Ute Trail to Ghost Town of Turret

SingleTrack-and-Tarmac-coverPublished with permission from the guide book: The Local’s Adventure Guide to Singletrack & Tarmac – Mountain Bike Trails and Road Rides in the Upper Arkansas River Valley by Nathan Ward.

  • Featuring 36 Mountain Bike Trails and 18 Road Rides in and around Buena Vista & Salida, Colorado – beginner to expert, town to summit, smooth tarmac to extreme singletrack.
  • Maps and Elevation Profiles for each ride, including altitude gain and loss.
  • Local Advice on riding areas and seasons, where to sleep, where to soak, where to find the best pizza, the best coffee and the best bars in Buena Vista & Salida, Colorado.

The Ute Trail to the Ghost Town of Turret is a meandering dirt road. The road climbs steadily until reaching a plateau high above the valley. There are great views of the valley and the Collegiate Peaks to the west. On the plateau the route passes through forests of pine and aspen and wild grass meadows. Turret offers a glimpse of pioneer life with many intact or rebuilt frontier cabins. The ride back to Salida is a fast downhill screamer.

Trailhead Access: Downtown Salida. Park at the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area headquarters at the corner of Sackett and G Streets or in the public lot immediately west of Safeway at the corner of 3rd and H Streets. The ride starts from the corner of Sackett and G Streets.

Location: Downtown Salida
Distance: 26.2 miles – out and back
Riding Time: 3 to 4 hours
Riding Surface in Miles: Paved road 6, Dirt Road 20.2
Aerobic Level: Strenuous – climbing
Technical Difficulty: Novice
Elevation in Feet: Low Point 7,043; High Point 9,044; Climbs/Descends 3,465
Land Status: USFS, BLM, City/County, Private Land
Maps: Salida East, Salida West, Cameron Mountain
Options: You can ride to Turret as a one-way excursion but it requires a shuttle vehicle to be left in Turret. Alternatively, shuttle to Turret and ride back to Salida which is 75% downhill.



Ute Trail to the Ghost Town of Turret Photo Gallery


Arkansas River Quickie

Ute Trail to the Ghost Town of Turret Mileage Log

0.0 Ride west down Sackett Street.
0.3 Turn left on M Street and ride one block.
0.4 Turn right (west) on 1st Street/US 291.
0.9 Turn right (north) on CR 175 past Sands Lake.
1.1 Keep to the right on CR 175 and follow it until the pavement ends.
3.0 The pavement ends. Keep going straight on CR 175. This road is Ute Trail.
5.0 The road enters National Forest after a cattle guard.
7.1 The grade lessens and passes through flowery meadows. Watch for wildlife.
7.5 CR 181 splits to the right. Stay on CR 175.
8.0 CR 182 splits to the right. Stay on CR 175.
8.5 Look left (west) for a great view of the Collegiate Peaks.
8.6 The road splits. Take the left hand road, CR 185. Look for the sign to Turret. This section passes through private property so stay on the road.
10.1 The road splits again. Take the right hand road, CR 185. Climb above an old water-filled quarry.
10.4 Look left into the old quarry. This area is torn up but still interesting.
10.5 Turn left (west) on CR 184A and climb a steep hill for the next 0.3 mile. The road splits again. Stay to the right until CR 184A meets 184.
10.8 Turn right (north) on CR 184 as the road continues to climb.
11.0 The steep climb ends with an awesome mountain view to the west. The road traverses several small hills and descends to Turret through an avenue of pines and aspen.
13.1 The ghost town of Turret, which is slowly being redeveloped into a town of summer cabins. All lots are privately owned and posted no-trespassing, but it’s still fun to walk around and look at the town. The ride back to Salida follows the same route back, except with much more downhill. Enjoy gravity and stay in your lane on CR 175 – watch for cars!

Ride With Care

Bicycle riding is a physically strenuous activity with many risks and dangers. Hazards, natural or man made, whether noted in this book or not, can be encountered at any time under any situation. As a cyclist, we assume you know your personal abilities and limitations. This book represents nothing more than a guide to the trails and roads and is not meant to replace your common sense, your ability to navigate in the wilderness or in traffic, or your ability to ride a bicycle safely.

In addition, the mileages and routes listed in this text are only suggestions. There may be variances and you may get lost. We recommend everyone uses a GPS and topographical map to navigate. Most routes in this text are located on public land, but some trails pass through or adjacent to private land. Respect the land owner’s rights and obey all signs regarding trail use. The same goes for wilderness areas which prohibit mountain bike riding. Neither the author, nor the publisher, nor anyone else mentioned in this book are responsible or liable in any way for any accident, injury or any action brought against anyone traveling any route listed in this book. All cyclists and their companions assume responsibility for themselves. Ride at your own risk.