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Level: Intermediate
Length: 13 mi (20.9 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +1,715/ -1,750 ft
Total: 12 riders

Mountain Biking McQuaid Creek

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#400 of 1,353 mountain bike trails in Colorado
#3,885 in the world

This ride takes you through some beautiful high mountain parks along the
eastern edge of the Buffalo Peaks Wilderness. Lots of wildlife in the area. A
good mix of tread with about 8 miles of single track. For a longer ride you
can start from the Tumble Creek Trailhead. You can also connect with the
Midland Bike Trail to the south.

Head out Mc Quaid Trail when you reach rd 434 turn left then right to pick
the trail up again on the other side of the road. Continue to the end of Mc
Quaid to Pony Park. Ride across the cattle guard Follow FS 433 for a couple
miles. Watch for Salt Creek Trail (#618) on the left. It's about 5 miles of
singletrack to FS 435. Left again back to where you parked.

First added by lostcause on Apr 9, 2011. Last updated Apr 28, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
From Fairplay drive 19 miles south on HWY 285 turn right on FS 435 (Salt
Creek Road) drive approximately 3 miles and park . You will see Mc Quaid Trail
on the right.
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McQuaid Creek Trail map

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Local Info

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Trail checkins

Brian Jacobsen (on Jun 21, 2015)
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Trail conditions

Good (on Oct 7, 2019)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Fairplay, Colorado

Intermediate | 14 mi
| 5.4 mi
Intermediate | 10 mi

Rider questions

Q: Dogs

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  • mongwolf

    McQuaid trail itself is only 3 miles long, It makes a nice short out and back. Nothing too big here, but lots of fun in both directions. Presently, all deadfall is cleared. This is Salt Creek Trail's little brother. Salt Creek is bigger, better and faster imo.

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  • tomcat32

    I caught this ride the morning after a fairly heavy rain. As a result the thick vegetation on the Salt Creek portion soaked my shoes and socks within minutes. The roots and rocks were extremely slimy, making some hairy descents and difficulty climbing. On a dry day I may have given it a 4. Salt Creek is a primitive trail with a very narrow tread masked by the vegetation. McQuaid is a decent trail when ridden south to north with better flow.than Salt Creek. McQuaid by itself I'd give it a 4, I just wish the McQuaid section was a little longer. I extended the loop by traveling further north on Salt Creek. It's worth checking out. The sections of dirt road connecting the singletrack are fun breaks from the slower trails and offer good views of the Buffalo Peaks.
    I rode it clockwise and that seems to be the way to go. For a detailed trip report and lots of photos check out the link to my blog below: http://tomcatoutdoors.blogspot.com/2016/09/south-park-mountain-biking-salt-creek_98.html

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  • Greg Heil   ✓ supporter

    This narrow singletrack isn't used very much, but it's flowy, fast, and offers up some great views, too. If this trail was located closer to civilization, no doubt it would have A LOT more traffic. But if you're willing to drive out here to ride, you'll be rewarded with a great section of singletrack.

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  • John Fisch

    There's lots of high quality, very narrow singletrack here. This ST is very lightly traveled--I went on a perfect weather weekend and saw nary a soul (save for some elk) on the singletrack. It does require some dirt road, which you will share with 5th wheels and jeep road you will share with ATVs, but overall, this is a great solitude ride. Some of the climbs out of the drainages on the Salt Creek trail are very steep and will invite most to dismount, but it's worth it and you get a great, long tight downhill for your trouble. This loop can be extended with additional singletrack at each end until you hit wilderness boundaries. If you get the Trails Illustrated Maps 110 (Leadville/Fairplay) and 129 (Buena Vista/Collegiate Peaks), all the possibilities will become apparent. Definitely do the main loop clockwise, though. For most of the Salt Creek Trail, you will be riding on the boundary fo the Buffalo Peaks Wilderness area--this is the closest you can come to riding wilderness without poaching. Travel with a buddy or be self sufficient--there's no cell service out here.

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