Buy a Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue (CORSAR) card to protect yourself. The description and mileages given from here assume that you’re going to the top. Go left here to loop back to the road you came up, or turn right to continue to the top. This trail goes by Old Monarch Pass. Travelers encounter high mountain lakes and towering peaks of six wilderness areas and eight mountain ranges as they climb nearly 90,000 vertical feet. Time for a beer in Salida. After a dip. This is a easy loop trail to Monarch Pass in Gunnison National Forest. Look for the Monarch Park Campground sign on the left. Loved it! Cottonwood Pass to the Ptarmigan Lake Road, Cottonwood Lake to the Poplar Gulch Trail, Monarch Crest Trail to South Fooses Creek. The Old, Old Monarch Pass Toll Road was a stagecoach road which started as the mining boom exploded in the upper South Arkansas valley in the late 1870’s. The classic loop covers 27 miles, but there are several great extension options that are well worth making this a three-day adventure. If a CORSAR card holder becomes lost or injured in the backcountry, the Colorado SAR Fund pays eligible search and rescue expenses. In 1936 another version of Monarch Pass opened and that is the current route today. The next day the rains hit hard and we thought about the hikers we had passed. There can be a bit of crazy in those big cities. Road builders started Old Monarch Pass Road in 1919 and opened the pass to traffic in 1921 to shorten the original wagon trail over the pass built in 1880. Old Monarch Pass is only a mile west of Monarch Pass. The average elevation of the Trail is 10,300 feet, topping out at 13,271 feet just below 13,334-foot Coney Summit in southwest Colorado. This pass features several different types of terrains to test out your skills, without being too difficult. Best completed on Mountain Bike as the road has some rough sections. The 22-mile road opened in September 1921, and—fun fact—cost about $10,000 per mile to build. We both grew up in small towns which probably made staying in this small town with a downtown of about six blocks good for a while. In 1960 3% of the US population lived in cities. Thanks for showing what we are missing from not going to the Mountains out west! 3.1 Enter this clearing (38° 30.05N, 106° 19.55W) and stay slightly uphill to your right where you’ll intersect another path that is almost always kicked in by downhill skiers. Hazards, natural or manmade, whether noted in this book or not, can be encountered at any time, under any situation. The loop is abt 3 miles 2-2.5 hours Light hiking great views At the tip of the lake the trail hooks up w trails from the wilderness areas Bring hiking shoes water snack Stay alert there is wildlife We spotted moose w cub Btw we carried bear spray on all our hikes Being forced to slow down hasn't been so bad as we have been taking time to reflect and look forward. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/old-monarch-pass-waterdog-lake-loop I love traveling along with your blogs. This book represents nothing more than a guide to routes and is not meant to replace your common sense, your ability to navigate in the wilderness or your ability to travel in the backcountry safely. The old, old road is now a dirt bike and mountain bike trail at least in the lower stretches. The trail starts up the dirt road. Biking. Colorado Trail Explorer. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/old-monarch-pass Distance From Denver: 160 Miles. This route follows a road parallel to the South Arkansas River that then curves up to the current Monarch Pass Road. Part of the Old Monarch Pass Loop is also a section of the Colorado Trail. As a backcountry traveler we assume you know your personal abilities, limitations and have a comprehensive background in avalanche safety. Be sure to read this list of equipment you should bring on your ride along with tips to make your biking trip more enjoyable. Now 50% of the population live in cities. A morning walk along the Arkansas River often ends with our feet in the cool water while watching the rafters, kayakers and skim boarders floating by. The road is a perfect trail in winter. We have appreciated the cool evenings and mornings. Old Monarch Pass (not Old Old Monarch Pass) was finished in 1922 as part of the “Rainbow Route”, a section of US 50 that stretched from Pueblo to Montrose and marketed as a continuation of the Santa Fe Trail. The “new” road over the pass, which is … It brought back memories of the freedom of having a bike and growing up a small town. The loop is on paved and dirt County Roads and more difficult USFS and BLM dirt roads. More info via skimonarch.com. Take the CDT left – look for blue diamonds on the trees that mark the trail (38°30.24N, 106°19.58W). After 40 yards or so, go around the gate that blocks the road, though it may be covered by snow. An additional attraction for those taking either the East or West routes is the proximity to more than a dozen Fourteeners (peaks above 14,000 feet) in the Sawatch Range, which include the Collegiate Peaks. The 567 miles of the CT trail between Denver and Durango passes through some spectacular scenery in the Colorado Rockies. Travel back along the flat road to the trailhead. Both sides can also be used to make a loop ride over the Monarch Crest Trail s(u), and also the Rainbow Trail The 14er Region Mountain Bike Guide ( a free publication, available at local businesses ) has included Marshall Pass in its map of recommended bike routes since at least 1994, even with a … The Vapor Trail is a weekend bikepacking loop based on the longstanding 125-mile race that starts and finishes in Salida, Colorado. Join us as we travel across this amazing country. Luckily