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This mellow, family-friendly hike provides stunning views of the Sawatch Range.


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Map Key

5.7

Miles

9.2

KM

Loop

7,896' 2,407 m

High

7,638' 2,328 m

Low

479' 146 m

Up

478' 146 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

20%

Max Grade (12°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views

Overview

The Spartan Loop provides a unique combination of easy hiking and spectacular views. Thanks to simple access from CR 110, you can enjoy this elevated loop high on the flanks of Methodist Mountain with gorgeous views of the mighty Sawatch Range to the west.

Description

The hike begins from the Spartan trailhead by climbing the short connector trail and then taking a right on Spartan West. You'll climb up a consistent hill but soon reach spectacular views off the steep side of the ridge. The upper exposed section of the Spartan West trail is undoubtedly the highlight of this entire loop—the views of the Sawatch Range are unbelievable! If you're looking for a shorter hike, a simple out-and-back on Spartan West is a great choice.

However, if you're looking for a longer loop, cross CR 110 and then pass through the Little Rainbow Trailhead and onto the Little Rainbow Trail, heading east. Make sure you don't accidentally take Double Rainbow, which would take you the wrong direction.

Keep hiking along Little Rainbow, passing the junction with the Skull Trail—unless you're already feeling the need to shorten the loop, in which case you can use Skull as a shortcut. If you carry on past Skull, take a left at the junction with the Spartan East Trail.

Spartan East rolls across the hillside, swooping into narrow valleys and climbing back out again. The trail is smooth and wide, but there are some ups and downs along the way. You'll also get to hike past one of the few remaining old-growth trees on this mountainside—a dramatic departure from the scrubby pinon pines.

After crossing CR 110 again, look for the right turn on the spur trail to head back down to the trailhead from whence you began.

Contacts

Shared By:

Greg Heil

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#2195

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  5.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#344

in Colorado

#2,195

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Photos

Spartan East
Apr 15, 2024 near Salida, CO
View from Spartan West.
Apr 15, 2024 near Salida, CO

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