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