MTB Project Logo

Monarch Crest to Agate Creek Loop

 4.0 (5)
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

36.6 Miles 59.0 Kilometers



4,432' 1,351 m


-4,417' -1,346 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (13°)

11,962' 3,646 m


8,573' 2,613 m


Shared By Zach Allen



Getting forecast...

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

Zach Allen

Dogs Unknown

Features -none-


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.


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 road 888 (this road is mostly paved until you start up old Monarch Pass).

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?


You & This Featured Ride

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Ride

Your Check-Ins


Jul 30, 2018
Gina Robertson
Super fun downhill, have to cross over a bunch of creek beds but it is worth it! it was a little smoky up at the top with lower visibility. very fun!
Sep 3, 2017
Betsy Williford
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 5 votes


in Monarch Pass


  4.0 from 5 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star


in Monarch Pass


in Colorado


58 Views Last Month
5,275 Since Jul 24, 2016
Difficult Difficult



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

MTB Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Mountain Bike

MTB Project is supported by

Support Your Local IMBA Chapter