Monte Vista

Unlike other towns, Monte Vista is an example of a community that claims no single name or person with its founding. It started as the site where the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad placed a sign in 1881. It was once referred to as Henry, but after outside investments, it earned the name Monte Vista because of its “mountain views”. Today, Monte Vista plays host to the state’s oldest pro rodeo (1915) and the Crane Festival, while also holding a number of registered historic places. Monte Vista gives gravel cyclists plenty to explore due to its close proximity to BLM property.

Monte Vista Train


Sendero Viejo

Distance: 24 Miles

Elevation: +1,104 Ft

Max Grade: 5.8%

Approx: 62/38 %Gravel/Paved

This mixed terrain ride is an opportunity to explore the foothills southwest of Monte Vista. A section of it follows the national historic Old Spanish Trail (Sendero Viejo). Mile marker 7 commemorates the pack mule trails’ use and influence on southern Colorado. While there’s not a lot of climbing, the ride takes you past a number of rock formations on double track roads and affords some great views.

Using indigenous knowledge of the SLV, a merchant from Santa Fe named Antonio Armiio helped establish an overland connection between New Mexico and California in 1829-30. While initially used for commerce, the Sendero Viejo also contributed to migration of Hispanos seeking to take advantage of Mexican land grants. By the 1850s the trail became less significant, but its impact on the population of the valley was irreversible.