Rainbow Trail- Over the Hump

I raced the Gunnison Growler on Sunday (the 28th), but that’s another post.

At the bike shop, I work 4 days (Sunday-Wednesday), then I have 3 days off. That leaves the 3 day weekend to do some big adventures and whatnot. On Saturday, roommate/co-worker Leah and I rode out to the south/west end of the Rainbow Trail.

IMG_0975

It had snowed earlier in the week, so everything above 9ksomething feet in the shade was patchy snowy. It made for some sketchy wet rocks & roots in spots as well as some cool scenery.

IMG_0976 IMG_0977

As it dropped out of the woods, it turned beautiful and dry.

IMG_0978

There’s a section of Rainbow Trail that, since I started visiting Salida, I’ve been told is no fun because it’s blown out, steep, and hike-a-bikey (the trail is open to motorcycles, so it definitely gets loose). Since I was there, and I didn’t have much else to do that day, I figured I’d try it out.

IMG_0979

I was able to ride about the first half of the climb up. As the summer progresses and it gets drier & more moto-trafficked, there will be some spots I rode that won’t be as rideable. The second half is a lot steeper and rockier. I was getting really excited that the other side of “the hump” (the local name for that part of the trail) would be a fun, techy descent much like the stuff I was hiking.

IMG_0980

IMG_0981

IMG_0982

The top of the hump is somewhere around 10k feet, so there was a good bit of slushy snow and water. I eventually made it to the spot where the trail seemed to drop straight off the mountain.

IMG_0984

I was mildly disappointed when I found that the descent was nothing like the climb. It was all gravel & sand surfing. So, next time, I’ll definitely go the other direction and hike up the gravely side and descend the fun side.

I kept riding to county road 108 and descended back down to town. Here’s the Strava file for it:

https://www.strava.com/activities/997741104

It was about 6 hours, door-to-door, so I was stoked to eat a two-person-sized serving of tacos for dinner.

IMG_0986

Adventure number one of many.

One thought on “Rainbow Trail- Over the Hump

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *