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Level: Intermediate
Length: 9 mi (14.5 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +3,509/830 ft
Total: 159 riders

Mountain Biking Monument Preserve

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#146 of 1,348 mountain bike trails in Colorado
#1,525 in the world

I have not been able to find this trail anywere else on the net... too bad! It is a great mt. there are sevral trails, though not very technical, there are some mean climbes and some great downhills. the trails are not named so you will just have to do some exploring! My fav. loop start just as you get to the top of the first hill on the road at the trail head, from the parking lot.Have Fun!!

First added by searsandrewj on Jan 1, 2003. Last updated May 1, 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 northbound I-25 Take the monument exit, turn left at the first light right at the second, left at 7-11 travle all the way down that road until you come to the RR crossing. go across the tracks and turn left then turn right at mt. herman road.

[Added 6/9/02 by webmaster]: Take exit #161 off I-25. Head west and take the second left, Third Street. Follow this as it curves around and becomes Front Street. Turn right at the stop sign onto Second St. After crossing the railroad tracks, turn left onto Mitchell St. Mt. Herman Rd. will be about a half mile on the right. Go about a mile or so and turn into the signed parking lot on the left. The trail starts here and heads west.
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Monument Preserve Trail map

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maevesalve (on Dec 13, 2019)
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Snow: powder (on Mar 14, 2021)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Monument, Colorado

Advanced | 25 mi
Intermediate | 12 mi
Beginner | 5 mi
Intermediate | 3 mi

Rider questions

Q: The reason you may not find much on the internet is that this awesome mtb trail area is called the Monument Preserve, NOT Mt. Herman Trail! Mt. Herman Trail is about 7 miles further down Mt. Herman Road and goes to the top of Mt. Herman. Friends of the Monument Preserve have a website, and I have occasionally found Monument Preserve trail maps at local bike shops. Locals also refer to these as the "work center trails" as the Hot Shots have a training facility here.
A: Monument Preserve is a very nice riding area -- not tons of mileage but too small plus there is a lot of variety from very beginner trails to advanced trails. I'm guessing you would agree, personally I would consider the Mt. Herman Trail as part of the Preserve trail network. It is depicted as such on the maps. I recently found a map at Criterium bike shop in COS. IMO, one should definitely by a map before going here the first time. There is essentially no signage in the network, but it is hard to get truly lost -- Mt Herman is west and the entire system generally slopes east down to the THD. So grab a map and enjoy exploring ... and the riding.

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  • mongwolf   ✓ supporter

    The Perimeter Trail (also known as the Helipad Trail on some maps) that runs along the south and east sides of the hotshot base has now been closed by the Forest Service.

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  • mongwolf   ✓ supporter

    I also rode Black Pearl and Granite Circle Loop today. GCL is an easy loop with a nice DH in the end (from the monument marker and east). BP is well named. It has quite a bit of technical climbing and descending. It's not fast but still very fun. It challenged my technical skills, but that's not saying much. I didn't clear several places. I'll be back for more challenge.

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  • mongwolf   ✓ supporter

    I "rode" (and hiked) the DLS Trail today from south to north. Much of the trail is overgrown with scrubby Gamble oak. The southern third or so of the trail is very chunky and at least black diamond. The overgrowth doesn't help at all. The middle third is black diamond. The northern third is easy intermediate. If you have excellent trials skills and love crawling your way over big chunky rock, this may be the trail for you. I don't think I'll be back -- at least not until the brush is cut back substantially. However maintenance of this trail in terms of the oak looks like an unending battle -- an intense unending battle.

