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Bear Creek-Methodist Mountain-Rainbow Trail

Basics
Location:
Salida, Poncha Springs
Length:
20+ miles
Aerobic Difficulty:
Moderate, Advanced
Time To Allow:
3 - 4 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
7100 feet
Elevation Range:
7100 feet to 9500 feet
Elevation Change:
2400 feet
Season:
May-October

Description

The trails of the Methodist Mountain area, located outside Salida, provide riders looking for a great aerobic challenge the perfect venue to get their fix!

There are several riding options when riding up Methodist Mountain. Starting on Bear Creek Road, riders can choose an out and back option in this area that brings them up the Rainbow Trail and up to a high point on Methodist Mountain and back down to Bear Creek Road. The other option utilizing a FS Road 108 to CR 107 downhill from the high point on the Rainbow Trail down a different way and a car shuttle back to Bear Creek Road. None of these trails accesses the summit of Methodist Mountain, its summer a good 2500 vertical feet higher than the highest point that the Rainbow Trail reaches here.

The trails on Methodist Mountain feature creek crossings, rock gardens, portions of beautiful loamy trail surface through pine forest and high desert surroundings. Views to the surrounding valleys and mountains in the area are quite good from the top of Methodist Mountain. The lower sections of these trails remain dry for most of the year and can be rideable for much longer in the season.

Details

Location:
Salida, Poncha Springs
Length:
20+ miles
Several trail routes, vehicle shuttle may be required
Difficulty:
Lots of climbing
Aerobic Difficulty:
Moderate, Advanced
Time To Allow:
3 - 4 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
7100 feet
High elevation riding
Elevation Range:
7100 feet to 9500
Elevation Change:
2400
Season:
May-October
Additional Details:

The trails on Methodist Mountain area multi-use so riders may encounter hikers, trail runners and other users and should follow right of way protocol when meeting other groups. The Methodist Mountain trails are high elevation and can experience sudden weather shifts, so riders should bring appropriate warm layers in anticipation of this. In addition, riders should be prepared with a stocked repair kit, first aid kit and extra food and water.

Map + Directions

Basic Directions

From Salida take Highway 50 east two miles and turn south on CR101. Follow CR101 to the Rainbow Trail, FS 1336.

From Poncha Springs take 285 south to CR200. Park here and ride up CR200. Take a left onto CR201, which leads to the Rainbow Trailhead.

To run the car shuttle take Highway 50 to CR107. Pick up at intersection of two roads.


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