Monarch Crest Trail

Consensus:    (details)
  4.9 from 7 votes
blue  Intermediate from 2 votes
Rank: #1 in the Monarch area
#33 in CO, #78 Overall
Views: 8,448. Last 30 days: 127
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Trail in the area near Salida,
“A classic Colorado high-country ridge run with stunning views”
Leslie Kehmeier on Oct 3, 2013
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14.523.3 milesKilometers 1,641’500 m Ascent 11,962’3,646 m High 4% Avg Grade (3°)
Singletrack Type -1,719’-524 m Descent 10,844’3,305 m Low 17% Max Grade (10°)
Description
The Monarch Crest starts on the east side of Monarch Pass. This is the drop-off point for shuttle vehicles.

Ride up the dirt road behind the tram building and climb a bit before finding the start of the Monarch Crest Trail on the right. The route begins relatively flat and contours through pines. The tread is fairly smooth with a few roots. After a quick climb on a section of doubletrack, stay right again on singletrack. This segment is a big more technical with roots and a few rocks.

From here the trail is fairly open has spectacular views of valleys and mountains to the west. Stay right (straight) at intersections with Fooses Creek (access to Colorado Trail), Greene's Creek Little Cochetopa. Chipeta Peak looms large and beautiful to the east as you pedal up a short steady climb from Greene's Creek.

Above Marshall Pass, the route opens up into doubletrack and descends quickly. Ride past the pit toilet continuing south. When the road bends right, pedal straigh up the hill and then to the right. Look for Monarch Pass trail on the left.

The route contours again with some short climbs and descents. Most of the time you'll be in the trees with a tread surface that alternates between smooth and rooty.

The Silver Creek intersection will sneak up on you quickly after breaking out into the trees on a quick downhill.

Turn left here for Silver Creek and the Monarch Crest - IMBA Epic.
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COMMENTS
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PHOTOS of Monarch Crest Trail
  4.8 from 6 votes
Somewhere on the Monarch Crest Trail (Salida, CO)
  4.7 from 3 votes
Just one of several amazing views along the Monarch Crest Trail. (Salida, CO)
  4.0 from 5 votes
Views that seem to go on forever (Salida, CO)
  4.0 from 4 votes
The beautiful view before starting the Fooses descent (Salida, CO)
  3.5 from 4 votes
views along the crest (Salida, CO)
  3.5 from 4 votes
Heading down the first section of Fooses; it's a steep and loose but ver... (Salida, CO)
  3.2 from 5 votes
rolling along the first miles of the crest (Salida, CO)
  3.0 from 3 votes
Smooth singletrack & the views begin almost immediately (Salida, CO)
  2.3 from 3 votes
Intersection of the South Fooses Creek Trail and Monarch Pass Trail (Salida, CO)
  2.3 from 4 votes
And take this singletrack trail off to the right (Salida, CO)
  2.3 from 4 votes
Take this singletrack trail off to the right (Salida, CO)
  1.3 from 3 votes
Marshall Pass parking lot & a bathroom if you need it (Salida, CO)
  1.3 from 4 votes
Right up the road to locate the trail (Salida, CO)