Salida: A Mountain Biker's Mecca
Where mountain biking is a way of life...
April 17, 2005

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If you get to bed early enough, which isn’t difficult because the nightlife doesn’t rival Las Vegas, you can get up and do it again - another direction and another perfect trail. After a few days you’ll realize that Salida offers some of the most epic riding in the country. The word is getting out so pack your bags so you get here while it’s still cool, fresh and unknown.

To purchase a copy of Nathan’s guidebook to the mountain bike trails of Salida and the surrounding area - Salida Singletrack, visit

Trails: The Top 5 Rides
1. Monarch Crest Trail to Agate Creek - an 18 mile advanced ride that climbs above treeline on the Continental Divide before descending over 3,400 feet on a wild singletrack that crosses Agate Creek at least a dozen times.

2. Rainbow Trail: Silver Creek Loop - a 19 mile intermediate ride that gradually climbs one of Otto Mear’s old toll roads along Silver Creek before turning evolving into a perfect singletrack.

3. Colorado Trail: Mount Princeton to Cottonwood Creek - 11 miles of buff singletrack, this intermediate trail also has hot springs at either end. Rarely ridden and perfect. Soak your buns.

4. Continental Divide Trail: Saint Elmo to Tin Cup Pass - this strenuous 18 mile loop follows an old railroad grade to the Alpine Tunnel where the route turns into a faint challenging singletrack that tops out at 12,329 feet above sea level.

5. Colorado Trail: Twin Lakes to Half Moon Creek - a beautiful intermediate 18 mile singletrack that traverses the flanks of Mount Elbert (14,433 ft.), the highest peak in Colorado.

All of these trails can be found in the new guidebook: Salida Singletrack, Mountain Biking in Colorado’s Upper Arkansas Valley. It can be purchased directly from the author online at

Getting There
2.5 hours southwest of Denver on US Highway 285. 2 hours west of Colorado Springs on US 115 to 50.

Camping at US Forest Service Campgrounds, or camp FREE 2 miles east of Salida at Salida East. No facilities. Drive east on US50 about two miles and look for the tiny sign on the north side of the road next to the Arkansas River.

Bed and Breakfasts
River Run Inn, 800-385-6925 - on the banks of the Arkansas River
Gazebo Country Inn, 800-565-7806 - located downtown

Bike Shop
Absolute Bikes,, 888-539-9295.
This shop has everything - high quality rentals, USCF-certified mechanics, guidebooks, etc.
Otero Cyclery,, 719-539-6704

Eating and Drinking:
Moonlight Pizza, 719-539-4277 - even Italians fight over this pie
Cornucopia Bakery and Café, 719-539-2531 - inexpensive and free coffee refills
Bongo Billy’s Salida Café, 719-539-4261 - live music on weekends
Bensons Tavern, 719-539-9391 - the only smoke free bar in town
Arlie Dale’s Jug Liquor, 719-539-0111 - the owner is a mountain biker

Other Good Stuff:
Joyful Journey Mineral Hot Springs, 719-256-4328 - the best hot springs around. 30 minute drive south of town and well worth it.
Salida Hot Springs Pool, 719-539-6738 - showers, but they’re ugly.

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