Explore the most popular birding trails near Salida with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

backpacking
3 days ago

Backpacked from Hancock Lake trailhead to Boss Lake trailhead. Hancock lake is a beautiful alpine lake! The pass up behind the lake is very steep, but not incredibly long. Amazing views from the top! It marks the halfway point for the Colorado Trail Collegiate West, and boy is it pretty!

off road driving
13 days ago

Fairly short drive from the old hancock townsite. Can get a little rough with bigger rocks and certain points. We did this in a stock 4runner trail with Dunlop grandtrek highway tires aired down to 25psi.

mountain biking
16 days ago

The rating system on this app is so insanely off it is ridiculous. This trail is rated the intermediate. When you get there it is a black diamond or double black diamond Trail depending on the direction you choose. We averaged about 6 miles an hour for the total loop. I typically can average around 14 on our normal single track at home. Very treacherous trail! Absolutely would recommend for suspension! Do not go to this trail if you are not a very technical rider.

mountain biking
16 days ago

MTB review- this is hard. Definitely mod-hard with tough climbs and super sketchy descents! Fun but not for the average rider. Cool views overlooking the city.

hiking
21 days ago

I hiked 4 miles on this beautiful trail - good surface, not technical, and not too steep for the first 2 miles. Follows a creek, so there was water for the dogs. Lots of shade. I went early on a Saturday morning and by 10:00, there were several other people on the trail and groups of mountain bikers.

hiking
1 month ago

This was an easy hike and very well marked, taking me about 3 hours, 20 minutes. It's easy to access from the main road in Salida.

hiking
1 month ago

Jenny trail - After the first mile, Impassable with dog. Rock slide or just large rocks and couldn’t maneuver around them.

horseback riding
1 month ago

This was a great trail to ride horses and dogs, lots of water to play in. A little busy with mountain bikes going super fast but everyone was very good about stopping for our horses. The dirt road is tough and narrow to get to trail head, but there is plenty of places to turn a horse trailer around once there.

I loved the views by the lake. It is very peaceful!

hiking
2 months ago

GPS watch showed about 12 miles out and back from the trailhead. Loved the patches of snow towards the top of the trail! The shade and the beautiful views made it a great hike. It took us 6.5 hours to complete.

I hike these trails quite often, and they’re great. Some days there can be quite a few people on the trails, so you have to pay attention. My favorite is the North Backbone trail; the views are gorgeous.

hiking
2 months ago

I love this hike - and I return to it often - whether I have time to do the whole trail or not. It is moderate - but has consistently great views across the valley to the mountains.

I love this hike. it can also be done as a shuttle hike, leaving one car in town.

Great running and hiking trail. Maintained extremely well. Drive to the trailhead (4x4 just to be safe but not needed) and save the 2 mile road walk from the reservoir for more hiking on the single track.
Deep snow one mile from the top (late May 2018).
It’s gorgeous in the afternoon

Great views of collegiate peaks and the town of Salida. As a hiker, the mountain bike traffic was enough to be pretty distracting. Trail was in great shape and very rewarding overall.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike with easy access from Salida. We went up as far as the third bridge today and it was a mix of light snow cover and semi wet. Beyond that snow got a bit heavier and looked like snow shoes would be the way to go. The drive to the trail head is fine. Everyone agreed the hike was beautiful and we'll be back when it opens up further this spring.

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.

walking
4 months ago

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.

Beautiful fall hike. Most of the leaves had dropped recently which left a carpet of gold on the trail in some places. Parked at the trailhead..my 4x4 truck made it fine. Hiked to the 3rd bridge. Wanted to keep going but I was limited by time. There wasn’t another sole around except for a few mountain bikers on the road.

Beautiful trail with Aspens changing color. If you follow the directions in AllTrails and park off Hwy 50, it is a 3 mile hike to the trailhead. The walk is nice through the forest, but it cut our hike short due to a change in weather shortly after we reached the trailhead. Higher clearance vehicles can be helpful in a few spots along the road off past the dam - plenty of parking at the trailhead.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Didn't do but a couple miles and then back. Just checking out on my last day in the area. Will be back for more.

hiking
Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Beautiful trail on the easier side of moderate. We parked near the dam because we weren't sure there was room at the trailhead for our long truck. Turns out there was plenty of room - stock SUVs and trucks should have no problem going all the way to the trailhead. Very pretty trail through aspens and pine forest, much of it following the creek.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

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.

trail running
Sunday, June 04, 2017

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!

hiking
Sunday, May 28, 2017

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.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sure a nice trail. However, we went hiking and could only find our way by following the ski tracks in the snow. It was too early for hiking and too late for skiing. Summer or winter would be our recommendation; unless you want to post hole and guess where you are going. Try this one after the end of May; depending on annual snow load.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Nice trail for snowshoeing.

on Fooses Creek Trail

hiking
Sunday, September 11, 2016

I got a late start and parked my car down by Fooses Reservoir (where many people were fishing). I wish I had brought my pickup to skip over the first 2 miles of road, which was really boring. Another guide book of mine said you needed a lifted 4WD to make it all the way to the trailhead 2 miles up this road, so I didn't bother. However, it seemed like normal trucks and SUV's could make it up okay (with some skill). I wanted to make it to the meadow (about 2 miles in from the trailhead) before turning around, but I turned around after 1 mile when I encountered a moose in a beaver pond, which was a little scary because we couldn't see each other well, and I didn't know if there was a calf nearby. I figured that was a good place to stop, making my hike about 6 miles total. I want to go back and go farther in for sure! Beautiful creek. I can see why this trail is epic for mountain bikers doing the Monarch Crest area. I may go back in a couple weeks during peak colors.

hiking
Sunday, August 28, 2016

Mild terrain. Very cool scenery.

hiking
Sunday, August 28, 2016

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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