Colorado mountain biking at its finest. With trails varying in terrain and difficulty, Fruita, Colorado has something to offer mountain bikers of all levels of expertise.
18 ROAD TRAILS
BLM’s 18 Road Trails, also known as the North Fruita Desert area, offers four great trails with varying degrees of difficulty for mountain biking. Prime Cut is slightly more than 2 miles in length and is perfect for beginners or a warm-up for those moving on to trails of more difficulty. There is gradual climbing and easy downhill. Chutes and Ladders is attached onto Prime Cut and is one of the more exciting trails in Fruita. Don’t let the name fool you – even though it’s named after a childhood game, the ladders on this ride are steep and the chutes, well, what goes up must come down. The mountain bike trail is about 6.5 miles and is for intermediate riders. Before you move on to Zippety Do Dah, try out Joe’s Ridge first. The trail is about 2 miles and its drops will give you a taste of what’s to come with Zippety. The drops on Joe’s are steep and are for intermediate mountain bike riders. Heart not racing yet? Then head over to Zippety Do Dah, which is a 6-mile trail for intermediate/advanced riders. Narrow and steep in parts and nerve-wrecking drops throughout, this trail is a must for all extreme riders. PBR-Pumps, Bumps, and Rollers is 2 miles of banked turns, flowing back and forth with the ability to gain enough speed for lift off. Of course you can tone it down if you want and just roll with it. This is a great mountain bike trail for intermediates to develop their skills of for experts to let all go.
KOKOPELLI LOOP TRAILS
The BLM Kokopelli Trail System just west of Fruita offers eight trails also of varying mountain biking skill levels. Rustler’s Loop is a great beginners trail and is about 4 miles. The trail has one good climb in the beginning and then varying terrain throughout. The trail is the first self-teaching mountain biking trail in the United States. With pullouts at each of the 25 signs along the trail, beginner and experienced riders can learn tips on riding skills, ethics, local geology and plant life.
Mary’s Loop is an intermediate mountain biking trail with some technical challenges but offers truly magnificent views. Mary’s is about 9 miles, but offers cutoffs to Horsethief Bench and Steve’s Trail. Horsethief Bench is an easy intermediate 4-mile ride with a few sections that only advanced bikers ride. Steve’s Trail is also an intermediate trail with moderate degree of physical exertion, but the true distinction of Steve’s is that the rider is literally riding on the cliff’s edge. The mountain biking trail is about 3 miles. For expert riders, continue on to Moore Fun, a 7-mile trail with switchbacks, hairpin turns, insane rock stair steps and that’s just the beginning. If you’re really feeling adventurous, warm up on Rustler’s Loop, then take Mary’s Loop to Horsethief Bench to Steve’s Trail, then out on the access road to Moore Fun for a perfect 20+-mile mountain bike ride.
The other three mountain biking trails in the system include Troy Built, Mack Ridge and Lion’s Loop, all of which are intermediate-expert trails. Troy Built is 8-miles of some technical sections and breathtaking views. Speaking of breathtaking: the climb at the end of the trail is steep and loose. Mack Ridge is 7 miles and can be combined with Troy Built for a 15-mile ride. Lion’s Loop, a 7.5-mile trail, is a fun stand-alone trail, but is ideally best at linking Troy Built to Mack Ridge.
TERRAIN AND CONDITIONS
Area mountain biking trails offer beautiful views of the Colorado River from the Kokopelli Trails and the Book Cliffs from the 18 Road Trails. Remember that these trails have a variety of terrain that can be tricky. Because Fruita is considered a desert, loose sand/dirt can make turns difficult. Sharp-edged rocks line many of the trails and switchbacks can be close to rocky ledges. Rocky stair steps can sometime be loose. Knee and elbow guards can help prevent some injuries from falls or through tight trails. Please stay off muddy trails to avoid resource damage. Seasonal closures may apply.
Always inquire beforehand as to conditions and climate of the area you wish to mountain bike. You can check on conditions Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by calling the Bureau of Land Management in Grand Junction at (970) 244-3000, or check with local mountain biking shops.