Cottonwood Gulch - TRAIL

Cottonwood Gulch - Trail, Salida, Colorado

All right single track junkies, here it is, what used to be one of the most secret trails in the Salida area is now part of the Salida Mountain Trails system, and being published. So I thought it was time to share it. Cottonwood gulch begins east of Salida behind Tenderfoot Hill off Loco Ridge at the Chaffee/Freemont county line. The vehicle access is up CR 175 - right on CR 181 and down 173. We would usually park near Midway spring at the intersection of Cr 175/181. You can also access it by riding up CR 173 from the Salida Mountain Trails. Or ride up it if you think your superman. The singletrack starts on the south side of 175 about 3/4 of the way up to 181, be looking to your south when you start traversing the top of a long ridge. This singletrack drops into Cottonwood Gulch and has sustained technical downhill riding for 8-10 miles before joining up with the Salida Mountain Trails system. There is a variety of bedrock drops, rock gardens, rooted out areas, sandy washes, etc. to keep you busy on the ride down. Personally I like to link it up with backbone and rattler in the SMT to finish out the ride.
PS (there are additional substantial singletracks above this section, but some cross/lay adjacent to private property. Exploration in these areas is generally very fruitfull, however please respect private property.

User Reviews (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4  
SummitSurfer   Cross Country Rider [Sep 20, 2013]

Awesome and one of my favorite rides in the whole state. It can be frustrating trying to find the links to this small network but awesome trail that will not disappoint. This is the next 401, Doctors Park, Monarch Crest, Mary's Loop of Salida! Yeah its that good AND why ppl want to keep it for themselves and hide the entrance and exit.

Customer Service

Anyone wanting me to sent them a course file from my Garmin, just msg me or email me. I will tell u when I rode it yesterday ppl have re-camouflaged the entrance so for the untrained eye, its EASY to miss! But once on it....you know it.

Similar Products Used: Monarch Crest, Doctors Park, 18 road, Whole Enchilada etc
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
melissa   Cross Country Rider [May 17, 2013]

We rode this trail yesterday and its really awesome however the instructions above are really incorrect and yes we did get lost adding about another 8 miles to the ride. Dont let the locals sandbag the ride as its not two hours even if you get it right the first time. I recommend going to Absolute bike shop before heading out of town as they know the trail well. It may become public some time soon as well. If you ride the loop from town cross the tracks at F street and head to the left/west until you hit pavement which is route 175. Turn right and head up the hill for what felt like 8 miles. 175 does turn to dirt and the climb is a mellow grade but long. About the time you've had it with the road, you'll see a small marker and road to the right which is 181. Take this for a small climb, less than a mile, and at the crest of a hill you'll see single track along the Fence to the right..take that awesome singletrack 3 miles or so to a sharp end in a stream bed. Here's where you'll what to remember the directions...then left up a small hill and at the top there is a marker for 173. Go right on 173 around a corner and up for a climb and a few switchbacks. Pass the old fence that may have been a gate at one time. Don't be fooled by all the tracks from wandering cyclists...go another 100 yards or more and there are piles of wood lined up on the left..several choices to this but the trail will become obvious once you are off the road far enough. There is a steep drop to the next 8 miles or so of single track. At the bottom you'll have several choices at the big rock pile. If you've had enough, go straight down the wash...if you want more, go left or right. Highly recommended trail

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
youaresocool   Cross Country Rider [Sep 19, 2011]

CAUTION: I think that there are some serious errors in the descriptive text for this ride as well as in the first review. Do some further research beyond what this post tells you.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
lwmyers   Cross Country Rider [Sep 18, 2010]

There have been a few substantial changes to the trail recently, mostly because of increased use. The beginning (uppermost) part of the trail is found by continuing on 173 past 181 and turning on 182. Continue for aprox. 2 miles until cresting a ridge. Stop at the barb wire fence/cattle guard. Park and ride the singletrack south along the edge of the fence. You won't have any trouble following it. This singletrack ends at Midway Springs on CR 181. Turn left and follow it up the hill for about a half mile. At a point where it comes close to a fence on the right, leave the road and follow the singletrack along the side of the fence. This stretch of trail is amazing, and flows as smooth as anything in Colorado. After a 3-4 mile downhill you intersect a county road (CR 175). Turn left and ride this road uphill it will eventually take you to the point where the lower Cottonwood Gulch trail comes off to the left (south). The trail has become well worn in at the entrance, so you shouldn't have too much trouble finding it. Have fun!

Similar Products Used: Rainbow, Monarch Crest, Colorado Trail
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
Showing 1-4 of 4  

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