Front Side, Tenderfoot, Little Rattler and Spiral Trail

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Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area

Front Side, Tenderfoot, Little Rattler and Spiral Trail is a 8.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Salida, Colorado that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length8.1 miElevation gain1122 ftRoute typeLoop
dog friendlyHikingMountain bikingNature tripsBird watchingrunningRiverViewsWildflowersWildlife
Description
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Getting There

The Arkansas Hills Trail System is a collection of eleven hiking/biking trails north of Salida, Colorado that each range from 0.4 to 3.2 miles in length. There are several points of access and multiple trail possibilities. All trails are well maintained and well-marked.

There is a parking lot with a well maintained trail board that gives you trail and distance information.

More information is available at http://salidamountaintrails.org

From Hwy 291, turn north on CR 175. After 0.2 miles, turn right to stay on CR 175. After another 0.2 miles, follow the road to the left to stay on CR 175. After a final 0.2 miles, turn right onto CR 176 (Spiral Drive). Drive 1 mile until you reach the parking area on the right.

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Reviews (94)
Photos (53)
Recordings (82)
Completed (149)
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Ashley Heren
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HikingNo shade

nice hike after lunch. we hiked from the river walk to the top of Tenderfoot for 3miles out and back.

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Masumi Yoneyama
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Running
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Linda Mays
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Walking

Nice little trail system to walk your dogs before dinner. You do get an amazing view of the surrounding mountains.

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Scott Vanderpoel
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HikingNo shade

ok trail. If youre coming from out of town, particularly the front range, it's probably not worth hiking unless you're trying to slam in a work out.

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Jeff & Charity Gilson
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HikingRocky

Several other trails connecting and intersecting.

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Ty Taylor
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Hiking

Good easy/moderate non-shaded hike.

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Kenda Copp
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Do not camp in this area. Full of homeless meth heads that will disrupt your camp in the dead of night (This happened up Cottonwood Gulch) That said, during the day it was decent and was an easy hike.

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Andrew Redding
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HikingOff trailRocky
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Eric Johnson
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fun mountain biking

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Val Warrior
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Hiking

Beautiful trail with views overlooking Salida. Trail had new scenery on every turn.

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Harrison Keith
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HikingNo shadeRocky
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David Williams
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Hiking

now I know how Jesus felt when he spent 40 days and 40 nights in the desert. This like a post-apocalyptic wasteland populated by tin cans and ant hills. bring lots of water and a Bible.

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Stephanie Cutler
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Hiking

Lovely! Did Lil Rattler with my son and hubby and we are not experienced hikers. It was about 2 miles — perfect and the views were so pretty!

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Mike Dougherty
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Over the last few days we have hiked practically all of these trails. They are well maintained and offer great views. They range from little or no elevation gain to very steep slopes. There is a good bit of bike traffic, but all riders were very considerate

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Grant Gamster
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Mountain biking

This is one of my favorite riding areas in the country. My favorite is Beasway to Rumba Ridge to Cottonwood to a small hike up uncle nasty with a shredding downhill on prospector. That is by far one of the best most technical rides that I have done.

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Rachel Harmon
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Hiking

What a great trail system, and so accessible from downtown! We connected the Sand Dunes, Backbone, Lil Rattler, and Frontside trails and ended up hiking somewhere around 4 1/2 miles. Lots of mountain bikers out, but they were unfailingly courteous, and our counterclockwise loop must not be the most common route as most of them were heading in the opposite direction. Wish the trails were a bit wider, as they were busy, but the chance to gawk at the views made up for the inconvenience of constantly stepping off trail to let others pass. If you like this one, you'll probably also love the Whipple trail system in Buena Vista.

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Ashley LM
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Walking

Walked the CR loop to the top. Easy and relatively flat. Would make for a good run. The little shack at the top feels post-apocalyptic, but it’s a fun little trip up.

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Zachary Holloway
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Running

Did a nice and easy 7 mile run while checking out Salida. Ran Sweet Dreams-Backbone-to the S on Salida Mtn and Lil Rattler. Awesome windy single track. Very active town and a lot of people using the trails!

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Tracey Tee
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Hiking

We took the Lil Rattler trail with two 6 year olds over Memorial Day weekend. The trail was fine, great views and pretty easy BUT we ended up cutting the bike short because there were SO many bikers we had to stop nearly every 3-5 minutes to let people pass. It was just way too crowded. Frankly, this trail should be designated for just one use. It's single track to there's no shoulder and it's cumbersome to pass. It's just too popular and not big enough for bikers AND hikers AND horses.

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Austin Graham
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Hiking

Mild terrain. Very cool scenery.

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Ashley Eggering
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Hiking

Great trail for all types. A kinda choose your own hike thanks to the many trails in this system. Pathways are visible and easy to hike. I would suggest for beginners to start at the Rivers Edge parking lot and take the frontside trail from here, so you do not have to ascend the mountain to get back to your vehicle. We made a loop and started on the frontside trail to lil rattler and then the lower sand dunes trail back to rivers edge parking lot. Total of about 4 miles.

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James Elliott
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Hiking
First to Review

The Arkansas Hills trails are fabulous for bikers, hikers, and dogs. Living in the area, I've been on them many times and I always see others enjoying them as well. The trails are well-maintained and you have many options depending on how much time and energy you have. Some trails stay low between the hills, some run along the edges, and some are up top on the ridges. The trail head (by Tenderfoot Hill/S-Mountain) has a good sign with tons of trail info.

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Richard Philp
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Hiking
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Aaron Barrett
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Hiking
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Gabriella Soza
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Hiking
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Michael Roccaforte
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Hiking
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Becky Casillas
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Hiking
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madi boyd
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Hiking
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