The trail, as usual, is in excellent shape. Even though we started from Monarch Pass at 9:30, we still got caught in a short rain/hail storm midway through the trail. Make sure the weather is safe before you cross the exposed section on the contintental divide, a lightning storm came in very quickly on us up there a couple weeks ago and I was scared shitless. An epic ride, it goes through 4 ecosystems on your journey down from the Continental divide down to Poncha Springs or Salida. I've ridden the entire loop from Salida on hwy 50 to the pass down across 285 back to Salida via Rainbow trail. It's long and difficult, but with 44 miles of great singletrack, how can you not? The section of trail from 285 to Salida is a steep 1200 foot climb and a technical descent (especially when you're bonked), but other than that it's rolling and fast and epic. Afterwards, lounge in the Salida hot springs. Truly an epic, one of the top must-do rides in the Colorado/the world.