Monarch Crest to Cotopaxi

Here was the plan start at Monarch Pass, ride the crest to the Rainbow Trail then stay on the RT to the Big Cottonwood trailhead outside of Cotopaxi Total ride about 70 miles lots of vertical and 3 days to get it done. We had our multi day gear with us and camped in some really cool spots.

With a late start on day one and a couple of mechanical problems we ended up running out of time to complete the ride via the Rainbow Trail. We had to bail out and follow the Arkansas on day 3 to make it back to the shuttle vehicle in time. Day 2 also kicked our arse taking the RT from hy 285 to Bear Creek Trail head. Lots of pushing on this part and I ended up bonking. Day 3 ended up being a cruise along the Arkansas River, it was actually cool we found a jeep road right along side the river and it ended up being a good cruise and stayed away from the Hy 50. We did get to ride 2 of what I would say are the best parts of the RT, the Section by Silver Creek and the 6 mile section by Bear Creek. Both sections were like candy. The Crest was awesome also. It has been awhile since I have ridden the whole thing.

We are going back this weekend to complete the final 2 sections and after that I can say I have ridden the entire RT!

A familiar intersection at the start of the singletrack

It was raining on us Day 1 but the Crest was o so sweet!

Another familiar spot, the hunters cabin. With our late start it is about 6pm and nobody is on the trail.

Day one we camped at about 11,000ft right off of the Colorado trail about a mile from the Silver Creek Junction. I will say it got a bit chilly this night.

Not to many streams this high up but we did stumbe across this natural spring and camped here and siphoned some water

View outside my hammock the next morning

The Descent down Silver Creek rocked!! Perfect weather and I forgot how pretty this Valley is, lots of beaver dams

The beginning of the Rainbow Trail! This section was Primo

These pics are from the Methodist Mountain/Poncha Pass section of the RT. The pictures do not do justice for how difficult this section was. Out of all the sections of the RT I have ridden this was by far the toughest plus it did not help I bonked this day

Day 2 Campsite man we packed alot of Chit.

This was out bailout point on day 3 the Bear Creek trail head. There was a possibility of completing the ride via the RT but it would of been about 36 miles of rough single track and decided it would be easier to head down to the valley and get to the car via dirt roads. Easy decision after 2 days on the trail. Plus we dropped about 2k of vertical on this road and hit a new top speed record of 40mph, not to hard when you are loaded down with gear

The Arkansas and a nice spot for lunch

Random pics through Howard and Cotopaxi and the end of day 3. That dear leg was at the very end of the ride. Not sure who ate that feller and glad I was not around (:

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