MTB Project Logo

Earn your tech turns, ride the tech gnar on S-Mtn.

Your Rating: Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add To-Do · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key







8,091' 2,466 m


7,043' 2,147 m


1,689' 515 m


1,689' 515 m



Avg Grade (4°)


Max Grade (22°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Not Allowed


Climb up to ride the most technical trails on S-Mountain down; Hooligan and Uncle Nazty. Hard work going up, most fun going down. Might consider bringing and wearing knee and elbow pads.


From the F Street parking lot, ride up Frontside, then continue going up on the easier Lil Rattler trail. At the intersection with CR173, Rusty Lung and Backbone, go straight up CR173 for just a bit, then turn left onto North Backbone.

Halfway up North Backbone turn right onto Dude Abides. This is a pretty steep climb, with a few optional lines - stay right for the 'easiest' uphill. At the top, where it connects to CR173, turn right, then turn sharp left onto Pauli, which starts as a loose, gravel road climb before the singletrack turns off to the left. Ride this fun, techy trail to the intersection with Uncle Nazty & Hooligan.

Lower the seat, and turn right, down Hooligan. This 'black' downhill trail features a number of rock features in the form of jumps, rollers, and some optional tech lines; some with significant exposure and potential to get yourself in trouble (read, get hurt).

After a rough and tumble ride, it connects into Sand Dunes, which in and of itself is a technical trail. Turn left, stay focussed and ride Sand Dunes until you get to a four-way intersection. Turn right onto Backbone, a smooth and easy ride after all the previous tech stuff. It climbs back to the intersection with Lil Rattler, Rusty Lung, and CR173, which you'll recognize from earlier in the right. Turn right and up CR173, and this time ignore the North Backbone trail. Keep going up on CR173, which gets loose and technical in spots. Pass Sand Dunes on your right, same with Pauli. Keep going up CR173, which likely will require a bit of walking, just before you get to the Uncle Nazty trail on your right.

Go down Uncle Nazty, which starts off pretty mellow. Pass Pauli and Hooligan. Uncle Nazty turns, well, nastier at this point. Optional lines appear, which might cause a bit of confusion, and 'trying again'. The trail gets progressively harder, increasing the potential to get hurt. Choose your lines wisely. The trail turns easier towards the intersection with Prospector. Once there, I recommend turning right onto Prospector. Turning left down to Cottonwood is another option, but Prospector is pretty special, as it hugs a steep side slope on the way down, with several sharp but fun turns. It has a bit of old school feel to it.

At the bottom, turn left onto Sand Dunes, you've been here before, but now go straight at the four-way intersection to continue down Sand Dunes. This is the shortest and most fun way back to the F Street parking lot; but be aware of hikers and runners going up Sand Dunes, please.


Shared By:

Marcel S with improvements by N G

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 5 votes


  4.8 from 5 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Recommended Route Rankings


in Colorado


19 Views Last Month
3,373 Since Feb 5, 2019
Difficult Difficult



Frontside trail provides stellar views of the high peaks surrounding Salida.
May 19, 2015 near Salida, CO
The new and improved Burnpile offers fantastic features built to get you airborne!
Jan 30, 2017 near Salida, CO
One of the many technical drops on Uncle Nazty trail.
May 19, 2015 near Salida, CO
Sunset on North Backbone.
Nov 1, 2016 near Salida, CO
The sun begins to set on an evening snow ride on North Backbone in the Arkansas Hills Trail System, Salida, CO.
Jan 27, 2017 near Salida, CO
It's steeper than it looks!
Feb 15, 2017 near Salida, CO


Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 34 days ago
Add Your Check-In


Aug 22, 2021
Paul Burkemper
Jun 4, 2021
Kristian Keane
Feb 10, 2021
Private User

Join the Community

Create your FREE account today!
Already have an account? Login to close this notice.

Get Started