Salida Short Loop – Cr 120 To Cr 160
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.
- 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.
Need a quick road ride? This is the one – the Salida short loop starts and ends in downtown Salida and follows a mellow route that is as flat as it gets here. This means it climbs and descends only a little, nothing big. The ride follows some of the quiet county roads near Salida past some of the remaining farms and ranches. Look up for great views of Shavano Peak (14,229 ft.) and Mt. Tabeguache (14,155 ft), pronounced “tab a watch”. Enjoy the ride.
Options: Ride it the opposite direction if you want more climbing.
Trailhead Access: Downtown Salida. Park at the AHRA 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.
Distance: 13.9 Miles – Loop
Riding Time: 1 Hour or More
Riding Surface: Good Pavement
Shoulder: Narrow but little traffic
Traffic: Light – except for section on US 285
Aerobic Level: Easy
Elevation in Feet: Low 7,031; High 7710; Climbs/Descends 752
Notes: Ride early in the day to avoid the afternoon winds. No toilets or stores on this route.
0.0 Ride west on Sackett Street.
0.1 Turn left on I Street and ride 3 blocks.
0.3 T-intersection with 3rd Street. Turn right and take an immediate left uphill on Poncha Blvd. Stay left on Poncha Blvd. at the top of the hill. Stay on Poncha Blvd. heading west all the way out of town.
1.1 Poncha Blvd. changes to CR 120. Stay on CR 120 to Poncha Springs, there is a bike path next to the road.
5.0 T-intersection with US 50/285. Turn Right.
5.2 Turn right on US 285 (north) and start up two short challenging hills.
7.0 Top of the hill – get ready for a fast downhill and be ready for wicked crosswinds on the descent.
8.0 Turn right on CR 160. You’ll be going fast downhill, so keep your eyes open for the road sign. Slow down enough to make the corner.
If you do miss this corner, instead of riding back up the hill, keep going downhill and at the bottom of the hill turn right on CR 165. Follow this well-packed dirt road back south until you intersect paved CR 160 again.
12.1 Pass Frantz Lake on your left.
12.2 Stay straight on CR 160 all the way into Salida.
13.1 CR 160 changes name to Crestone Ave.
13.3 When the road splits, go left downhill.
13.4 Turn right on 3rd Street.
13.6 Turn left on I Street. Ride 3 blocks.
13.9 Turn right on Sackett Street. End of the ride!
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.