Epic Colorado Muni - monarch crest in the fog

My write up will not be as full as what AspenMike usually does, but this past weekend I met up with Mark (Osmundo) in Golden and drove out to Salida, CO to meet up with AspenMike to ride the Monarch Crest trail.

We drove out on Saturday late afternoon and left a car at the end of our planned route and then hopped in Mike’s motor home to drive to Monarch Pass to catch some sleep. We were up early in the morning and started riding at 730am or so. We started riding early because we feared afternoon rain.

The morning was ridiculously foggy and it was quite out of this world unicycling the crest at 11-12000 feet in elevation with fog surrounding you. Once the fog started burning off a bit, the scenery looked like something out of a fairy tale (or Alaska).

It was cold, and dripping wet riding in the fog, but it cleared up later in the afternoon, and the second half of the day was bright and sunny.

I think we did…Monarch Crest to the Colorado trail, which linked to silver creek and which led us to the rainbow trail. All in all it was about 30 miles, and I am not sure what the exact stats were, Mike will have to chime in on the ascent and descent values. A quick summary would be…mostly nice smooth colorado single track at high altitude, with some fun technical descents and climbs mixed in.

I am sort of bummed I couldn’t see the spectacular views while on monarch crest, but the fog was quite fun to ride through - and actually made the ride very unique, I will have to go back and do the ride again this summer…I am sure it will feel completely different on a clear day.

Pics below:

A pic of me riding in the fog on the crest:

Mike in the fog:


Mike at the highest point of the ride (I think)

Fog starting to clear:

Can you believe this was the same day? Miles of beautiful singletrack:

Sweet! I did the 19 mile version (due to time constraints) a few years ago: From Marshall Pass I took Poncha Creek Trail (4x4 road) down, down, down to the highway where my wife and dogs were waiting for me in the hot sun! I’m hoping to ride the full route next August with a friend, then some loftier goals to follow… Congrats!

Awesome ride! That Silver Creek trail is my favorite part. The fog on top was definitely other-worldly. Thanks to Mike for hosting us in his super-stylin’ 70s era motorhome! This is the fourth big ride I’ve done this year on the Colorado Trail, a 400-some trail that goes from Denver to Durango that highlights some of the best that Colorado has to offer. The main administrator of the trail in Bill Manning, also an avid unicyclist and super nice guy. I hope someday to complete all sections of this tremendous trail. James and Mike are incredibly strong riders and are superfun munibuds. Lets do it again soon!
This is Mike atop another section of the Colo trail at Kokomo Pass between Copper and Camp Hale.

I wanna ride with you guys!

only if i still lived on the west coast

I’d love to set up a colorado muni weekend, I was planning to this year, but I got too busy. Look for a well organized and high altitude muni weekend next year, I want to give enough notice so people can make plans who live far away.

Till then, if you are ever in the area, drop one of us a line.

What a great ride!! Im in full training and hope that I can ride with you guys some day. I’m around 3.5 months into learning MUni. I’m riding Bear Creek and Green Mountain right now, but I sure hope to get better and start some more technical stuff soon. Im working on my endurance too. Congrats to all of you, looks like a great ride and great friends. I hope by next summer to be able to venture futher out!

Sitting in a hail storm, in the motorhome, in Durango getting excited to ride more of the Colorado Trail the next couple of day’s. Monarch Crest was incredible, thanks for posting it James. I will write more on my return in a few days when I am in front of a computer. Get out and ride.

Sounds (and looks) like an amazing place to ride. Would love to hit that singletrack on my geared 24" one day. I will be heading to the next unicon though so if you lads make it over to Italy and the Triol region region (there are more alps there than you can poke a stick at) we can get some serious XC muni riding in. Anyone interested?

Bondo taught my son to ride a couple summers back when we were out in CO doing some summer skiing. Bondo (Scott) has ridden with Mike, I think both of them live in Breck.

I will for sure be out that way next June, passing through CO on my way to ski for a week or two in the PNW, so it would awesome to do some epic rides if the snow has thawed out. I could catch you guys coming or going.

Let’s keep in touch, I’ll have some firm dates once we get closer to summer.

Any thoughts on riding at Moab in the Spring?