Inspiring Curiosity

The Collegiate Peaks Forum Series™ mission is to facilitate the intellectual enrichment of the Upper Arkansas Valley residents and their visitors by sponsoring FREE events featuring nationally recognized persons schooled in philosophy, spirituality or science and hosting other community discussion activities.


The Collegiate Peaks Forum Series™ began in 2003 as a small group of intellectually curious citizens in the Upper Arkansas Valley who determined that their lives could be enhanced by investigating the challenging questions raised by the interrelationship of philosophy, spirituality and science through academic stimulation, related discussions and their ensuing insights. To that end, notable speakers and scholars active in these disciplines would be invited to speak, offer their published works and engage in constructive dialogue.


The Collegiate Peaks Forum Series is a bridge facilitating personal enrichment and constructive dialogue among individuals and groups to which they belong. It seeks to stimulate intellectual curiosity, stir the imagination and engage our diverse citizenry through lectures, study and discussion groups. It is committed to communicating with integrity, listening openly and honoring the differences of its participants.

Upper Arkansas Valley

The Upper Arkansas Valley runs about 150 miles from the historic town of Leadville (featuring the headwaters of the Arkansas River), through the towns of Buena Vista (at the foot of the Collegiate Peaks mountain range in central Colorado) and Salida (a well-known art and biking community).

This area boasts fifteen 14,000-foot mountains, including Mt. Elbert (14, 433 ft), Mt. Massive (14, 421 ft), Mt. Harvard (14,420 ft), Mt. Antero (14,269 ft), Mt. Princeton (14,197 ft), Mt. Yale (14,196 ft), Mt. Columbia (14,073 ft) and Mt. Shavano (14, 229). Due to the protection afforded by the Front Range to the east and the Sawatch Mountains to the west, the valley is known as the "Banana Belt" and offers a mildly temperate climate, allowing for exceptional recreational and tourist conditions year-round. Annually there are over 300 sunny days, with summer temperatures ranging from around 81° - 47° and winter temperatures ranging from about 40° - 10.° 

The Upper Arkansas Valley - Colorado's Playground for Adventure

Hiking, mountain biking, ATV and 4-wheel drive trails, whitewater rafting, kayaking, fly fishing, hot springs, rock hounding, mining, skiing, snowmobiling and much more can be enjoyed here.

Close by are numerous ghost towns and old mining camps, such as St. Elmo, Hancock, Romley, Mary Murphy Mine, Vicksburg and Winfield.

Some of the other historical places in the area are the Tabor Opera House, Dexter Cabin, Healy House, the Orpheum Theater, Turner Farm, E.W. Corbin House and J.M. Bonney House.

About Us

We are operated by an all volunteer group of board of directors and emeritus members. We welcome your participation.

Board of Directors 2018

Rebecca Poos, President
Kelly Collins, Vice President
Butch Butler, Treasurer
Cindy Lawrence, Secretary
Christine Whittington, PR & Outreach
Greg Reed, Board Member

Emeritus Members

John Cogswell
Phil Jones
Owen Lentz
Doug MacKay
Arlene Waldorf

Past Presidents

2017 to Present - Rebecca Poos
2013 to 2016 - William McQueen
2011 to 2012 - Jamie Hagen
2009 to 2010 - Arlene Waldorf
2007 to 2008 - Butch Butler
2005 to 2006 - John Cogswell
2003 to 2004 - Phil Jones

Characters such as Baby Doe Tabor, the "Unsinkable" Molly Brown, Bat Masterson, Doc Holiday, Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid and others took part in the local history.