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  • mongwolf   ✓ supporter

    I rode the trails in the Monument Preserve today. There is a lot of variety here. The north side of the preserve from Monument Rock and below is beginner. Only two trails on this side seems worth a ride -- Twisty Oaks (Renegade on the preserve map) and also the Mad Hatter.
    Then the south side of the preserve and anything west of the Mt. Herman Road are much more technical and interesting. Lots of challenges in both areas.
    Some various thoughts. First, do your homework before you come and ride here the first time. There are no trail signs. But if you buy the Monument Preserve Trail map and look on Google Earth and Mountain Bike Project, you can get well oriented before you come. I did my homework beforehand and had zero problems navigating the area. I can't imagine trying to figure this place out without some pre-ride preparation.
    Second, I didn't think the scree and sand were bad, but the lines of sight can be very limited in some areas, so be careful.
    Third, look up Monument Preserve Loop on Mountain Bike Project. This is a good first ride to get oriented to the Preserve. Fourth, I'm guessing that this is a great place to ride in the winter. I bet the fat bikes get out and ride the area. So If you don't have a fat bike, you can probably follow behind them by a day or two after a snow. Fifth, there is a separate listing on the Singletracks database for the 715 trail and Limbaugh Canyon on the west side of Mt Herman. I think this is probably a good distinction to divide this entire area up into two these sub-areas in your thinking -- the Preserve itself (basically east (below) of Mt Herman) and the Limbaugh Canyon loop (including the entire area immediately surrounding and west of Mt Herman).

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  • drock711

    Good challenging trails with a lot of options. Downfalls; many hikers using the same trails, poor marking & no directional trails, which is a huge safety issue if you like to ride fast. I was constantly worried about running into someone traveling in the opposite direction.

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  • Kristyne

    Generally speaking I enjoy this trail but the trails were super sandy and over toward stupid trail very eroded and we were going uphill over lots of exposed rock. Would have been better in reverse but still some deep sandy trails made for some tough pedaling.

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  • Gdb49   ✓ supporter

    Very unique area and a lot of fun! Great trails and very beautiful.
    Road this again and had to raise it to 5 stars. Gave it 4 stars the first time after going up without any idea of what the area had to offer and still loved it, but riding it today with someone who knew the area, bumped it to 5 stars. Brutal ride up and worth every bit of it. We took Stoopid up to the road, then to 715 to the upper lakes, then back to the 715 down to White Ghost or something like that, then to the base. The up was absolutely brutal riding up some very technical singletrack, but rideable. Only 16 miles, but 3000 ft of elevation gain. Anyone who cleans this ride is a stud, had to walk a couple spots. This area makes my top ten in the Front Range. Would be nice if it was a little better marked and a map would be nice, guess the locals don't want to share.

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  • tdmahaf

    so i was new to this area and started out at the trailhead. i didnt read prior reviews so i didnt know to head clockwise. if you don't go the right area you end up riding on a multitude of trails that all pop you out on the dirt road where you don't want to be. you really want to be on a trail that is south of the dirt road. i think this is trail 715.

    to get straight to 715 just take a left on nursery road when you hit the trail head and then go past the fence where the road dead ends, there are a few signs and theres an entry. after you go through the gate, take a left by the trail marker 715. you will know you are at the trail when you find a fence post with a point in it and a green ribbon around it; if you go right there, that is for sure a very advanced climb. im not even sure you should climb up it.

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  • tikigoddess

    Goodness this trail is SOOO POORLY MARKED!!! We parked at Nursery Rd. as directed and rode the trail clockwise from the parking lot. Took us downhill to a fire road and connecting trails that just lead us to private properties. So we decided to follow the reviews and went the direction that took us uphill. 18 miles after, we were still nowhere near the parking lot! Loosing light fast, we decided to carry our bikes and hike up 30 feet up the mountainside to a nearby road. At least it was a fast 45mph downhill ride all the way down to the parking lot from where we emerged. Took that back to the parking lot but if we would have gone further it would have taken us 25 miles into deep into the mountains through the Limbaugh Canyon Trail 715, lost and flailing in darkness!!! My worst experience biking in the Front Range to date! I don't think I will be coming back any time soon. There are better rides in Colorado, ones that do not require you to get lost in the mountainside because of poorly marked trails!

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  • Joshb976

    This trail system has it all and the best part is that it's not crowded. The climbs are strong and the downs are super fun. All the gravel kinda sucks but we're in Colorado so you just learn to work with it. There are so many trails that branch off of other trails so you can ride back there for hours and never repeat what you've already ridden. The other nice thing about this place besides the great views is that it can range from easy to difficult depending on what you fancy. It's like the choose your own adventure book of single tracks. Ride this place you won't regret it.

