Salida has over 35 miles of trails accessible from town, see our trail recommendations. From the S-Mountain/Arkansas Hill System to the Methodist Mountain area, riders have plenty to choose from. Stop in the shop for our custom map and we’ll point you in the direction for everything from a quick 1/2 hour fast loop to a multi-hour ride. Both Trailforks and MTB Project have updated trail information as well. Thanks to our local trail organization, Salida Mountain Trails, for building and maintaining our trail network!
Local Trail Highlights
Monarch CrestThe Monarch Crest Trail is the 11-mile section of Continental Divide Trail between Monarch Pass and Marshall Pass. It's 11 miles. Most bike riders ride it from Monarch to Marshall, and then continue on to do more bike riding. Many, many riders call the full ride they do the Monarch Crest. But for clarity, when staff from Absolute Bikes are talking about The Monarch Crest, we are referring to the 11 miles from Monarch to Marshall. The longer ride, which includes the Silver Creek Trail and alternately the Rainbow Trail, we refer to as The Classic Crest Route. One of the reasons that the Monarch Crest Trail is so wonderful is that it is very high. For about 6 miles of its 11 mile length, the Crest Trail is between 11,950 and 12,000 feet elevation. Which means that it is above treeline, and near the top of the Continental Divide ridge. The 360° views, the tiny high alpine flowers, and the rarified air make that stretch of trail pure rocky mountain magic. Enjoy the Monarch Crest Trail, please be nice to everyone you see. Enjoy those 11 miles of magic, then head on down a little lower to continue riding awesome singletrack, whether it's the Crest Classic Route, Starvation Creek, Agate Creek, Greens Creek, or the Colorado Trail down Fooses Creek. Stop by Absolute for maps, food, beta and last minute supplies.
Cottonwood TourCottonwood Tour is one of our favorites. Ride it as a loop starting with a 7-mile dirt road climb up CR 175. The singletrack starts on Beasway and climbs a little more before the descent starts! Beasway leads into Rumba, which then leads into Cottonwood. When the trail intersects with Backbone and Sweet Dreams, take your pick depending on how your legs are feeling. Right on Backbone is a faster exit when you descent Lower Sand Dunes, whereas Sweet Dreams leads to Chicken Dinner for a sweet and yummy flowy descent off the Arkansas Hills. Don't feel like climbing the road? We offer shuttle service to Cottonwood! NOTE: Beasway has a seasonal closure Dec 15 - March 15 for wildlife.
Methodist Mountain – Little Rainbow
The Methodist Mountain system is the “easiest” in the Salida area. It can be ridden as a larger loop from town, or smaller loops/out-and-back from the parking lot.
To ride from town, take CR 110 north out of town and pedal a 2wd dirt road to the trailhead. Here you have options – our current favorite is to ride Spartan West, cross CR 110 to Spartan East until it meets up with Little Rainbow. Take a left on Little Rainbow and ride it until Race Track (or Lost or Dead Bird). The trail puts you at the Burmac trailhead and you can then ride back to town – take the deer trail on the left side of the highway, and cross 50 at the Forest Service office, then take CR 105 back to town for less traffic.
To ride the loop from the Little Rainbow Trailhead, follow above directions to the parking lot. Ride Spartan West to Spartan East and turn right on Little Rainbow for a nice 6ish mile loop.