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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello you fortunate mountain people! After attending the requisite family reunion in Colorado Springs over the 4th of July, my family and I will be spending the next 8 days roaming around your fair state. That's right, another Californian dumping a pile of money on your local businesses. I would like to do the Monarch Crest trail when we camp in Poncha Springs on 7-8-05. Would any knowledgable locals offer any speculation on whether the snow will be thawed enough to do this ride? I've read the trail reviews and most of those rides have been later in the summer. With the current snow conditions I'd like to find out if the ride may be doable in early July or if I should plan on doing other rides at lower elevations. Any ride suggestions if that is the case? Thanks for your help.
 

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Some years the monarch crest is 100% snow free by July 8th, and some years its not.
This year has seen alot of snow in that area, so it's possible to still have some snow. Depends entirely on the weather from now until then.

However, if you're doing the 30 mile ride w/rainbow trail, then if there is snow it would only be spotted over the first 8 miles or so. By spotted I mean the occasional snowfield. The good new is, by July 8th it would be no problem to push your bike over the drifts. The majority of this 8 miles would be clear enough, and the last 20 miles would definitely be snow free. It would be well worth the trouble if there is a little snow.

Since you'll be in Col. Springs (the place I call home), and if you are looking for great singletrack, you should definitely do a ride known as Jones Downhill. You can start it from the SW end of town, ride about 18 miles up a dirt road to 10,500', then ride 100% singletrack back down (still some climbs here and there). There is also plenty of shorter variations. Alot of people shuttle it as well, but I prefer riding the loop.

If I am around that weekend I could show you the ride if interested.

Another place not to miss is Crested Butte (only about 1 hour from Monarch). Tons of amazing rides with amazing scenery. Early July is prime wildflower season, and CB has wildflowers galore.
 

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Tough to say what conditions will be like in 2 months, but here in Crested Butte we have snow, and a lot of it. Today I backcountry skied in at least 14" of fresh snow before riding hartman's in gunnison in the PM. None of the local winter road closures are any farther now than they were in January. In addition to a heavier than normal snow year, it has been a relatively cold spring, so things aren't melting very quickly. There is more snow now than any of the last 8 years here for this time of year. Soooo..... I would think that monarch is a bit doubtful, but you never know, so you should just assume all is well and make other plans if you have to once you are there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We'll be in the Col. Springs area from the 3rd thru the 7th staying at the Black Forest Conference Center in Monument. That trail sound great but I doubt I could shake loose from the reunion for a whole day. What are some other trails in the area?

We're also going to Winter Park and Steamboat Springs after Poncha Springs. I went to Crested Butte about 10 yrs ago but not enough time to go there on this trip. I've never been to the other places but I expect they'll be great as well. Thanks for the info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info. Monarch does sound a bit doubtful but I'm sure there are other great trails to ride in the area. Hopefully, you guys will have some warm weather to gradually melt the snow and open up the trails. In the meantime, have fun backcountry skiing!
 

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How about leaving the money at home.

Just move here and live in an environmetnaly friendly way. We could all use more of that. Have fun on your vacation. There are a lot of rides that will be snow free. Check out Absolute Bikes in Salida. Go to Amica's for some good Italian pizza.

TJ
 

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Maddog said:
What are some other trails in the area?
You will be relatively close to Monument, starting point to Limbaugh canyon off of Mt. Herman road (a gem of a trail). Palmer Park on the N. Central end of the Springs has great technical terrain.

You will be very close to Black Forest regional park and Fox Run. Both are very tame, but probably more fun than watching summer re-runs.
 
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