Monarch Crest to Agate Creek Loop

 4 votes

36.6 Miles 59.0 Kilometers


50%

Singletrack

4,432' 1,351 m

Ascent

-4,417' -1,346 m

Descent

11,962' 3,646 m

High

8,573' 2,613 m

Low

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

23%

Max Grade (13°)

Minor Issues

17 days agoUpdate

A long dirt road climb to access the classic Monarch Crest Trail and a great technical descent.

Zach Allen

Overview

A great way to ride the Monarch Crest Trail without a shuttle and tack on an amazing and challenging descent. The most technical descent option from the Monarch Crest Trail.

Need to Know

Lots of creek crossings! May be unrideable during times of high runoff.

Description

Park at the Agate Creek Trailhead on the south side of HWY 50. There are two places that the Agate Creek Trail #484 intersects the highway. Park at the second one (farthest west).

Ride downhill on HWY 50 for about two miles and turn right on the dirt road 888.

Enjoy the scenery and views of Tomichi Pass as you pedal up the dirt road for about five miles.

Turn right on Old Monarch Pass Road and settle in for a consistently steep but smooth eight mile dirt road climb. Summit the pass and drop down to HWY 50. Turn right and climb the pavement for 0.5 miles.

At Monarch Pass, climb past the gondola and onto the Monarch Crest Trail. Ride the Crest past the wooden shelter at the top of Green's Creek. After the trail opens up in a meadow with spectacular views, watch for a sign for Agate Creek.

This is where the fun really starts! Turn right and drop into Agate Creek Trail #484. This descent is more technical than the more standard descents off of the Crest. Agate is a popular motorcycle ride and is fast, loose, and rocky at the top.

It then becomes more forested and has lots of fast, fall line descending that is strewn with roots, that will have you grinning from ear to ear.

Lower down, the trail crosses Agate Creek for the first of maybe 12 crossings, with each subsequent crossing getting deeper. Further down, the creek may be difficult to cross in spring runoff. There are several technical rock gardens in the woods towards the lower sections of the trail that most riders will find challenging.

Make a left turn at a sign for the Agate Creek Spur Trail to continue the descent to the lower parking lot. After a final creek crossing, climb a short, loose climb back to the trailhead.

History & Background

Cool cabin on the trail with a name plate and the year 1951. Anyone have any info on this?

Contacts

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4.0 from 4 votes


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Check-Ins

Sep 3, 2017
Betsy Williford
24.4mi
Aug 19, 2017
Noel Peck
Oct 17, 2016
Kristian Keane
Oct 1, 2016
Brad Luth
Sep 11, 2016
Aaron D
Sep 10, 2016
fabrizio Giorgetta

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 4 votes

#6

in Monarch Pass

#1699

Overall
  4.0 from 4 votes
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Rankings

#6

in Monarch Pass

#218

in Colorado

#1,699

Overall
126 Views Last Month
2,414 Since Jul 24, 2016
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Conditions


Minor Issues 17 days ago

Getting forecast...

Photos

There is a (new?) singletrail connecting the old Monarch pass with the new Monarch pass. Sep 13, 2016
Let's do this! May 25, 2017

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