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A quick loop in the Arkansas Hills with an alternative ascent via Rusty Lung.


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Map Key

4.4

Miles

7.1

KM

Loop

7,525' 2,294 m

High

7,039' 2,145 m

Low

491' 150 m

Up

492' 150 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

12%

Max Grade (7°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views

Family Friendly Short, easy loop.

Expect downhill mountain bike traffic on Rusty Lung.

Overview

The Arkansas Hills are filled with trail options, and this climb up Rusty Lung is generally underutilized by pedestrians. This ascent from the base of S-Mountain provides a different perspective on the area as you'll ascend the northwestern aspect. The trail is smooth and well-graded, but expect to encounter downhill mountain bike traffic, as this is a popular descent.

Description

From the F-Street Bridge Trailhead, begin by crossing the railroad tracks and bearing northwest. Take a right at the fork in the dirt road, and then a right onto Sgt Pepper to begin heading uphill on singletrack.

Ignore the junction with Burnpile and take a right at the fork in the Pepper trails. Soon, you'll reach a right turn onto the signed Rusty Lung trail and begin climbing in earnest.

The lower portion of Rusty Lung is home to some cool hoodoos—enjoy these unique rock formations as you climb along the side of the hill.

After crossing the road, continue onto upper Rusty Lung, taking special care to watch for descending mountain bikers as you wind through the canyon bottom, which has poor sight lines.

Soon, you'll climb out of the canyon. Along the rest of the climb, you'll enjoy impressive views of the backside of S-Mountain, the Sawatch Range, and the Sangre de Cristos.

At the junction on the saddle, you can either descend Backside or Little Rattler—both will take you back to the base of the mountain. The route shown here descends Little Rattler to Frontside. If choosing this option, ignore all of the junctions with Burnpile and the roads along the way and just stick to Little Rattler and Frontside.

Note: as the halfway point on Little Rattler you can also choose to add in a quick climb to the top of S-Mountain. For more information, see the dedicated S-Mountain routes mapped separately.

Contacts

Shared By:

Greg Heil

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#4705

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#635

in Colorado

#4,705

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Photos

Climbing the Frontside Trail.
Apr 15, 2024 near Salida, CO
Frontside Trail near Loyal Duke's Grave.
May 5, 2024 near Salida, CO
Bighorn Sheep on Frontside.
May 5, 2024 near Salida, CO
View of S-Mountain
Apr 15, 2024 near Salida, CO
Just around.
Jan 5, 2024 near Salida, CO
High desert flowing.
Jan 5, 2024 near Salida, CO

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