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  1. #1
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    Reputation: kokothemonkey's Avatar
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    Need some Rainbow trail info

    Here's the deal, I am doing Monarch Crest this weekend and was interested in doing the rainbow trail portion all the way to Salida. I have done Rainbow to Highway 285 but was interested in some info on the section to Salida. Should I take Rainbow to the methodist mountain road (CR 108) turnoff or go to bear creek? Where would the best place to park a car for either option? How well is it marked? Should I buy a map? How long can I expect this section from HW 285 to Salida to take? What is the trail like? I have heard it's fairly nasty with a pretty good hike a bike. Keeping in mind the group I will be with will be pretty stout but after that much riding who knows what shape we will be in..

    Thanks for any info!

  2. #2
    I can't ride 45!
    Reputation: jasonb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kokothemonkey
    Here's the deal, I am doing Monarch Crest this weekend and was interested in doing the rainbow trail portion all the way to Salida. I have done Rainbow to Highway 285 but was interested in some info on the section to Salida. Should I take Rainbow to the methodist mountain road (CR 108) turnoff or go to bear creek? Where would the best place to park a car for either option? How well is it marked? Should I buy a map? How long can I expect this section from HW 285 to Salida to take? What is the trail like? I have heard it's fairly nasty with a pretty good hike a bike. Keeping in mind the group I will be with will be pretty stout but after that much riding who knows what shape we will be in..

    Thanks for any info!
    I don't have any first-hand information but I have talk to some people about that section of the Trail. I was told to turn at bear creek and that the first 1-2 miles were hike-a-bike but the rest was great until Bear Creek past which the trail gets too knarly. I know Naia has ridded it a few times. Maybe try PM'ing her.

    jason

  3. #3
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    Reputation: Harv719's Avatar
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    If you want to ride the Crest to Salida via the Rainbow trail then you deffinately want to drop the Methodist Mountain road to Salida. If you ride to Bear Creek you will end up five miles down the river from town. You can just leave a car at the Absoloute Bikes parking lot or thereabouts and ride right back to town. No worries from Methodist Mnt. That section of the Rainbow has some steep climbing. I have not ridden it ever but I hear folks do it every once in a while. It is not as well traveled as the bear creek section but I know moto groups maintain it so it must be in pretty good shape. Just stop by Absoloute and ask those guys or check out Nate Ward's book for beta on that section. Have fun.

  4. #4
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    Reputation: kokothemonkey's Avatar
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    Well we did it, we road monarch to rainbow to 285 where we had a car parked with water and food. Then we did the punishing part of the ride, methodist mountain. This ride is, shall I say, hard to say the least. It took us 2.5 hours to cover 6 miles. For anyone who has not done this, it has a mix of hike a bike, beautiful views, technical descents and overall fun. By the time we got off methodist mountain and got to the bear creek turnoff it was 7 pm and bailed back to town which in hindsight was a stupid move. Our truck was parked at the bear creek end of the rainbow trail so we had to ride down the road from Methodist Mountain to Salida, ride on HWY 50 and then up the gravel road to the trailhead. It took us another hour, getting to the truck at 8 pm. In hindsight, after reading my salida singletrack book, we should have just ridden the bear creek portion of the rainbow trail, because it sounds like it was easier, and we could have busted it out in 30-45 minutes. At the time though, I wasn't about to start a 6 mile trail that I had not done before in the middle of nowhere at 7 pm, especially after the previous 6 mile stretch took us 2.5 hours! All in all, we had a fun time, it was a huge epic ride, I have no pictures, even if I had a camera, I don't think I would have had time to take any pictures. Next time I do this, I am definitely doing the bear creek portion, and starting monarch earlier.

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