If you don't want to bother with a shuttle, the best place to start riding in Salida is the Arkansas Hills Trail System just across the river (look for the giant S). Open year-round – yes, you can ride here in winter – it offers a nice variety of short rides for all levels.

South of town, Methodist Mountain is another spot to check out for fun cross-country traverses through the high desert. The Little Rainbow Trail (4.7 miles) is a great one for families.