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Haven't been out that way. Assuming it's good but just want a confirmation for riding tomorrow. Thanks
 

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Haven't been out that way. Assuming it's good but just want a confirmation for riding tomorrow. Thanks
I rode the S-Mtn and little Rainbow trails a couple weeks ago and they were fine. I don't know what it would be like to go higher though. The dry side of the valley might be good to a certain elevation but you probably can't go much higher up the bigger mountains to the west before you get snow.
 

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Yes, there's a dirt road that goes to the top of cottonwood, so it can be shuttled, but the ride up isn't that bad, even on a larger bike with bigger gears... suck it up buttercup and loop it.

They're doing lots of trail/re-route work on cottonwood, but the standard is still open and riding great right now

e
 

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Yes! After looking more at the map yesterday, it looks like maybe a 6.5 mi ride up from town, avg grade of 5%... probably worth riding it!

Latest idea... ride form town, up North Backbone trail to dirt road 175, then continue 4ish miles up 175 to the top of cottonwood, and descend back down! Then play around on the lower s-mtn trails, etc.

Give me a sense of how gnarly cottonwood descent is.... how does it compare to Dr's Park, 401, Horsethief or Eagle's wing?

Yes, there's a dirt road that goes to the top of cottonwood, so it can be shuttled, but the ride up isn't that bad, even on a larger bike with bigger gears... suck it up buttercup and loop it.

They're doing lots of trail/re-route work on cottonwood, but the standard is still open and riding great right now

e
 

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Yes! After looking more at the map yesterday, it looks like maybe a 6.5 mi ride up from town, avg grade of 5%... probably worth riding it!

Latest idea... ride form town, up North Backbone trail to dirt road 175, then continue 4ish miles up 175 to the top of cottonwood, and descend back down! Then play around on the lower s-mtn trails, etc.

Give me a sense of how gnarly cottonwood descent is.... how does it compare to Dr's Park, 401, Horsethief or Eagle's wing?
I ride this loop once or twice a year. Ute trail (175) is just a county road. It's nothing exciting and a bit of a grind, but it gets you the vertical. I occupy myself enjoying the scenery of the arroyo the road goes through. There isn't much vehicle traffic but you proably will encounter a car/truck or three. Once you turn off and go toward the top of Cottonwood it's still a road but a bit more primitive. You may run into cows. It's very pretty back up in there with occasional views of the Arkansas valley. The higher points of the ride my still have a little snow or mud, but if there's any at all I can't imagine it being a major issue.

Cottonwood trail is a 4wd road that is very fast in some sections with some up and down before it begins the final plunge back toward town. There are rocky and washed out sections that when it's been dry can have sketchy, ball bearing traction. There are a couple fairly gnarly sections but nothing too crazy. Some of the rock outcrops have a cheese grater texture and falling isn't recommended! For me it's not the drops or the rocks - none of that is too difficult - it's the sketchy traction.

As you get closer to town you'll come on a couple of the Salida town trails like Uncle Nazty, Sand Dune. (I think, can never remember all the names) These are the most technical trails in the S mtn area and IMO, qualify as "expert" trails. If you don't take those trails and continue on the road, you will come to S mtn itself and the intersection of N backbone.
 

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Bumping this thread for current conditions info. How are the trails around Salida looking? I'll be headed down that way with the lady in a few weeks and if the skiing isn't looking any better, we'd rather bring the bikes.
 
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