Published 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.
Tenderfoot Mountain Overlook follows Spiral Drive and leads to the summit of Tenderfoot Mountain at the north end of downtown Salida – the hill with the “S”. The views from the top are spectacular with the 14,000 foot peaks of the Collegiate Range to the west, the Sangre de Cristo Range to the south, the Chalk Cliffs to the northwest, the old Smeltertown chimney and the entire town of Salida at your feet. This ride gives the best overall perspective of the valley’s geography, and the way back to town is literally all downhill.
Trailhead Access: Downtown Salida. Park at the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area headquarters at the corner of Sackett and G Streets or at 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: 6.6 miles – out and back
Riding Time: 1 hour
Riding Surface in Miles: Paved 3, Dirt Road 3.6
Aerobic Level: Moderate first half. Easy second half.
Technical Difficulty: Novice
Elevation in Feet: Low Point 7,043; High Point 7,517; Climbs/Descends 662
Land Status: BLM, City/County, Private Land
Maps: Salida East, Salida West
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 around the big corner.
1.5 Turn right (east) on dirt CR 176.
2.0 On right side is the “Can”, a water tank where kids park and spray paint their lover’s name on the can. Billy loves Jane. The second part of the tradition is returning to cross it off when they break up.
2.5 CR 173 heads left uphill. Stay on CR 176.
2.6 Gate across the road. The city closes the gate to car traffic in winter. Just ride around it if snow permits.
3.3 The top! Climb 50 stairs and drink in the view. Follow the same route back or try some of the singletrack trails that descend the lower part of the hill.
The Colorado backcountry is popular – bikers, hikers, motorcycle riders, hunters and equestrians use the trail system in the Arkansas Valley, and everyone wants a private piece of heaven. Even if you don’t agree with everyone’s motives or methods of travel, please treat them in a courteous manner.
If you require search and rescue services, it can be costly. Buy a Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue (CORSAR) card to protect yourself. Funds from the CORSAR program go into the Colorado Search and Rescue (SAR) Fund. If a CORSAR card holder becomes lost or injured in the backcountry, the Colorado SAR Fund pays eligible search and rescue expenses.
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.
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