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Monarch Pass 11,312 feet (3.45 km). Roughly two-tenths of a mile beyond the junction the trail emerges above the treeline where you'll enjoy some absolutely fantastic views towards the west. The Crest Trail can be accessed from the Monarch Pass Parking Lot on Hwy 50. As a general rule of thumb you should plan to be off the summit before noon in order to avoid the notorious afternoon thunderstorms that frequent the mountains during the summer months. Hikers should note that there may be some off-trail trekking involved with this option. Some may ride this trail only once in their entire lives, while others may ride it once a … The day of our hike started out with some very low hanging clouds over Salida and Poncha Springs. The hike along the Monarch Crest Trail in the San Isabel National Forest begins from Monarch Pass. Hikers should also be prepared for extreme sun exposure, wind, cool temperatures, and rapidly changing weather conditions while on the trail. Ouray will come into view towards the southeast. ButI don't really give a shit about how long or fast it took to ride this truly epic… Riding the Monarch Crest Trail had been on our priority list since we came to Colorado, maybe even before that, but until recently we thought it was probably too much for us. From the parking lot go to the Continental Divide Trailhead at the east end of the parking lot near the arial tram. This is part 2 of my Monarch Crest ride, when I met up with 6 other YouTubers for a 35+ mile ride. The route begins relatively flat and contours through pines. If so, how long did the ride take? The Monarch Crest Trail: Out and Back is one of the most popular and scenic singletrack rides in America. Ouray Airtime Photographer. The Monarch Crest Trail is actually only 11 miles long, but it hooks into a much longer network of single-track trails and short sections of forest roads. This section of trail will provide you with some nice views towards the west. Monarch Crest Trail. There are plenty of opportunities for both ice and rock climbing, as well as rafting, skiing, mountain biking and so on. Explore the variety of epic descents accessible from the Monarch Crest Trail. For a shorter option you could end your hike on the north side of Peel Point, at roughly 3.75 miles from the trailhead, which arguably offers some of the best views along the route. The best of the rest is the Rainbow Trail. As we continued towards the trailhead we began to encounter fog, which thickened considerably as we drove higher. Because the Monarch Crest Trail is 11.5 miles in length, you can travel any distance to end your day hike. The Monarch Crest starts on the east side of Monarch Pass. At roughly 3.75 miles the trail begins to circle around the western slopes of 12,145-foot Peel Point. Due to the outstanding scenery, and a relatively small amount of elevation gain, this trail is considered to be one of the most popular mountain biking routes in Colorado. The Monarch Crest Trail is not just ANY trail; it’s an epic ride that has notoriety, at least in Colorado. After you top out, the descent towards Green Creek is fast and furious. In addition to the classic ride, there are plenty of options for alternative rides such as South Fooses Creek, Greens Creek, Agate Creek, Silver Creek, and Rainbow trails. Starting at Monarch Pass summit at 11,320 feet you will travel south along the Continental Divide nudging up to 12,000 feet as you make your way to Marshall Pass to take in some Colorado trail goodness. Soon afterwards 12,050-foot Chipeta Mountain and 13,971-foot Mt. We continued to the south side of the mountain where we ended our hike along a fairly narrow ridge line. The true 40-mile Crest Classic begins at Monarch Pass and drops 4,200 feet to the town of Salida. As a shuttle ride you'll climb about 2,300 feet (much of it above 11,000 feet) and you'll descent about 6,000 feet total. In the case of MTB, enthusiasts will surely fall in love with Monarch Crest. Lots of roots, and super fun. It is 12 miles of wondrous single-track from Monarch to Marshall passes, with another 28 miles of single-track following on the Rainbow Trail to U.S. 285, and on to Methodist Mountain and Bear Creek. October 18, 2016 by Mark. by Greg Heil. The Monarch Crest Trail to Marshall Pass ride combines all the magic of the Monarch Crest Trail with a non-technical descent to Salida. The Monarch Crest Trail