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A great combination of the scenic Continental Divide with a burly, technical descent.


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Map Key

21.7

Miles

35.0

KM

95%

Singletrack

11,961' 3,646 m

High

7,436' 2,266 m

Low

661' 201 m

Up

4,550' 1,387 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

30%

Max Grade (17°)

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.

Overview

One of the most technical descents off of the Monarch Crest Trail .

Need to Know

This route is high altitude so pack plenty of water and snacks. In summer, the area can be subject to intense thunderstorms. Be prepared to take cover or retreat if necessary.

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.

Around mile 6.8, after a loose and rocky downhill above treeline, the trail will re-enter the woods and you'll have a small meadow on the left. Just beyond this meadow in the trees is Green's Creek. A small shelter also marks this intersection.

Take a left and get ready for a technical rider's dream. The upper section is steep, wet, and rocky with the lower section being more about the flow and speed through tight aspen trees. Bring your long travel fork, dropper seat post and let it rail!

Shuttle or pedal back into town from here via roads 221 and 220.

Contacts

Shared By:

Leslie Kehmeier with improvements by Greg Heil

Trail Ratings

  4.9 from 7 votes

#4

in Monarch Pass

#1061

Overall
  4.9 from 7 votes
5 Star
86%
4 Star
14%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#4

in Monarch Pass

#227

in Colorado

#1,061

Overall
9 Views Last Month
3,744 Since Jul 6, 2016
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Photos

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


Current Trail Conditions

Unknown
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Jun 29, 2022
Frank Selker
Greens had a little mud but fine. No snow on Monarch.
Jul 29, 2016
lubes 17319
Jul 14, 2016
lubes 17319
Sep 26, 2015
lubes 17319
Aug 2, 2015
lubes 17319
Oct 12, 2012
lubes 17319
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