TR: Riding Agate Creek off Monarch Crest (21 July 2017)

(Last Updated On: August 17, 2017)

Monarch Pass undoubtedly has some great mountain biking options. When most people think of the “Monarch Crest”, they think of the main series of trails – starting out on the Monarch Crest, descending Silver Creek, and then onto Rainbow Trail. But, there are plenty more options for mountain bikers including Fooses Creek, Greens Creek, and Starvation Creek – all of which also descend east of the Continental Divide. But, then there’s Agate Creek, often overlooked, because it descends west of the Divide. But, this trail is one mountain bikers should definitely check out!

We began by riding about 8 miles along the Monarch Crest Trail, taking in magnificent alpine views like this.
Mountain biking Agate Creek Trail off the Monarch Crest in Colorado.

We refueled at a meadow a hundred feet before the start of Agate Creek Trail.
Mountain biking Agate Creek Trail off the Monarch Crest in Colorado.

Then it was down, down, down. Agate Creek trail starts off as a fast and flowy ride – for miles.
Mountain biking Agate Creek Trail off the Monarch Crest in Colorado.

Frank.
Mountain biking Agate Creek Trail off the Monarch Crest in Colorado.

Mountain biking Agate Creek Trail off the Monarch Crest in Colorado.

Me.
Mountain biking Agate Creek Trail off the Monarch Crest in Colorado.

Agate Creek trail quickly descends into the forest.
Mountain biking Agate Creek Trail off the Monarch Crest in Colorado.

Mountain biking Agate Creek Trail off the Monarch Crest in Colorado.

But, there are a few scenic meadows along the way.
M

Mountain biking Agate Creek Trail off the Monarch Crest in Colorado.

Then, the stream crossings start. You start with small crossings of the Agate Creek, many of which you barely notice. But, then they get deeper, harder, and unrideable. I don’t know how many crossings there are, but I think it could be upwards of 20. In all honesty, the last few miles are definitely hampered by these crossings. If it weren’t for this Agate would certainly be my most favorite descent off the Monarch Crest. When riding Agate Creek trail, plan on getting wet. Very, very wet.
Mountain biking Agate Creek Trail off the Monarch Crest in Colorado.

The Agate Creek drainage follows along Highway 50 for quite some time, although its several hundred feet below it. Aside from occasional noise and wreckage like this, you hardly notice that there’s a major highway above.
Mountain biking Agate Creek Trail off the Monarch Crest in Colorado.

Despite the crossings, Agate Creek trail is still fun.
Mountain biking Agate Creek Trail off the Monarch Crest in Colorado.

We even got rained on, but it didn’t matter too us. We were so wet from the stream crossings anyway!
Mountain biking Agate Creek Trail off the Monarch Crest in Colorado.

What you need to know before you go

Agate Creek trail is nearly 10 miles, combined with the 8 miles you get on the Monarch Crest – that’s a pretty solid ride! This ride is typically done as a shuttle with a car at the top of the pass and one at the start of the trailhead, or even at Sargents. Hitching a ride back to the top (without a bike) from Sargents is also quite easy to do. Here’s a map to get you started!

Summary
Agate Creek Trail off Monarch Crest
Article Name
Agate Creek Trail off Monarch Crest
Description
Often overlooked, Agate Creek trail is one of the best descent options off the Monarch Crest. But, be prepared to get wet as there are many creek crossings!
Author

Brittany Walker Konsella

Aside from skiing, biking, and all outdoorsy things,Brittany Walker Konsella also loves smiles and chocolate 🙂 Even though she excels at higher level math and chemistry, she still confuses left from right. Find out more about Brittany!

Brittany Walker Konsella

Aside from skiing, biking, and all outdoorsy things, Brittany Walker Konsella also loves smiles and chocolate :) Even though she excels at higher level math and chemistry, she still confuses left from right. Find out more about Brittany!

2 thoughts on “TR: Riding Agate Creek off Monarch Crest (21 July 2017)

  • August 14, 2017 at 6:43 pm
    Permalink

    Mmmm… I love me some Agate.

  • August 15, 2017 at 8:23 am
    Permalink

    Who doesn’t!? Well, maybe those who hate stream crossings 😉

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