Photo Essay: Getting Rowdy on the Monarch Crest Enduro

Last week we wrapped up back-to-back Monarch Crest Enduro trips (one scheduled, one private) and we couldn’t have asked for much more: perfect weather, great trail conditions, and two amazing groups of riders.  Although we did manage to work our way through a ton of sunscreen- the sun is super intense above 10,000 feet! – we absolutely delivered on the promise of being one of our tougher trips, and it was awesome watching the riders step up to the challenge.

From the first day on Starvation Creek to the last day on Methodist Mountain, each day brings something new with regards to challenge, terrain, trail type, steepness, or the overall experience.  We do our best each trip to capture the experience in photos, both for our riders to have as a memento and so you can see what it’s truly like to join us on these adventures.  Here’s a summary of our 2023 Monarch Crest Enduro trips in photos along with a short description of the day’s ride:


Day 1: Starvation Creek (21 miles, 1500′ up & 4500′ down)

Starvation Creek is the perfect warmup for this trip in our mind as it’s never too tough, but it gives our riders a sense of what to expect in the coming days.  Starting off with an up and down ride on the proper Monarch Crest trail for about 12 miles, we immediately get our crew up above treeline and they get a glimpse of big views and high altitude riding.  After a series of shorter climbs and quick descents, we hit the good stuff on the Starvation Creek trail, starting off quite steep and working its way along the creek in some tight turns and beautiful forest.





Day 2: Canyon Creek (20 miles, 3800′ up & down)

We’ll get this out of the way: the Canyon Creek loop is likely one of the hardest rides on any Chasing Epic trip, and probably one of the hardest days on a bike you’ll ever have.  The full ride stats don’t tell the story here, as the climb seems unrelenting and we top out at 12,600′ which means oxygen is in short supply by the time we’re done with the looooong climb.  Oh, we didn’t mention the 45 minute hike a bike to the summit!

All that said, the hard effort is totally worth the price, as we top out on the summit of a peak in the middle of nowhere with incredible views, and you’re rewarded with a descent like no other you’ve experienced: 10 miles of steeps, chunk and flow that you’ll never forget.





Day 3: Greens and Fooses Creeks (29 miles, 1500′ up and 8000′ down)

Double shuttle day!  After a big ride on Day 2, we’re topping it off with another biggie… a double shuttle off Monarch Pass that gives us two never-ending descents and more chunk than most people have seen all year.  We typically start with Greens Creek which is a 10 mile, 4000′ descent that’s filled with rocks, more rocks, and even more rocks; better bring your A-game for this one.  The second lap on Fooses Creek starts out fast and loose with some pretty legit steep sections, but gradually mellows out as you get down towards the bottom.






Day 4: Methodist Mountain (13.5 miles, 1700′ up and 3000′ down)

On the last day, we shuttle up to the Methodist Mountain trails just above town for an entirely different ride experience: you can expect more shaded, forested riding and more purpose-built MTB trails with steeps, flow and some awesome tech features mixed in.  After some super fun descents on trails like Guts and Lost, we’ll cruise back to the house to wrap things up!





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AUTHOR: Steve Mokan

Steve is the owner (and founder) of Chasing Epic Mountain Bike Adventures, and contributes regularly to our blog. He's passionate about providing customers with incredible mountain bike vacations, and he loves photography and travel when he's not working. Truthfully, he loves those things when he is working too.