Salida, CO

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7/11/2018 9:50 AM

Thinking of doing a short trip to Salida for the first time. Probably arrive early to mid morning, ride, tent camp, ride the next day. Any suggestions of must hit trails or good camp spots?

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7/11/2018 10:36 AM

pay for the shuttle and do monarch crest. You can get 2-3 good runs in. Other than that, all of the S-mountain stuff is fun...but again, good to reach via shuttle. cross country folks like the CT.

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7/11/2018 10:48 AM

I think I'll mess around on the CT stuff the first day and shuttle the second. Any chance there's free camping neat the CT?

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7/12/2018 9:17 AM

GA902 wrote:

I think I'll mess around on the CT stuff the first day and shuttle the second. Any chance there's free camping neat the CT?

Definitely do the Crest to Deadman's Gulch. You can camp at the bottom of Dr. Park. There's dispersed spots down there. S Mountain trails are pretty fun. Uncle Nasty is pretty mean. Cottonwood is fun. The Rainbow trails are pretty fun as well.

Definitely go to Subculture Cyclery and ask them for rec's. Good people there willing to share a beer over some stories.

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7/12/2018 12:18 PM

xyian: What is "Crest to Deadman's Gulch"? Also talking camping at Dr. Park, that is an hour drive from Monarch Pass? I'm pretty confused, its like you are combining CB and Monarch.

For me right now "Salida" is more "Monarch Crest". I haven't rode in Salida town much, but Monarch Crest is great, this time of year for sure. Make sure to start earlier, monsoon season is coming.

My opinion on rides on the pass are:
If you can shuttle to the top of the pass, have a car in Poncha.
Monarch > Starvation > Up FSR 203 > Silver
Monarch > S Fooses > Up CR 225 > Greens

If you don't want to do both of those, the standard route is pretty good (down Silver). I also think Greens is a really fun descent for a shorter version of the crest. But shuttle if you can, and do as much as your legs will allow.

For a loop, I've seen folks go up S Fooses and down Green's. But the Crest itself is beautiful to ride, even as an out and back (never done it, I always come down something).
Also Canyon Creek (W of Monarch) is fun descent, but the climb is pretty unenjoyable IMO.

You can camp out Poncha Creek dispersed, or there are multiple camp grounds, such as the top of the pass and O'Haver lake. Google is your friend there for more.


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7/13/2018 12:17 PM

jasbushey wrote:

xyian: What is "Crest to Deadman's Gulch"? Also talking camping at Dr. Park, that is an hour drive from Monarch Pass? I'm pretty confused, its like you are combining CB and Monarch.

For me right now "Salida" is more "Monarch Crest". I haven't rode in Salida town much, but Monarch Crest is great, this time of year for sure. Make sure to start earlier, monsoon season is coming.

My opinion on rides on the pass are:
If you can shuttle to the top of the pass, have a car in Poncha.
Monarch > Starvation > Up FSR 203 > Silver
Monarch > S Fooses > Up CR 225 > Greens

If you don't want to do both of those, the standard route is pretty good (down Silver). I also think Greens is a really fun descent for a shorter version of the crest. But shuttle if you can, and do as much as your legs will allow.

For a loop, I've seen folks go up S Fooses and down Green's. But the Crest itself is beautiful to ride, even as an out and back (never done it, I always come down something).
Also Canyon Creek (W of Monarch) is fun descent, but the climb is pretty unenjoyable IMO.

You can camp out Poncha Creek dispersed, or there are multiple camp grounds, such as the top of the pass and O'Haver lake. Google is your friend there for more.


I booked a shuttle for next Saturday. Looking at the map and your first suggestion, (Monarch > Starvation > Up FST 203 > Silver) where do you go at the end of Silver?

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7/13/2018 2:49 PM

You can either come out the road or out Rainbow.

On my ride, I came out the road. When I did rainbow back in 2011 I thought it was pretty boring with unnecessary sprint climbs. If I was just doing Silver, I'd probably come out Rainbow still, but with Starvation I did both.
https://www.strava.com/activities/676253039 - if that works

Here's my S Fooses Green too if you want
https://www.strava.com/activities/673790415

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7/13/2018 3:46 PM

If you drop out the west side of Monarch Pass, Agate creek is your friend. Little wet at the end, but you get the best of the crest trail, then 30+ minutes of DH. You can camp at agate creek too if I recall. Take the shuttle finish at camp FTW.

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7/13/2018 7:47 PM

I stayed at a buddy's in town so we just rode back on the road. If you're camping out there I'd imagine there's some way to get back to your camp. It easily hooks up with Rainbow though. Rainbow isn't the best but it has some fun on it if you keep your speed.
Either way Monarch is a shuttle so you just have to find your way down as far as preferred route. I think like what sinatorj says we came out at Agate Creek. There were a few people camped in there.

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7/17/2018 6:50 AM

Taking Jasbushy's advice and plan on doing Starvation and Silver. As far as Rainbow, we'll see how much fuel is left in the tank. Agate sounds fun but I don't have a ride back to Poncha Springs

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7/26/2018 12:48 PM

Well the trip was short but sweet. On day one, I did South Fooses Creek after climbing up the fire road. That was also after going down the wrong county road and doing a bit of unplanned 4 wheeling in my 4Runner Once on the Colorado Trail, I took another wrong turn and headed east before Mount Peck. That added an extra couple miles and a bit of stress as clouds were rolling in. Finally got going the right direction and had a blast going down Fooses. Perfect hero dirt towards the bottom. I really wanted to spend some time in Salida but with weather moving in, I set up camp near the end of Green's Creek and got comfy.

Day two, shuttle day! I ended up doing the suggested route down Rainbow. The quick cutoff to Starvation shown on Trailforks, "Connector" was blocked off. After my previous day of several wrong turns, I wasn't about to go exploring any more unknowns. Silver Creek was one bad ass trail, so much fun. Rainbow I feel will always be a love/hate relationship. I'm not a huge fan of the up and down, I prefer to do my suffering in one sitting, and enjoy the down after. That being said, the sections of downhill on Rainbow were short but sweet. Next time, I'll plan on doing Starvation (now that I know how to get there) and Green's.

Thank you guys for the info, it really helped out on this trip. Up next, I'm going to visit a buddy in Pocatello, do some shredding there, Teton Pass, and maybe Ogden. Hoping to visit Crested Butte in September, I'm lookin at you xyian.





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7/26/2018 12:58 PM

Nice report! My summer needs more Monarch in it.

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