Monarch Crest Trail is a hiking and biking trail in Saguache County, Colorado. It is within Gunnison National Forest and San Isabel National Forest. It is 10.2 miles long and begins at 10,838 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 20.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 4,511 feet. Near the trailhead there are an information board, parking, and restrooms.
Monarch Crest Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"This is it: the gold standard by which many other epic mountain bike rides are judged. Monarch Crest Trail is considered the premier mountain bike ride in the entire fourteeners region.
Consistently ranked as one of the top five mountain bike rides in the United States, the trail covers roughly 40 miles of descending singletrack over tundra-like terrain, across talus fields, through old-growth forests and high-plains desert. This ride is not to be missed—an impressive addition to anyone’s mountain biking résumé."
--Stephen Hlawaty, Mountain Biking Colorado (Falcon Guides).
"This is one of the best mountain bike rides in the United States. Hands down! This ride offers beautiful views, excellent singletrack, awesome downhills, technical terrain, and riding through several different life zones. Very few mountain bike rides in the United States offer the variety of terrain and scenery that this ride does. If you are in the area and you are a strong cyclist with good technical skills, this is a must-do ride. From Gunnison travel east on U.S. Highway 50 to the top of Monarch Pass (11,307 feet) and a parking area on the right. The mileage starts here. A shuttle is required for this ride. From the top of Monarch Pass, drive 18.5 miles to Poncha Springs and leave a car near the gas station in Poncha Springs. Drive back up to Monarch Pass and the start of the ride. This may seem like a hassle, but this ride is worth the trouble. You won’t regret it."
--Bob D'Antonio, Mountain Biking Crested Butte (Falcon Guides).
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