Trail Stewards

CENTRAL COLORADO HAS BECOME a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts and is known for being welcoming and accommodating — a necessity of embracing a tourist economy. The Upper Arkansas Valley has a reputation for being home to some of the most beautiful, unsullied landscapes in the state. Arriving at trailheads, visitors and locals tuck their vehicles …

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Salida Mountain Trails: 16 Years of Trail Building

By Tom Purvis When spring came to Salida back in 2004, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced their plan to conduct a travel management planning process on their managed lands in the Upper Arkansas Valley. The trails that were available near Salida were few, rough, and not constructed sustainably. To say they were constructed …

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The Rusty Lung: Salida’s Newest Trail

By Mike Rosso

Since 2006, a group of volunteers named Salida Mountain Trails (SMT) have been steadily increasing the number and quality of non-motorized, multi-use trails in the Salida vicinity.

Margaret Knight on the new Rusty Lung Trail near Salida. Photo by Ben Knight,

The latest addition to the extensive trail system harkens back to the early days of mountain biking in the area. Back in the 1980s, mountain biking was beginning to be taken up by more and more riders. It offered an off-road, nature-based experience. Two early Salida pioneers of the sport, Don McClung and the late Mike Rust, developed a loop trail on the backside of Tenderfoot Mountain on Bureau of Land Management property. It was steep, rocky and challenging, especially in the pre-suspension days of the ‘80s, and named The Sunset Trail by another early Salida mountain biker, Jack Chivvis.

McClung, a bike designer and builder, began riding what he called “a faint animal game trail,” in a 1988 Mountain Mail story about the mountain biking opportunities which were opening up back then. Unfortunately, the original trail disappeared in private property and was eventually abandoned as new, legal trails began popping up.

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Modern-Day Trailblazers, Salida Mountain Trails

by Tyler Grimes This year, an estimated 10,000 recreationalists will utilize the Arkansas Hills and Methodist Mountain trail systems near Salida. selected Salida’s trails as the number five spot on its “Top 10 Mountain Bike Destinations in North America.” The January edition of Elevation Outdoors featured Salida for its year-round mountain biking possibilities. Given …

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