has been rated as an IMBA Epic ride and is for sure an epic ride especially ending the ride with the Rainbow Trail. Copyright Trailforks scans ridelogs to determine which trails are ridden the most in the last 9 months. The Way: Monarch Pass is on US 50, 18 miles west of Poncha Springs. Monarch Crest, an IMBA epic ride,is definitely one of the top trails in Colorado.Factor in the ratio of downhill to climbing, and it’s even sweeter. From the world-renowned Monarch Crest Trail to the continually evolving network on S-Mountain right above town, it’s a great place to ride with a variety of possible experiences and a vibrant cycling community. Hikers should take this narrow, single-track trail, which immediately begins a short descent along a steep embankment. The trail begins as a paved road heading up the mountain between the Monarch Pass Gift Shop and the gondola building for the Monarch Tramway. Start early and finish by midday to get off the exposed ridge before summer's almost-daily afternoon thunderstorms. After that, you take in the order of a section of Marshall Trail, Silver Creek, Rainbow Trail and I-285 to get Poncha Springs. 3 comments. Incredibly, however, as soon as we reached the summit of the pass we emerged from the fog and saw nothing but brilliant blue skies and white billowy clouds in every direction. As you can see from the photo below, the fog lingered below the east side of the pass for much of the day. At just under 1.6 miles the four-wheel drive road (presumably the North Fooses Creek Road) branches off towards the left. About the Monarch Crest Trail. Please consider joining or donating to the local trail association to support. This IMBA EPIC, is located at the top of Monarch pass, on the Continental Divide. Licence Free. With over 30 miles of mostly singletrack trails and all of the best scenery Colorado has to offer, this trail is a must ride. The ride tops out just shy of 12,000 feet. Monarch Crest Trail mountain bike trail trail, Directions to monarch-crest-trail trailhead, embed Monarch Crest Trail trail on your website. The Monarch Crest Trail is best ridden as a shuttle and begins at the very top of Monarch Pass just outside of Salida or Poncha Springs, Colorado on highway U.S. 50. Start at Monarch Pass - Monarch Crest to the Colorado Trail, to Silver Creek Trail to Rainbow to Hwy 285 north, take the single track at mile marker 124 on the left side of the highway, look for the posts about a hundred yards past the mile marker that mark the entrance to the trail on an old rail road bed. The road down Marshall Pass follows an old railroad grade which connected Salida and Gunnison in the heyday of railroad. It looks like your browser does not support app deeplinking or you do not have the Trailforks app installed :(. It is a 35-mile ride full of technically varied, high-alpine singletrack. If you're doing Monarch Crest, do the Rainbow trail too. Hikers should turn right onto this dirt road to continue along the Continental Divide Trail. After you climb the dirt road and do a short climb, the views are amazing, and then more amazing as you navigate between small peaks. by Greg Heil. After walking a very short distance it turns into a dirt road. The views are 360 and you can see down multiple valleys. 7 AM special request shuttle is available for groups over 7. Occasionally the trail dips back into the trees and gets slightly more technical. It's a big ride, and while it's more downhill than up, it's long and it's high. Licence Free. Due to the outstanding scenery, and a relatively small amount of elevation gain, this trail is considered to be one of the most popular mountain biking routes in Colorado. While the "Crest" portion of the Monarch Crest Trail that runs along the Continental Divide, clinging to the tops of the mountains, is relatively non-technical, other portions of the Monarch Crest are definitely technically-challenging. The Monarch Crest Trail runs along the border between Gunnison and Chaffee counties, approximately 25 miles (40 km) west of the town of Salida. The Monarch Crest, as it is known, is actually a combination of the Monarch Crest Trail, the Silver Creek Trail, the Colorado Trail, the Continental Divide Trail and the Rainbow Trail, and can be completed in a number of variations. I started at 8:20am and finished exactly four hours later at 12:20pm. Three shuttles run daily at 8 & 10 AM. @ document.write(new