for snowshoers, the 1921 route filled with snow every winter and caused long delays. The downhill path can be steep, fast and adrenaline-packed on skinny skis. 3.0 At the top of the hill (38° 30.09N, 106° 19.70W) you have the choice of either turning left down the hill for an easier out and back route, or turning right through the trees for the more challenging loop route to the top of the pass. Even in low snow years, you’ll find good snow at Monarch Park. Old Monarch Pass is 11,375' elevation, just a few feet higher than the modern one, but the road is much curvier. Explore at your own risk, and always tell somewhere where you are going and when you’ll be back. Plus, it packs in some incredible views in a … Not all trails need to be difficult Jeep trails! Some people just jump in with lifejackets for a float and fishermen line the shore. The Colorado Trail is known as one of the premier long-distance trails in the country, lauded by hikers, backpackers, and mountain bikers from around the world. Several good resupply points lie along or near the Loop, including Twin Lakes Village, Buena Vista, Mount Princeton Hot Springs, Monarch Pass, and Salida. Monarch is a great ski area with amazing natural snow and great runs that meet at the lodge. Due to heavy snow and sharp corners, the highway masters moved the road to its current location in 1937. ELEVATION: average ~10,300 feet ROUTE: well maintained, popular trail, signed junctions GUIDEBOOK: Colorado Trail 9th Edition DATA BOOK: 7th Edition On the way back to the car, look up for great views of the angular Mount Aetna (13,746 ft.) and Taylor Mountain (13,651 ft.). 0.6 Stay right at this intersection. Summit the pass and drop down to HWY 50. 3.4 Top of the trail and top of Monarch Pass (38° 29.84N, 106° 19.54W). Beautiful job on your blog. The route includes Old Monarch Pass, Black Sage Pass, Waunita Pass, Cumberland Pass, and Cottonwood Pass. The road is well graded and the scenery is quite nice at the pass. Be prepared it could be a long walk out. Any Activity. Overlooking Monarch Ski area where our kids learned to ski and I worked as a ski patrol nurse many years ago, making the sport much more affordable. If you count all the options presented for each trail, the actual number of routes is closer to 60 without even counting the individual trails at the Nordic centers – that is a lot of skiing. 5.7 Back at the trailhead. The route follows what is commonly called Old Monarch Pass, a path begun in 1919 to shorten the original wagon trail through this area. The map we ... would head over to the park along the creek and enjoy the cool air under the trees. Most routes in this text are located on public land, but some trails pass through or adjacent to private land. As we hiked a short section of the Colorado Trail, we passed a few thru hikers. Most people ride Monarch Crest as a shuttle but we don’t have that luxury so we rode a loop. Ski the flattish path through the trees to a small clearing. Some days after hiking in the hills we. The trail has lots of different terrains to test out your skills on, but isn’t too difficult. Horseback Riding. Location: Monarch PassDistance: 5.7 Miles – Out & Back with Small LoopTravel Time: 1.5 – 2.5 HoursType of Trail: Road Aerobic Level: Moderate – AltitudeTechnical Difficulty: Ski – Intermediate; Shoe – NoviceAvalanche Danger: Minimal – only during periods of high hazard.Elevation in Feet: Low Point 10,360, High Point 11,312, Climbs/Descends 983Land Status: USFSMaps: Trails Illustrated #130, #139; USGS Garfield, PahloneNotes: You will encounter snowmobiles, so watch out for them. (38°31.71N, 106°19.54W). Good stuff. The summer is flying by as we prepare for a return to Summit County. Nice trail, if you start from Monarch Pass, where the gift shop and tram ride are it starts with a pretty strong climb for the first 1/4 mile. We spent 25 years living in either the Springs or Pueblo West and traveled Hwy 50 many a time. Published with permission from the guide book:Skinny Skis and Snowshoes – Guide to Winter Trails in Colorado’s Upper Arkansas Valley by Nate Porter and Nathan Ward. Mountain Biking Monarch Crest Trail Add a review #2 of 1,347 mountain bike trails in Colorado ... You'll top out at about 11,960 feet and then begin the first major descent down an old fire road to Marshall Pass ... Now head up US 50 west to the top of Monarch Pass and park in the parking area on the left. This trail description follows the route to the top of the pass. The trail stretches fr... Getting a feel for the area Before retiring, I had contracts to work in Tucson at Tucson Medical Center (loved it) and University Hospital )... Shenandoah National Park   It was time to head for the mountains as Charlottesville was heating up. they dried off and headed off on their bikes to who knows where. Ride the Crest past the wooden shelter at the top of Green's Creek. But that could just be me. 2.6 Reach the highway and the turnaround spot (38° 30.03N, 106° 19.92W). Monarch Park offers mellow terrain on Monarch Pass for skiers and snowshoers. Continue up the trail, which is steep in spots and more suited to skis with skins or snowshoes. The winter backcountry is becoming more popular in the Upper Arkansas Valley, which means you need to think of your neighbors while out on the trail. Less than 5 miles of pavement. We want you to have a safe and enjoyable trip into Colorado’s backcountry. Parallel the two small creeks, always keeping them on your right – there may be a snowmobile trail, or not. Because of the pine beetle kill, there are many dead trees throughout the Monarch Lake Loop hike. Snowshoeing. Top of Old, Old Monarch Pass … Driving up to the Continental Divide at 11,000 feet cooled us down with 62F degrees. ATV Riding. Enjoy