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A classic Colorado high-country ridge run with stunning views


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Map Key

14.8

Miles

23.8

KM

Singletrack

11,961' 3,646 m

High

10,846' 3,306 m

Low

1,574' 480 m

Up

1,656' 505 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

17%

Max Grade (10°)

Dogs Off-leash

E-Bikes Allowed

Features Views

Usually snow covered until the 4th of July. Even then, you may have to cross several tall snow drifts on the top of the Divide, which can be sketchy. Begin your ride early to avoid being caught in afternoon thunderstorms.

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

Turn left here for Silver Creek Trail and the Monarch Crest - IMBA Epic.

Contacts

Shared By:

Leslie Kehmeier

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 31 votes

#2

in Monarch Pass

#273

Overall
  4.6 from 31 votes
5 Star
71%
4 Star
23%
3 Star
6%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#2

in Monarch Pass

#99

in Colorado

#273

Overall
60 Views Last Month
42,862 Since Oct 3, 2013
Intermediate Intermediate

0%
0%
59%
36%
5%
0%

Photos

Monarch Crest
Sep 7, 2016 near Whitepine, CO
Somewhere on the Monarch Crest Trail
Jul 13, 2015 near Salida, CO
There's snow in them hills!
Sep 25, 2017 near Whitepine, CO
Late October on the Monarch Crest.
Nov 1, 2016 near Whitepine, CO
Riding above treeline. Probably the highest I have ever ridden my bike. Lung busting altitude.
Oct 12, 2016 near Whitepine, CO
Beautiful summer morning on the 'crest
Aug 10, 2016 near Salida, CO

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Unknown
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Sep 29, 2023
M K
Sep 2, 2023
James Nichols
Missed the turn for Rainbow Trail and backtracked to complete the route. Was really gassed and wish we had skipped Rainbow, sounds common to do. 40mi — 4h 54m
Aug 12, 2023
James Feehan
Sep 24, 2022
MTB Addict
16mi
Aug 15, 2022
Malcolm Bihl
Unbelievably epic ride. Be ready to climb and climb a lot. Epic views, memorable decents, and lots of climbing. Also know your route, it's tricky. 34mi — 3h 54m
Oct 6, 2019
Sophie R
Leaves changing. Weather great.
Sep 7, 2019
Tim McCabe
Sep 5, 2019
Joel Lopez
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