May make a quick sojourn to the spiritual center of the universe Monday. Would like to ride and will likely hit up some Salida trails/Crest on the way home. Any riding in the Sangres of note?
Sadly, there is pretty much nothing. Along that west facing slope of the Sangre there is a trail that goes up pretty much every drainage. Every single one of them I've ever been on would be mostly hike-a-bike up and then riding the brakes all the way down. Not one trail near Crestone I've ever heard of that people think of as "a bike ride".
All the way across the valley on the La Garitas side, there are some trails in Penitente Canyon. They are pretty nice, but they are short. There is some un-mapped stuff up the slope above, but it's primitive and, as I say, unmapped. Del Norte is trying to get some traction on their plans for trails, but the approval process is pretty much stagnant from what I hear.
Weird, the San Luis Valley is quite nice, and that slope of the Sangre de Christos is beautiful, but there is virtually no bike riding anywhere down there. At least not singletrack.
The map here shows you the gory details. Almost EVERY bit of the Sangre de Cristos in Colorado is verboten to bikee.
Well, other than the 100+ miles of the Rainbow Trail and lots of other trails that go up pretty high from the east side. The moto people have miles and miles of stuff they ride over near Westcliffe.
This post is about the San Luis Valley and the Crestone side, and yes, the wilderness and private land takes up much of that slope. But my contention is, even if it didn't the trails that are there are way too steep to really be fun for bike riding.
But to say there's almost no biking in the Sangre de Cristo Range is a bit misleading. Lots of what there is actually is pretty gnarly specifically because we share it with motorized users. And it's over on the Westcliffe side. But that side is the Sangre de Cristo Range.
Interesting place, mtb aside. Despite its spiritual connotations and the fact that it seems pretty cool to me, every woman that I've know that has been there felt that it was a very "off" place. Off course I've known some very "off" women