the rest of the summer in beautiful Colorado. We have been fortunate to hike several sections of the CT during our stay, each equally stunning. I think you found a good place for a while. This young man that was appreciating the delay of the monsoon rains. Backcountry travel is a physically strenuous activity with many risks and dangers. This incredibly scenic, high-altitude route utilizes two historic rail grades and ties in some of Colorado’s finest singletrack via the Colorado Trail, Monarch Crest, and Starvation Creek as it passes over high passes and through historic mining settlements. Monarch Lake Loop Trail - 3.9 Miles Round-Trip Monarch Lake is located east of Lake Granby, Colorado on the west side of the Continental Divide.Its versatility as a hiking, running, horseback riding and winter sport trail make it one of the Indian Peaks' most popular year-round destinations. Turn right and climb the pavement for 0.5 miles. The mountains and river look so refreshing! Novice Option: Ski out-and-back to Mile 2.6. And riding up the Rainbow Trail is a unique challenge. There may be variances and changes, you may get lost. 1.9 Take the gradual road to the right, the steep uphill track to the left leads to the top of the pass (38°30.26N, 106°19.49W). 2.5 Another road comes in from the left; stay right. A group of 8 boys rode up to the edge of the pond and jumped in. The kids could have their freedom with their friends but not remain hidden for long. Your post triggered fond memories for me. function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} Continue up the trail, which is steep in spots and more suited to skis with skins or snowshoes. This last segment on the Arapaho Pass trail #N6 is 1.7 miles long. Virtual Tour of Old Monarch Pass. Beginner skiers may want to walk up it. Neither the authors, nor the publisher, nor anyone else mentioned in this book are responsible or liable in any way for any accident, injury or any action brought against anyone traveling any route listed in this book. Be insatiable. 4h 32m, Amazing!!! 2.2 Climb a short, steep hill. The mileages, routes and waypoints listed in this text are only suggestions. Otherwise, sidestep or use herring bone steps to surmount this obstacle. The Old, Old Monarch Pass Toll Road was a stage coach road. Trailhead Access: From the intersection of Highways 50 and 285 in Poncha Springs, drive west on US 50 for 15.5 miles up Monarch Pass. All backcountry travelers and their companions assume responsibility for themselves. OHV Riding (>50”) Nordic Skiing. Part of the Old Monarch Pass Loop is  also a section of the Colorado Trail. You can ride south from Old Monarch Pass over to Monarch Pass on the singletrack Continental Divide Trail, the distance is about a mile. Continue up the low angle road through the trees. 3.4 Top of the trail and top of Monarch Pass (38° 29.84N, 106° 19.54W). I recommend to get to the parking area early, its free, but limited, and could add to the hike a quarter mile if you are late. Road on No Name Creek, Major Creek, and South Arkansas River in Gunnison National Forest, San Isabel National Forest. You can capture two passes on this loop and there are several combinations available with Monarch Pass. Just looking at your beautiful photos makes me feel a little cooler. At the top of the hill, turn right on a narrow road toward US 50. The Collegiate East and West meet each other at both ends forming a 161 mile loop. Here, after .8 mile, the spur trail ends and the Arapaho Pass trail begins. This is a pleasant drive over an historic pass, through a large park and a bunch of forest and into the town of Pitkin. Your part of the country is very nice and right where you should be. 3 Miles. window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; Monarch Lake Loop Trail, Trail Map, Monarch Lake Trailhead, Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, Colorado. gtag('js', new Date()); For those just venturing into harder hikes, the Old Monarch Pass is a fantastic option. This loop has become known as the Collegiate Loop. Monarch Pass on modern HWY 50 is actually the third Monarch Pass, and was opened in 1939, when the ski area was built. There are multiple switchbacks. This guidebook gives detailed information on 25 of the best backcountry ski and snowshoe routes in the Upper Arkansas Valley, with trails for every ability level. There are no hard and fast rules, but please consider the following: If you require search and rescue services, it can be costly. The detour route will travel to the west of the ski area using a combination of the Old Monarch Pass road and the original 1880’s wagon route over the Continental Divide, Old-Old Monarch Pass. The description and mileages given from here assume that you’re going to the top. The Colorado Trail is known as one of the premier long-distance trails in the country, lauded by hikers, backpackers, and mountain bikers from around the world. We had a stretch of heat into the 90's in July. 7. 1.0 Ski down the small hill and along the road. Old Monarch Pass Road . Hopefully the storms will end soon. Hiking. Motorcycle Riding. The Shenandoah National Park's... Cycling in the Countryside Our previous day of bike riding made us realize we needed expert help to ride these backroads. The Spokane River Centennial Trail is a 37 mile paved recreational trail for pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles. Salida, CO 81201 (719) 539-3591 Turn around and ski back to the top of the steep hill. There is no sign at this intersection (38° 30.09N, 106° 19.70W). See the topo map showing the closure and detour. If you’re insatiable and need more, look at the sections titled: Other Areas to Explore.

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