Trail riding

A rider leans into the turn as he races down one of the many trails around Tenderfoot Mountain.

Whether you’re looking for a pretty cruise around town or an epic downhill romp, Salida has bike rides suitable for all skill levels.

For in-town riding, the Monarch Spur Trail is a popular paved route that starts near the Arkansas River and goes through town, mostly avoiding car traffic along the way. Cruising along Salida’s city streets is also a nice way to get some fresh air and check out the town.

Mountain bike trails also surround Salida.

The Arkansas Hills Trail System, located around Tenderfoot Mountain (the one with the big “S” on it), has some easier trails, moderate trails and also some challenging technical trails.

The Methodist Mountain Trail System, just east of town, has some easier trails than in the Arkansas Hills system, but some tougher ones as well.

The good thing about the trail systems is that they have lots of options for loops so cyclists can do a short ride or a really, really long ride depending on how they feel.

Rides down the Monarch Crest, meanwhile, are some of the most epic ones in the state. The Classic Crest Route, for instance, is about 36 miles long, mostly downhill from the top of Monarch Pass all the way to Poncha Springs.

If you forgot your bike and gear, that’s not a problem. Absolute Bikes and SubCulture Cyclery in downtown Salida both offer a full lineup of rentals, including everything from cruisers and kids’ bikes to full-suspension mountain bikes, gravel grinders and even e-bikes.

CKY Salida Bike Rental also offers cruiser bike rentals.

Those shops, as well as the Salida Bike Co., are all great resources for finding a ride that is right for you.