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.
The Centerville Loop is one of the favorite training rides for local roadies. It starts in downtown Salida and follows the main highway north to Centerville, taking in some serene back roads along the way. This loop offers just enough climbing and descending for a great daily spin. If you’re not hammering, enjoy the exquisite scenery the whole way – a horizon stuffed with the big peaks of the Sangre de Cristo and Sawatch mountain ranges.
Options: For a longer ride, turn north at mile 14.3 in Centerville and follow the highway as far as you want. Pick up the route again in Centerville and follow the directions back to Salida.
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: 26.4 Miles – Loop
Riding Time: 2 Hours or More
Riding Surface: Good Pavement
Shoulder: Excellent – Narrow on CR 160 but little traffic
Traffic: Medium, but Heavy on Holiday Weekends
Aerobic Level: Intermediate
Elevation in Feet: Low 7,031; High 7,970; Climbs/Descends 1,219
Notes: Ride early in the day to avoid the afternoon winds. There is a toilet and store in Centerville where you can buy gas station food.
0.0 Ride west on Sackett Street about 50 yards. Turn left on I Street and ride 3 blocks.
0.3 T-intersection with 3rd Street. Turn right.
0.6 Turn left on Crestone Avenue – a 45º corner going uphill.
0.7 Ride straight through this intersection – this is also Crestone Ave.
0.9 Crestone Ave. changes name to CR 160.
1.7 Stay straight on CR 160 downhill past Frantz Lake. Stay on CR 160 until you reach US 285.
5.9 Intersection with US 285. Turn right downhill.
9.9 At this intersection with US 291, stay straight on US 285 north.
11.7 Turn left on CR 260. Be very careful at this corner because you’ll be in the middle of the highway traffic. Enjoy this quiet county road. Nice.
14.3 Intersection with US 285. Turn right back onto the highway.
18.6 Turn left on US 291 east toward Salida.
25.2 Cross bridge over Arkansas River on outskirts of Salida.
25.9 Stay on US 291/1st Street into Salida.
26.3 Turn left on I street. Ride one block and turn right on Sackett Street.
26.4 Back where you started. Repeat daily.
We want you to have a safe and enjoyable trip into Colorado’s backcountry. Be prepared it could be a long walk out. Be sure to read this list of equipment you should bring on your ride along with tips to make your biking trip more enjoyable.
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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