Monarch Crest Trail
The Monarch Crest Trail is quite possibly the finest epic ride in Colorado. The ride begins atop Monarch Pass (11,312 feet), 18 miles west of Salida on US Hwy 50, and goes up from there! The Monarch Crest ride utilizes a combination of the Continental Divide, Colorado, Silver Creek and Rainbow trails. It carries the rider from the giddy heights of the Continental Divide well above timberline, through conifer forests, down steep valleys on narrow trails, through creek beds and over rolling terrain, dropping more than 7800 feet in the course of 31 miles. Whoa! The ride requires the use of a shuttle vehicle. While the trail itself is pretty moderate and mostly non-technical, the extreme elevation and length require riders to be in good physical shape and adept at mountain biking. In good weather this ride is simply awesome. Riders should be prepared, though, for sudden changes in the weather, which can turn a beautiful day into a dangerous one in a hurry. Be advised, too, that the ride is not all downhill. There is an elevation gain of 3600 feet, with 1500 of that in the final segment along the Rainbow trail. Allow at least 5 or 6 hours to complete this ride.
Atop Monarch Pass.
This trail was added on by an RMBB member and was last updated on 9/10/2010 by an RMBB member.
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