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  • rcraft6826

    The mount herman trail is definitely one of my favorite trails on the front range. I feel that the best way is to go clockwise from the parking lot through some singletrack, some pretty gnarly little sprint hill climbs, and then finally a good 2 mile hill climb up a fire road. You are then rewarded with some great, well maintained singletrack all the way back to the car. Good trail but not for the beginner in my opinion.

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  • zr140th

    So overall not a bad trail. Climb up was a pretty good workout, nice and long and not to abrupt. Best part of the ride for me if I'm honest. Ride down wasn't too technical or crazy although I still am not a fan of all the gravel...so far the only drawback I can see to Colorado riding in general. Two things did stand out however: 1) avoiding the private property at the bottom causing us to go way out of the way to get back. There is a tiny offshoot to the right trail after a scenic overlook that we missed...bad miss. 2) The flies were horrible. Do this trail in early spring or fall because they were thriving in the 90 degree temperature. Not bad while riding but stop for more than 5 seconds and they're on you. I'll ride again, just later in the season. Oh, and nice tight singletrack in the valleys!

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  • bugs870

    The climb up was fairly simple on the road but once you reach the trail, the decomposed granite makes it tough. The downhill was great with lots of switchbacks near the top. Midway down gets a bit technical in spots. The tricky part is avoiding the private property at the bottom. Overall an enjoyable ride. Much like Doctors park near spring creek.

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  • Corey Maddocks

    This is a surprisingly fun trail that is not that far from Denver, but not a lot of people from Denver ride it.

    It is a singletrack climb that leads to a short stretch on some fireroad. It then turns left and goes down the steepest, deepest part of the canyon. The trail is steep, loose and very narrow.

    Overall this is a great trail with some good climbing and butt puckering downhill.

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  • propwash

    My new favorite spot. Trails that go around every where, planty to choose from. Kinda like buffalo creek area.

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  • CanadianBike

    We left early and it worked out well. Hit Mounment a little after 8am. The Mountain Bike shop in Monument is going out of business:( We hit the trail before 9, just wandered around and I bet it's true there could be 26 miles of trails. There is/was a mining camp ghost town area in the middle. They have a dirt loading dock that would make a great spot to catch air. Over all it's my favorite new trail.

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  • RideorDie

    We rode this trail from the top of Mount Herman Road and the 715 trail intersect all the way down. Some also call this "Monument Trail". It was a ton of fun. Lots of very tight single track, plenty of obstacles to challenge even the most seasoned riders, and plenty of options at the bottom near the trailhead described here on singletracks. Right now at the top of the trail there is still some snow cover, but nothing that would prevent a great ride. I chose the description of this trail based on the top, not the bottom. Below Monument rock it didn't seem too technical, but everything above it was pretty rough; in fact I had a boulder grab my rear derailer in a turn and relieve my hanger of it's duty. This is a great trail that is worth the trip up from the Springs to make. If you ride up the road to the 715 trail, it's 3.8-4.5 miles up, depending on the route taken to the road, and then another 4 or 4.5 down. Trail 715 is clearly marked at the top - head DOWN! This would NOT be a fun trail for beginners to try from the top, but there may be some stuff at the bottom to play on. It is an EXCELLENT trail for seasoned area riders looking for a more challenging trail than the typical C. Canyon trail.* Review edited 3/25/2009

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  • cgbock

    This is an awesome after-work or even weekend ride. The great thing about this place is you can get lost and have a great time doing it. You can see the highway in the distance from the tops, so you are never really lost. The small trails that off-shoot from the fire road are excellent with rock obstacles and tight bush areas. You won't work yourself too hard unless you take the trail that goes all the way to the top of the mesa. If you are going with new riders or just to take a quick ride with some friends and goof around this is perfect. Don't forget to visit the mexican restaurant in Monument after for awesome Margaritas.

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  • tpak

    As per other reviews, great trail but:
    The only legal way out of the canyon is to head north at the trail intersection 2/3 of the way down the canyon and head down through the palmer lake resevoirs. Yes, this is a grunt but that is how you have to do it. The private property has been private since the 50's. The local trail group is close to securing access but this has been a multi year process. They are close so please stay out of the private property. Check www.fomp.org for updates.

    If you need a map or directions please see Tim at Balanced Rock Bike and Ski - they are linked above and are on 2nd St. in Monument.* Review edited 5/26/2008

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