Bikepacking: Colorado 14ers Loop
ElevationAscent: 26,261' 8,004 m
Descent: -26,314' -8,020 m
High: 13,162' 4,012 m
Low: 7,042' 2,146 m
GradeAvg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 22% (12°)
Popular rides nearby
Salida Big Friggin' Loop - Normal Route
89.3 mi 143.7 km • Point to Point • 10,212 ft Ascent 3112.69 m Ascent
S-Mtn Chicken for Dinner
9.7 mi 15.7 km • Loop • 903 ft Ascent 275.1 m Ascent
S-Mtn Tech Gnar Ride
10.4 mi 16.7 km • Point to Point • 1,813 ft Ascent 552.67 m Ascent
24.4 mi 39.3 km • Loop • 3,078 ft Ascent 938.2 m Ascent
Bear Creek - Rainbow - Columbine loop
8.8 mi 14.2 km • Loop • 1,347 ft Ascent 410.53 m Ascent
Monarch Crest to Green's
14.0 mi 22.5 km • Point to Point • 673 ft Ascent 205.21 m Ascent
“A remarkably rideable bikepacking route in central Colorado with options for seven rather unrideable peaks along the way.”— Bikepacking Roots
Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown
Features Commonly Bikepacked
Need to Know
● Ideal time of year: For the base loop without including the 14ers, mid-July to mid-September are the ideal time of year. Following particularly snowy winters, the climb over Mosquito Pass (13,000' at the top) may still be snowy through mid-July. If attempting to tackle 14ers along the way, mid-August to mid-September is the narrow window in between sufficient snow melting off the peaks and the first snowfalls of the next winter.
● Safety concerns: Be particularly wary of afternoon thunderstorms. These convective storms often are quite electric, and lightning strikes are very common, and fatalities due to lightning strikes can happen. Take this risk very seriously. Plan to be down below treeline by noon at the latest.
The recommended beginning and ending point for this route is the small town of Salida, a hub for any and all forms of mountain recreation. From Salida, the route climbs west to join the Colorado Trail, and the flowy singletrack winds its way north along the flanks of the Collegiate Peaks to the towns of Buena Vista and Leadville. Four of the 14er options sit just west of this section of the Colorado Trail – Mounts Shavano, Antero, Huron, and Elbert (Colorado's highest peak). Each of these peaks requires a steep 4,000-foot climb with hike-a-bike, to reach the summit and some top-notch technical skills for the descent back down.
From Leadville, the steep climb up Mosquito Pass leads to the tiny town of Alma and the next two and most rideable 14ers, Mounts Cameron and Lincoln. The route then heads south on bike path and dirt roads, past Mount Sherman, the last of the 14ers, eventually reaching primitive singletrack below the eastern slopes of Buffalo Peaks. A few dozen miles of quiet forest roads leads to a final 2,000-foot singletrack descent that leads directly to downtown Salida, closing the loop with an exclamation point.
This route was developed by Bikepacking Roots and collaborators.