Analysing terrain data
The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.
Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.
Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.
High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.
Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.
Fooses Creek is the shortest of the Monarch Crest shuttle routes, but that doesn’t mean you should skip it! The descent may be shorter, but it’s certifiably rowdy, with the steep scree field drop in off the ridge top renowned as one of the most difficult stretches of trail in the Monarch Crest zone. After dropping steeply down the scree field, the trail angle mellows...
but the rocks only get bigger.
The middle section of Fooses is filled with big boulders separated by boggy stretches of mud.
Many of the boulder features also ride as up-and-overs, requiring a more cross country style of technical riding.
Next, the singletrack steepens again, blasting through the trees down loamy singletrack laced with root webs. Again, the grade mellows, but the long sight lines continue, offering ultra high speed ripping through the pine trees.
Watch for uphill traffic, but this section may just be the fastest singletrack through the trees that you ever ride! The Fooses Creek trail is actually a part of the Colorado Trail as well.
Colorado Trail thru riders heading from Denver to Durango will climb up Fooses to gain the Monarch Crest, and then carry on south along the Continental Divide Trail. Also, since Fooses is indeed the shortest Monarch Crest descent, it’s not ideal as a commercial shuttle.
The trail reaches Highway 50 / Monarch Pass many miles above Poncha Springs, and with almost no shoulder on the highway, it’s not recommended as a bail out option down to Poncha.
Rather, if you want to ride Fooses, it’s best to self-shuttle.