Autumn dusting on Colorado’s crest: The Monarch Crest Trail is an certified IMBA classic and for good reason.Terrance Siemon

The Monarch Crest Trail is iconic Colorado mountain biking, and autumn is perhaps one of the best times of year to get it done. 

Known for endless views and long sections of butter smooth singletrack, the Monarch Crest Trail is iconic Colorado mountain biking. The classic route takes riders from the top of 11,400-foot Monarch Pass outside of Salida, Colorado, and mixes dense pine forest and aspen groves with some of the state’s most exquisite high-country terrain.

Rider’s make their way through the Monarch Crest’s epic journey over some of Colorado most coveted high country singletrack.Terrance Siemon

The Monarch Crest, as it is known, is actually a combination of the Monarch Crest Trail, the Silver Creek Trail, the Colorado Trail, the Continental Divide Trail and the Rainbow Trail, and can be completed in a number of variations. The true 40-mile Crest Classic begins at Monarch Pass and drops 4,200 feet to the town of Salida.

Autumn may be the most scenic time of year to ride the Monarch Crest TrailTerrance Siemon

The trail begins at the summit of Monarch Pass directly off of Colorado Route 50 and 20 or so miles west of Poncha Springs. If you’re shuttling, you can leave a car at the Poncha Springs Visitor Center at the junction of Colorado Route 50 and Colorado Route 285.

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