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Shield's Gulch Loop

Consensus:    (details)
 3.0 from 3 votes
  Intermediate from 1 vote
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Rank: #10 in Salida
#146 in Colorado
#1,018 Overall
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“A loop of 60% fire road / 40% singletrack with periodic views of the Collegiate Range.”
Jason Lampe on Jul 17, 2013
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10.4 Miles 40% Singletrack 1,085’ Ascent -1,083’ Descent 8,441’ Low 9,351’ High
Overview
Also known as Midland 376A Loop, this loop is rideable in either direction and is mapped here riding clockwise from the noted parking lot. As mapped, it's about 6 miles on fire road up and into the interior of the Fourmile area with periodic views of the Collegiate Range. There are a few intersections, so watch the course as you go.

After the 6 miles of fire roads, you connect onto a singletrack section of the Midland Bike Trail Out and Back to return to the parking lot.

This loop offers a decent work-out on fire roads followed by a mostly non-technical singletrack return.
Description
Riding the loop clockwise, begin from the noted parking lot and make an almost immediate left onto fire road 376A (the Midland Bike Trail Out and Back continues straight at this point). Climb this fire road for about 4 miles and enjoy the various places with views behind you. Near the top, you'll come to an intersection and make a right onto fire road 376 for about 1/10 mile through an open camping area, then make a right onto fire road 315 for the fast descent into Shield's Gulch for 2 miles.

Near the bottom, but not at the bottom, look for a trail sign with a small singletrack trail splitting off and up to the right. This very short connector leads you into the "Back" section of the Midland Bike Trail Out and Back, which is where the singletrack begins and continues along an overall slightly downward grade. While mostly smooth singletrack, there are a handful of short/steep/technical climbs/descents over this 4+ mile return to the parking lot where you began.
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COMMENTS
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PHOTOS of Shield's Gulch Loop
 3.0 from 3 votes
Riding through a narrow gulch along the trail (Buena Vista, CO)
 2.7 from 3 votes
Cairns marking the nondescript entrance of Gentleman's Tail (Buena Vista, CO)
 2.3 from 3 votes
View of Mt. Antero & Mt. White (Buena Vista, CO)
 2.3 from 3 votes
Wonderful views along this section (Buena Vista, CO)
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