For our 21st wedding anniversary we rode Monarch Crest/Fooses, made pizza for dinner, brownies for dessert, and a special beer to celebrate. What a day! Fooses is yet another trail off the Monarch Crest in Salida, CO. We rode everything else and this was the last loop we planned to ride up there. It isn’t an easy loop; Fooses is black diamond. Our loop was 19.3 miles with 3393′ of climbing. Insane.
We started early to avoid the afternoon thunderstorms in the forecast. Sure, we have raincoats but who wants to be at 11,961′ when lightening and downpours start? The climb up Fooses Creek gravel/dirt road starts pleasantly and then gets more rough and steeper, ending with a hike a bike up a 26% jumbled rock path. That part was fairly short and almost welcomed after the steep switchbacks we rode up!
At the top we hung a left onto the Monarch Crest Trail for a fun ride on trail on top of the ridge. We rode this same section of trail the day we did our giant Agate Creek Loop. After about 4 miles of trail riding we hung a left at Fooses Creek Trail. The view at this junction is amazing! There were a couple people stopped here so we kept moving and hit the trail.
Dropping in to Fooses is no joke. It’s extremely steep and loose. In a controlled, but slightly out of control fashioned, we descended back into the lush green forest. It rained the night before and the trail was muddy in spots, with several small creek crossings. Wildflowers blanket entire sections and we stopped to admire the beauty. The trail is incredibly rocky and rooty up top and then eases up on the technicality towards the second half.
Knowing there were a couple riders somewhere behind us, we didn’t stop for many pictures. Plus, it gets pretty dark and treed in down lower making pictures hard. The last half is very fast and flowy as you make your way back to Fooses Creek Road. We were sad to be back at the gravel road but happy to finish the last few miles knowing we beat the storm.
Elevation Beer Company’s special release Horchata Spiced Imperial Porter aged in Montanya rum barrels was soooooooo good!