Chaffee County Colorado Salida--The Crater 

This ride takes you to a prominent geological feature visible from downtown Salida--The Crater. While not truly a "crater" of the volcanic or meteoric kind, but rather a unique formation of rock layers exposed by erosion, The Crater nevertheless is an interesting place to visit, and has one of the best views of the upper Arkansas Valley.

Trip By Absolute Bikes


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Author: Chaffee County Colorado
Date: 7 May 2007 3:29:38 PM
Activity: Mountain Biking
State: Colorado (CO)
Distance: 4.34 mi  (Change units)
Survey Elevation: Total Gain: 1097 ft
Total Loss: 692 ft
Net Change: 406 ft
Difficulty: 7 / 10
Tags: Colorado, Salida
Rating: Unrated   Rate it

This ride takes you to a prominent geological feature visible from downtown Salida--The Crater. While not truly a "crater" of the volcanic or meteoric kind, but rather a unique formation of rock layers exposed by erosion, The Crater nevertheless is an interesting place to visit, and has one of the best views of the upper Arkansas Valley. There are two common ways to do this ride; as standalone out-and-back by parking at the CR 175/CR 181 Intersection, or as an out-and-back piggybacked onto the Lookout Loop ride. This trip describes the out-and-back portion; it is a simple matter to combine it with Lookout Loop, which is described separately.

Trip By

TO TRAILHEAD: This ride can be done in two ways:  As an extension of the Lookout Loop trip which begins at Absolute Bikes, or as a standalone out and back ride.  In the latter case, drive up Ute Trail (CR 175) and park at the unmarked turnout at the junction of CR 175 and CR 181. 

Position Format: Datum:
Tracks

Track 1

Distance: 4.34 mi Points: 152
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi

Points of Interest

Ride Begins

Location: 38.600788, -105.941444
There is a parking area here at the intersection of CR 175 and CR 181, start here and head out on CR 181--if you're doing this as part of Lookout Loop, you've just finished about 6 miles of climbing on CR 175.

Stream Crossing

Location: 38.599751, -105.935944
Ute Creek

Intersection

Location: 38.593452, -105.931877
Stay left on CR 181.

Intersection

Location: 38.593773, -105.931076
Stay left on CR 181.

Mt. Shavano

Location: 38.585163, -105.930283
Watching thunderheads build over Shavano and Tabeguache.

Intersection

Location: 38.582455, -105.926216
Right turn onto CR 181A

Intersection

Location: 38.582611, -105.924942
Take this right turn onto CR 181A

Intersection

Location: 38.581017, -105.928604
Stay left here, skirt the small lake, and prepare for a short, tough climb.

Intersection

Location: 38.580700, -105.927727
The right hand route is a private driveway. Stay left here, skirt the small lake, and prepare for a short, tough climb.

Intersection

Location: 38.567966, -105.921425
Stay right at this intersection.

Intersection

Location: 38.568172, -105.920609
Stay right at this intersection.

Intersection

Location: 38.564678, -105.926292
Right hand turn.

Intersection

Location: 38.564304, -105.924980
Take this right hand turn--from this vantage, you can see the road run right up to the back of Crater mountain (see adjacent photo).

Hike-A-Bike

Location: 38.565807, -105.927231
Don't let the picture fool you--it's VERY steep going on the back of the Crater. If you can clean it, you get a gold star and a Pro upgrade on your license!

Topping Out

Location: 38.565338, -105.931183
The Payoff! Time for lunch...

Crater Panorama

Location: 38.565475, -105.933441
View of the Sangre de Cristo Range and Collegiate Peaks over the Upper Arkansas River Valley. Salida is centered in the valley floor.


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