North Backbone Trail

MODERATE 8 reviews

North Backbone Trail is a 8.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Salida, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

8.1 miles
944 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly



horseback riding

mountain biking


trail running

wild flowers

North Backbone is the longest trail on the Arkansas Hills Trail System north of Salida, Colorado. It is good all year round for various activities such as biking, hiking, horseback riding, or snowshoeing. This trail connects with a larger system of trails.

9 months ago

6.6.17. This was a nice, singletrack trail. It was close to town so didn't require a long drive and we were looking for a less strenuous hike. North Backbone is only 6.4 round trip. We added on Lil' Rattler (both ways) to make an 8+. This trail is very narrow. At some points, there are steep grades on both sides, which was problematic when we encountered bikers. Sometimes the only place to get out of the way was on a steep incline of loose gravel. I'm not sure if the bikers thought we could hear them coming but none of them gave us much notice (at times when I know they could see us ahead of them for a little bit.) So a word of caution to bikers - announce early because the hikers can't hear you. A couple of times I felt like I endangered them because I didn't have enough notice to find secure footing.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

My daughter (11) and I walked the trail from the beginning into town and my wife picked us up. Nice scenery all the way and the trail was well marked. Not too steep - just right.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Great hike with nice views of the mountains. The only problem is that from the roadside trailhead you are actually starting at the top of the trail which means it's all uphill on your way back. I would recommend starting with one of the other trails closer to town and then transitioning to this.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

This trail is mostly for mountain biking, but it is still a great hike. There are some panoramic views of the 14ers to the west of Salida. As somebody who does a little mountain biking, I would say this trail is not for beginners; it's a little rough in some spots. If you start your hike on CR 175 (Ute Trail) and work your way south, this trail connects with a whole system of trails (Arkansas Hills Trail System) to make your adventure as long as you want. All the trails on this system are well maintained and I love hiking them all!

3 months ago

5 months ago

5 months ago

Thursday, June 23, 2016