The small towns of Poncha Springs and Salida lie at the crossroad of Highways 285 and 50 in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. It is therefore no great mystery why these towns serve as the epicenters to many of the state's most popular recreational activities. The mighty Arkansas River is wildly popular with rafters, offering everything from lazy Class I floats to terrifying Class V rapids. Mountain bikers revere the surrounding mountains for some of the best singletracks known in the state. Indeed, every year, thousands of bikers make the pilgrimage to ride the crown jewel of Colorado, the renowned Monarch Crest Trail. In recent years local trail builders have constructed a network of singletracks in the hills just south of Salida that are well worth exploring.