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Monarch Crest Mountain Biking Trail

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Basics
Location:
Between Poncha Springs just outside of Salida and the Monarch Ski Area
Length:
35.1 mile oneway
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Aerobic Difficulty:
Moderate
Time To Allow:
3 to 5 hours
Elevation Change:
-3500 feet
Season:
July to September

Description

Frequently rated one of the best biking trails in the west, this long ride descends over half a vertical mile as it meanders from the Monarch ski resort down to the town of Poncha Springs. After some steep climbing near the route's beginning, the trail is mostly downhill, passing through high alpine meadows, conifer, pine, and aspen forests, mine and railroad ruins, and rocky descents. The Sawatch Mountain scenery here in the central Rockies is breathtaking, and the isolation of many trail segments means the wildlife is abundant.
Location:
Between Poncha Springs just outside of Salida and the Monarch Ski Area
Length:
35.1 mile oneway
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Aerobic Difficulty:
Moderate
Time To Allow:
3 to 5 hours
Elevation Change:
-3500
Season:
July to September
Basic Directions
From Salida, head west on US 50 about 20 miles. The trail begins from Monarch Pass at 11,312 feet, and climbs to nearly 12,000 before beginning the descent.

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