Guidebook

Explore the Greater Monarch Crest Trail Network

Explore the variety of epic descents accessible from the Monarch Crest Trail.

Description

When most mountain bikers reference “the Monarch Crest,” they’re referring to a mountain bike ride of around 35 miles that generally begins with a shuttle to the top of Monarch Pass (elevation 11,312 feet). The ride itself follows the Continental Divide Trail for miles through drop-dead-gorgeous high alpine terrain. The Colorado Trail soon joins with the Continental Divide trail, with both long distance routes running together. The classic Monarch Crest ride crosses Marshall Pass, follows the Continental Divide Trail for a few more miles, then turns left onto the Silver Creek Trail. Silver Creek runs directly into the Rainbow Trail, and then when the Rainbow Trail hits Highway 285, riders turn left and head down the highway, back to Poncha Springs.

Technically, the term “Monarch Crest” refers to a portion of high alpine trail that runs for about 10 miles—just one subset of the Continental Divide Trail through this area. And what most mountain bikers new to the area may not realize, is that there are numerous singletrack trails connecting to the Crest. While the standard route does maximize your time on the Continental Divide and riding sweet singletrack in the mountains, the other trails in the area are (almost) all worthy of your exploration.

From the relentless gnar of Green's Creek to the deep stream crossings of Agate Creek, branch out and sample these absolutely fantastic trails!

Monarch Crest
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Monarch Crest

Salida
57.1 km1,062 m2,231 m
This epic trail provides high alpine ridge top riding at treeline with views for hundreds of miles in all directions, finishing with a ripping descent down the mountain.
Severe
Private
Fooses Creek Descent
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Fooses Creek Descent

Salida
13.8 km43 m974 m
The shortest Monarch Crest descent is also one of the rowdiest!
Severe
Private
Green's Creek Descent
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Green's Creek Descent

Salida
23.1 km9 m1,253 m
Green's Creek is the most relentlessly-technical singletrack trail dropping off of the Monarch Crest, making it a favorite of enduro racers.
Severe
Private
Agate Creek Descent
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Agate Creek Descent

Salida
15.6 km164 m971 m
A fast, technical descent down the west side of the Continental Divide from the Monarch Crest Trail
Severe
Private
Starvation Creek Descent
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Starvation Creek Descent

Salida
19.7 km143 m892 m
Beautiful old school singletrack through a deep valley.
Severe
Private
Silver Creek Rainbow Trail Loop
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Silver Creek Rainbow Trail Loop

Salida
30.9 km673 m673 m
A superb springtime loop ride with serpentine alpine singletrack interspersed with rock gardens.
Difficult
Private
Tank Seven
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Tank Seven

Salida
18.3 km390 m1,049 m
This brutally-technical ride out in the middle of basically nowhere requires both excellent fitness and bike handling skills.
Extreme
Private
Marshall Pass Road
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Marshall Pass Road

Salida
49.0 km1,170 m1,155 m
A moderate gravel road providing a great climbing route to access singletrack, an easy bailout off the Monarch Crest, and a portion of the Tour Divide route.
Easy
Private