Date().getFullYear()); RockyMountainHikingTrails.com. A good opportunity to test Kappius Hubs in the big mountains. It was hard to figure out just how difficult we should expect it … Longest ride I’ve done is right at 25 miles with 2,400 elevation gain and took me around 4 hours. Trailforks scans ridelogs to determine the last time a trail was ridden. I would highly recommend spending at least one or two days acclimating before attempting this hike. All-told, we covered about 35 miles – 11 on the Monarch Crest, 19 miles on the Rainbow and 5 miles on Highway 285 on a cruise back to our car in Poncha Springs. Monarch Crest is an epic High Country ride Super popular and for good reason. The Monarch Crest Scenic Tramway and Gift Shop are on the top of Monarch Pass at 11,312 feet (3.45 km). Epic Antora View Photographer. For a nominal fee of $30.00 cash/credit card, reserve a seat for you and your bike to be transported from Poncha Springs to Monarch Pass summit. Monarch Pass is located on the Continental Divide at the southern end of the Sawatch Mountain Range. Dogs and biking are both allowed on this trail. All rights reserved. The only downside is that due to its high altitude, there is but a short window of opportunity to ride it between the leftover spring snow and new autumn snow. After you climb the dirt road and do a short climb, the views are amazing, and then more amazing as you navigate between small peaks. I imagine this ride has sealed the deal on a few marriages, and broken some up. Local Wisdom: Most people--especially bikers--go north to south, from Monarch to Marshall, for a net drop in elevation. It climbs above tree line and traverses the mountains through grassy meadows and rock gardens. Colors indicate trail is missing specified detail. The Crest Trail is an out and back trail run. High Valley Bike Shuttle is your #1 source for bike shuttles and info on the Monarch Crest Trail and other mountain bike rides throughout Central Colorado. At just over one mile from the trailhead the path dead-ends into a four-wheel drive jeep road as it passes below a large power line. At this point we had serious doubts as to whether it would make sense for us to hike in such a thick fog that offered no chances to see any of the surrounding scenery. Focus on map Share. MONARCH CREST TRAIL . Trailforks scans users ridelogs to determine the most popular direction each trail is ridden. Monarch Crest is an epic High Country ride Super popular and for good reason. Please read this Disclaimer / Privacy Policy before using any information on this site. This is a big ride with big views. This is the drop-off point for shuttle vehicles. Without question, the Monarch Crest Trail rates as the most popular ride in the region. You could continue for another seven-tenths of a mile to reach the South Fooses Creek Trail junction. Trails are compared with nearby trails in the same city region with a possible 25 colour shades. Monarch Crest Trail is the first 11 miles on continental divide between Monarch Pass and Marshall Trail and it shares the track with Colorado Trail on the later half of 4 miles. After walking up this road for roughly one-third of a mile you'll reach a sign for the Continental Divide Trail, which branches off to the right. Explore the Greater Monarch Crest Trail Network. Hikers should always be aware of lightning risk while hiking in the Rocky Mountains, especially at higher elevations. A good flowing trail network will have most trails flowing in a single direction according to their intension. The Monarch Trail at Walnut Woods Metro Park in Groveport, Ohio is an easy 1.4 mile one-way trail that runs alongside Walnut Creek and connects with the Sweetgum Trail. The trailhead is located on Route 50, at the top of the pass, roughly 21.5 miles from Salida, and 18 miles from Poncha Springs. The Monarch Crest Trail, also know as the Monarch Pass Trail, travels for a total of 11.5 miles to Marshall Pass while following the Continental Divide Trail. Think of this as a heatmap, more rides = more kinetic energy = warmer colors. This spot, roughly 4.4 miles from the trailhead, offers great views towards the east, including 12,667-foot Pahlone Peak and the South Fooses Creek drainage. Finally, I had the chance to pedal my trusty old mountain bike over, up and around the twists and turns of the Monarch Crest Trail. Anyone ridden the full monarch crest trail? 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