I’m planning to ride the Monarch Crest “IMBA Epic” route in mid August. Does anyone know if there is reliable water, such as creek crossings, along the way? I’m wondering if it’s worthwhile to bring a lightweight water filter to supplement my large CamelBak & the bottle that I plan to carry. Thanks!
There are at least a couple spots to get water along the route. There’s guaranteed to be water toward the end in the stream along the Rainbow trail. There’s also a spring about a mile or two in just before you go above treeline, which I understand is pretty reliable. In fact, one of the locals I rode with used to fill his bottle up at the spring every time without even filtering the water.
I’ve ridden the Monarch Crest many times and usually complete the ride in less than 6-7 hours. I could probably do it in about 4 hours if I was hurrying. However, the ride is so spectacular that that I stop often to take it all in. In my experience, if you start off well hydrated, 3-4 liters of water is enough. And you do want to stay well hydrated. This ride is at such a high altitude that getting altitude sickness is very possible and I think getting altitude sickness is more likely if you get dehydrated. Yes, you will very likely find some streams along the way. Just be sure to treat your water unless you want to get giardia or some other nasty intestinal bug.
Also, I would start as early as possible to avoid getting caught in afternoon thunder storms. Getting struck by lightning is a real possibilty when riding above timberline.
Thanks guys, I appreciate the info and advice. I’m considering the creeks a bonus water option (which I’ll filter) and will be carrying 3L in my backpack, plus a bottle on my bike. I may even find a way to stick one more bottle someplace.