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  1. #1
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    2-3 hrs in Salida - where should I ride?

    I'm driving down to New Mexico tomorrow for a work trip and was planning to stop in the Salida area for a 2-3 hour ride? Was looking at the Arkansas Hills Trail area, but it doesn't appear to have many trail miles on the map I found here:

    http://salidamountaintrails.org/Map/...-Full-Size.pdf

    Is there enough here, or should I look elsewhere in the Salida area? Salida is about the 1/2 way point of my drive so it's a logical place for a ride. I'm a middle of the pack single speeder.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by jradin View Post
    I'm driving down to New Mexico tomorrow for a work trip and was planning to stop in the Salida area for a 2-3 hour ride? Was looking at the Arkansas Hills Trail area, but it doesn't appear to have many trail miles on the map I found here:

    http://salidamountaintrails.org/Map/...-Full-Size.pdf

    Is there enough here, or should I look elsewhere in the Salida area? Salida is about the 1/2 way point of my drive so it's a logical place for a ride. I'm a middle of the pack single speeder.
    You can easily get a 2-3 hour ride in there. Make your first stop at Absolute Bikes for trail details.
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  3. #3
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    I'll probably get to town around 9am, before Absolute opens, but I'll take your word for it and give that area a shot. Thanks.

  4. #4
    zrm
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    One loop I do in the Arkansas hills is climb the Ute trail for 5-6 miles then go right at the first double track road (can't remember the #) go another mile or so then hang a right down Cottonwood Gulch 4WD road. This goes up and down with a mix of rocky loose surface to fairly fast stuff. You'll then get low enough to take any number of options of the Salida single track trails. Some of them are fairly technical like (might be getting the names wrong) Uncle Nasty, sand dunes, etc) or you can go a little lower to some of the more buff stuff and you can fool around on those trails as time allows. you can also go back to the bottom of the Ute trail via (once again, I might have the names wrong) via north backbone which is a fun trail that's a few miles long and moderately technical.

    Some people equate riding some county road or double track with hitting themselves in the head with a hammer but I don't mind when they're part of a nice loop.

    Another good 3ish hour ride is Bear Creek/Methodist Mtn on the Rainbow trail. To do it as a loop you have to ride a little bit on the Hwy and up Bear Creek rd but I think it's a great loop. That section of the Rainbow is a lot of fun.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jradin View Post
    I'll probably get to town around 9am, before Absolute opens, but I'll take your word for it and give that area a shot. Thanks.
    I am blanking on the name of the new trail (last fall) on the south side. Dirt road up. Twisty, rolling traverse. Fast run down "race track" at the east end. Would be very fun on a singlespeed.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post


    Some people equate riding some county road or double track with hitting themselves in the head with a hammer but I don't mind when they're part of a nice loop.
    I know who you're aiming that at, amigo.

  7. #7
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    I rode Methodist Mtn ( Little rainbow and return via the lost trail) from the Absolute bike shop, with two wrong turns, in under 1.5 hrs. It was an okay ride with wide flowing 'singletrack'. Not a super ride but it was fun for a time constrained ride.
    .

  8. #8
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    Thanks guys - that gives me some good ideas on what to do. Probably do Arkansas Hills tomorrow and save Rainbow for another time.

  9. #9
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    Cottonwood wood be good option

    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    One loop I do in the Arkansas hills is climb the Ute trail for 5-6 miles then go right at the first double track road (can't remember the #) go another mile or so then hang a right down Cottonwood Gulch 4WD road...
    If you want to get a solid 2.5-3 mile ride with a bunch of singletrack and just about 45 minutes of double, go this way:

    http://www.juicytrails.org/colorado-...ttonwood-loop/

    You can download a GPX for putting the track on a GPS to follow. Best way to go for doing this ride if you have the equipment and are used to following a GPS track. For sure an update to zrm's description made possible by the new trails that are part of the Arkansas Hills Trail System is starting the ride with 1+ hours of singletrack including the totally fun N. Backbone trail. It's on this ride description and the GPX.

    Stopping by Absolute Bikes is always a good idea when you are in town, and their back parking lot is where to park. Convenient, and the ride description/GPX starts/finishes there.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  10. #10
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    Following-up

    Had a great ride in the Arkansas Hills trail system, despite getting a little confused and lost. Wish I'd seen Tom's e-mail before I left - his linked route would have been perfect and a GPS would have saved me a nasty, unintended 2+ mile climb up Cottonwood Gulch. Fortunately I ran into some friendly locals that showed me how to get to Prospector, then rode:

    Backbone
    North Backbone to CR175
    North Backbone back down to Lil Rattler
    Front Side to the bottom.

    Ended up being 3 hours, 17.2 miles, and 2,300 feet of climbing.

    http://www.trimbleoutdoors.com/ViewTrip/1207306

    That North Backbone trail is an awesome mix of flowy singletrack with just the right amount of tech. I'm really impressed with the Salida town trail system and look forward to seeing it grow. I'd compare it to the Grand Junction Lunch Loops area on a smaller scale. If you visit be sure to drop a few bucks in the Absolute Cycles trail donation jar to support future expantion and maintenance.

  11. #11
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    You can park about two miles below the west end of the Rainbow Trail, ride up to it, then ride about four miles of it to a cut off that takes you back down to dirt road, about two miles east of where you parked. That's probably the best section of the RT anyway (heresy, I know).

  12. #12
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    Another Really Good Time Constrained Ride is the . . .

    . . . new Little Rainbow Trail. Good climb to start, realitively easy but srprisingly fun roller coaster ST up top and you can loop back on the roads or out&back on the ST which gives you a great dowhnill opportunity to finish. Also some grand and unique scenery along the way. When I hit this trail I expected little and was highly rewarded.

    http://www.singletracks.com/bike-tra...e-rainbow.html
    All other things are rarely equal . . .

  13. #13
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    Little Rainbow is nice

    Quote Originally Posted by Fischman View Post
    . . . new Little Rainbow Trail. Good climb to start, realitively easy but srprisingly fun roller coaster ST up top...

    http://www.singletracks.com/bike-tra...e-rainbow.html
    Here's my write-up and GPX data about The Little Rainbow on JuicyTrails:

    juicytrails.org/colorado-mtb/salida-co/salida-momountain-biking-methodist-mountain-little-rainbow/

    It's definitely a nice addition to what we have here.

    It's truly beginner-intermediate, but fun for anyone. My GF really likes it. It's She's a decent rider, but she just finds the Little Rainbow relaxing because there isn't exposure and she can practice carrying more speed into corners. And there tend to be fewer other people up there.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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