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Colorado 14ers Loop: Segment 1 - Salida to Leadville

Intermediate

Trail

139.9 mile 225.2 kilometer point to point
Singletrack
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 16,537' 5,040 m
Descent: -13,441' -4,097 m
High: 13,151' 4,008 m
Low: 7,078' 2,157 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 49% (26°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Map Key

Trail shared by Bikepacking Roots

The western half of the route including the Colorado Trail and some big summits.

Bikepacking Roots

This has been hidden from our maps to prevent overlap with existing trails, or because our research has found there is no legal access.

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

Features Commonly Bikepacked

Riding the 14ers along this loop is a fringe activity that, as of the summer of 2016, was permitted by the US Forest Service on all the peaks included on this route. Continued access by mountain bike is tenuous, so it is of paramount importance that mountain bikers exercise the utmost respect and kindness toward hikers and horse riders on these trails, and practice conscious mountain Leave No Trace skills.

Section Of

Description

With Salida at your back, pavement and dirt roads lead to the base of the towering peaks to the west, specifically Mt. Shavano. The Colorado Trail singletrack picks up where the road ends and heads north toward Buena Vista. The trail is winding, flowing, and traverses the eastern flank of the Collegiate Peaks without any prolonged climbs. Stream crossings and aspen groves are frequent, good camping spots are abundant, and other trail users tend to be very friendly.

The first of the semi-rideable 14ers along the route is Mt. Shavano, the toughest of them all. The trail heads up a 4,300-foot climb in under three miles, and the descent is relentless and incredibly technical riding. The next 14er north is Mount Antero, and the route up is far more gradual, but still quite steep at times. The climb follows a mixture of singletrack and mine roads, and the most enjoyable trail down is entirely swoopy singletrack.

From above Buena Vista, the route leaves the Colorado Trail and takes the most direct dirt route to town. Eat up and resupply before heading north on a quiet dirt road along the Arkansas River. You’ll rejoin the Colorado Trail at Clear Creek Reservoir and follow it north to Twin Lakes. Beyond Twin Lakes, the Colorado Trail gets a bit more rugged, before a few miles of dirt road and pavement delivers you to the high-elevation town of Leadville.

Along the stretch of trail between Buena Vista and Leadville, the options for Mounts Huron and Elbert strike off to the west. Mt. Huron offers a steep, rocky ascent at the end of a long dirt road. Mt. Elbert, the tallest in Colorado, sits just off the Colorado Trail, and the trail offers some of the most breathtaking riding of any of the 14ers on this route. But beware of all the other trail users on this popular peak.

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We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Electic Mountain Bikes Allowed

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  5.0 from 1 vote

#1906

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Trail Rankings

#274

in Colorado

#1,906

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410 Since Apr 24, 2017
Intermediate

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Photos

There are many optional natural rock features on Little Brown's Creek.
Aug 6, 2017 near Alpine , CO
Climbing FS278 at 13,100'.
Aug 6, 2017 near Alpine , CO
Views from the Colorado Trail
Sep 11, 2015 near Buena V…, CO
Green room on the CT.
Sep 12, 2016 near St. Elmo, CO
One of the most beautiful portions of Browns Creek Trail is punctuated by towering granite slabs and spires. Did you bring your alpine trad rack?
Jun 19, 2017 near Alpine , CO
Arkansas River colours along the SBFL.
Dec 15, 2014 near Buena V…, CO

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