I put this page together so I’d have something to send to visiting friends that ask for ride recommendations. This is all the “low country” stuff that I like around my town. I can ride everything in Salida from my house, and BV is only 30 minutes away. Cheers!
- Beasway > Rhumba > Cottonwood — This is kind of the classic Salida in-town long shuttle (or pedal) ride. It’s not terribly rowdy or technical, but it’s a super fun ride. Can be shuttled or looped using CR175. If you’re pedaling it and want a bigger day, pedal Frontside > CR173 > North Backbone and then bang a right on CR175 for 5-6 miles to the start of Beasway. At the end you have options, lots of people (like MTB Project) would tell you to take Sweet Dreams to Chicken Dinner, but Chicken Dinner is the most overrated trail in the valley IMNSHO. I’d say either Sweet Dreams all the way out or Lower Sand Dunes are mo’bettah. This is also the southern end of the S-Mountain system, so you can pedal north on Backbone and explore other trails here (see below).
- Gutz — This trail is badass. It’s an old school pirate DH trail that’s been legalized and wasn’t fucked with too much… it’s still plenty steep (ish) and super fun. Some of the jumps still remain, but overall the trail is mostly better than what it was as a pirate trail because it’s not littered with golf ball sized gravel. The only problem is that it’s short, and kind of a pain to get to. You can pedal/push up FR108 to the Rainbow Trail to get to Gutz, you can be an idiot like lots of folks in town and ride a big loop of CR 101 > CR49 > Columbine > Rainbow > Gutz, or you can also pedal up through the Spartans to Pot-O-Gold and take the Rainbow trail from the other direction. I don’t really recommend the P-O-G version, TBH. But however you get to Gutz (and you should totally ride Gutz), my favorite way to finish is down Sol Train West > Little Rainbow > Solstice to a beer and/or burger at 50 Burger or Soulcraft.
- S-Mountain Trails — one can just dick around for an entire day riding various loops on loops on loops here. Easy to explore stuff here, trails to not miss that I personally know and have ridden are The Dude Abides, Unkle Nazty, Upper/Lower Sand Dunes, Hooligan, and El Duderino. Most of my rides are here, and Hooligan is my go-to lunch lap for some awkward janky rocky fun.
- Despite being home to Gutz, the Methodist Mountain system is largely much tamer and great for chill rides or a mellow day. Sol Train East to Racetrack is sorta entertaining, Dead Bird is what we usually climb, Lost isn’t terrible and can be fast and loose and fun but is hardly a black trail. The Spartans are really tame, good for fatbiking when there’s snow on them if that tells you anything.
- Vitamin B — Super fun, lots of steep rock tech moves. Accessed by either climbing or shuttling up 6-1/2 miles of really decent dirt road. One of my favorites in the area, 10 out of 10 go ride this fucking trail.
- Unchained is like Vitamin B lite, and it’s a pretty dang good time. It’s more uppy-downy than Vitamin B, but it has some really rad rock manuevers that are clearly marked with A and B lines. Good fun. End it with lower Django. We usually start our rides in this area from this trail and just ride around on whatever we feel like for a while.
And of course I get it that all that nonsense makes no sense unless you see a map, and Trailforks in the Salida area is pretty good. You can also use MTB Project in the area as well. Lots of riding in the area can involve dirt county road, especially early season like now…
Beer & Food
Elevation Brewing in Poncha Springs has tasty beer, as does Eddyline in Buena Vista. Tres Litros in Salida is a newer brewery but doing good things, and the little food cart King Kaeng inside usually has solid curries and such. Soulcraft in Salida is less good, but still pretty dang good with a great (but odd in a way) atmosphere and a really good food shack outside. House Rock Kitchen in BV for good lunch food. Lots of good food options in Salida for dinner and/or lunch. My regular riding partner (who’s a killer rider) owns a couple joints in town Sweetie’s Sandwich Shop and The Biker and The Baker—you can usually find me at B&B with him on Friday afternoons trying to not drink too much mezcal. I’d of course encourage you to check any of those out, but there’s several other decent spots.