enough for two autos to pass and therefore perfectly safe. This project has been in the minds of the citizens of this city for many years, but it remained for the Lions Club, recently organized, to concentrate the community spirit and then leaven it with the “pep” characteristic of this organization, and a dream of years became a reality.
from Colorado Highways, June, 1922