Monarch Crest -> Agate Creek

Salida

A fast, technical descent down the west side of the Continental Divide from the Monarch Crest Trail

Mountain Biking Severe

Distance
28 km
Ascent
468 m
Descent
1.1 km
Low Point
2.7 km
High Point
3.7 km
Gradient
VIEW ON MAP
Monarch Crest -> Agate Creek Map

Description

The Agate Creek Trail descends down the west side of the Continental Divide, ending near Highway 50 a couple miles above the town of Sargents. If you plan to ride Agate, note that you’ll need to self shuttle—there is no commercial shuttle that services this side of the Continental Divide. So before you drop down this trail, make doubly sure that you know where you’re going!

If you do decide to self shuttle Agate (or pedal a really big loop), this moto-legal singletrack will reward you with one of the sweetest Monarch Crest descents! The upper section is high speed and wide-open through the alpine... as long as you can blast through boulder fields and off of ledgy drops.

Once the trail drops into the trees, the track becomes smoother and even faster, blasting at top speed through moto whoops and loamy black dirt.

Down in the valley, the trail begins to criss cross the creek from which it gets its name, with the water crossings getting deeper and deeper as you go. Some of the final stream crossings run deeper than knee height even in late summer. In early summer, the stream can sometimes be flowing so deeply that the crossings are not only extremely deep, but borderline treacherous. As a result, this trail is recommended in late summer or early fall.

The lower portion of the trail transitions into a deep, eroded trench of a singletrack with some massive rock features—some of the single biggest rock features in the entire Monarch Crest zone. While the extremely technical stretches can be walked, the lower rocks are decidedly black diamond… or beyond.

Agate Creek is a serious ride, but the feeling of ripping a delectable singletrack that few riders experience is worth all of the challenge.

Difficulty

Severe

Widely variable, narrow trail tread with steeper grades and unavoidable obstacles of 15in/38cm tall or less. Obstacles may include unavoidable bridges 24in/61cm wide or less, large rocks, gravel, difficult root sections, and more. Ideal for advanced-level riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

July, August, September

Features

  • Flow
  • Technical
  • Shuttle-run
  • Wet-weather friendly
  • Drops
  • Roots
  • Rock Rolls
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area