Monarch Crest Trail

  • © Taf McMurry

    13a
  • © Taf McMurry

    12a
  • © Taf McMurry

    15a
  • © Taf McMurry

    25a
  • © Taf McMurry

    106a Crest
  • © Taf McMurry

    26a
  • © Taf McMurry

    33a
  • © Taf McMurry

    88a Crest
  • © Taf McMurry

    108a Crest
  • 13a

    © Taf McMurry

This is without a doubt one of the most special mountain bike rides anywhere. And we aren’t alone in thinking so. Consistently ranked as one of the top mountain bike trails in the United States, the Monarch Crest Trail delivers incredible high altitude singletrack and a long downhill that descends thousands of feet back to Salida. To begin this ride we shuttle from Salida at 7,000 feet up to Monarch Pass at 11,312 feet! As we like to say: it’s all downhill… except for the uphill. And despite our starting elevation, there is some climbing.

It’s that high elevation that makes the views along the Monarch Crest Trail so spectacular. Most days, we can see six distinct mountain ranges as we ride: Pikes Peak and the Mosquito Range to the east; the Sangre de Cristos to the southeast; the San Juan Mountains to the southwest; the Uncompahgre Plateau to west; the Elk Mountains to the northwest; and the Sawatch Range to the north.

There are several options for how to experience the Monarch Crest Trail – everything from an out-and-back adventure along the highest, above-treeline section of the trail (what we call the Ride Across the Sky), to much longer rides that begin with the Ride Across the Sky but continue out and down the glorious ribbons of singletrack that spill from the Crest – the most popular of which being Silver Creek.

If you’re inclined to explore the Crest without the assistance of one of our scholarly, cultured, knowledgeable (and good looking!) guides, Absolute Bikes has the best selection of maps in the valley, including a custom Monarch Crest map that we designed ourselves. Come by and pick our brains.

The Monarch Crest Trail does not disappoint and truly is one of the best rides you’ll ever do. Join us for the fun!

Miles: 19 (or less for out-and-back), 39 for Crest to Silver Creek

Duration: 5-7 hours

Difficulty: Intermediate/Advanced – high altitude, challenging single-track

Trail: Single-track, Dirt Road, Paved Road

Rates: $195 per person. Includes: aluminium full suspension mountain bike; guide; shuttle; lunch; and water bottle. (Two person minimum. Solo riders $60 up-charge.)