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Despite being an epic mountain bike destination of the first degree, for years Salida has suffered from a lack of beginner-friendly singletrack trails.
If you're an advanced-level rider the deficit of easy singletrack is of little concern, but if you don't have the skills or endurance for a long, technical, steep ride, your options in Salida were very limited. As of the time of this writing, the newest singletrack trails built near Salida by local advocacy group Salida Mountain Trails will help serve the beginner and early intermediate mountain bikers living and visiting the region.
Dubbed Spartan West and Spartan East, these two new trail segments when combined with the older Little Rainbow trail create an easily-accessible beginner-friendly loop of less than 6 miles in length.
The trail tread itself is smooth and flowy.
Gone are the steep climbs, tight turns, and technical rock features found on most trails close to Salida.
In its place, you'll find flowy banked corners, fun rollers, and relatively flat singletrack all around.
Despite being easy to pedal, the views from the trail—particularly off of Spartan West toward the Sawatch Range—will prompt riders to pull their phones out of their pockets to grab a quick snap for the 'Gram. While the views from Spartan West are extraordinary, Spartan East also accesses some very interesting zones, including "a large bowl-shaped area that contains.
.some of the biggest trees in the Methodist Mountain trail system," according to Salida Mountain Trails. Once riders have descended Spartan West and crossed Spartan East, the older Little Rainbow trail can be a bit of a grunt when returning to the CR 110 Trailhead.
Instead of completing the loop, turning around and returning the way you came via East to West is another viable option.