If you are up for a healthy climb, Frontside is the fastest way to get from downtown to the Salida Mountain Trails system. The trail is not overly difficult compared to some trails in the area, but be advised that there is a tight switchback and a few narrow, technical rock sections to get over with some exposure all the way up.
Most locals take this trail up so jump on a train and get warmed up fast. It gets a fair amount of hiking traffic so be courteous.
At the north end of F street (by the red caboose) is a free parking lot. Head out the chain link fence and along the well worn path along the railroad tracks for 100ft and cross at the railroad crossing (no trains anymore). Turn right at the access road and go East towards the big, industrial building. Soon, a 2 track road will take off to the left. Make your way up this as you cross and ride up a loose, rocky/sandy, dry stream bed a short distance until you see a trail take off to the left heading back towards the S-Mountain. There is often a rock cairn, as well as a few more rock cairns indicating you are going the correct direction. You will cross a drainage where the lower part of Sand Dunes spits out. You will be heading along the front of S-Mountain. The trail ends at the S-Mountain parking lot and a kiosk with a map to plan which trail to take next (most likely Little Rattler).
Local Trail AssociationSalida Mountain Trails (salidamountaintrails.org)
More Stats for Frontside mountain bike trail
Altitude change268 ft
Altitude min1.3 miles
Altitude max1.4 miles
Altitude start1.3 miles
Altitude end1.4 miles
Distance climb3,556 ft
Distance down1,909 ft
Distance flat675 ft
- view trail stats
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