While nearby Moab might get all the attention, Fruita offers similar backcountry terrain and breathtaking scenery but without all the crowds. Here are a few suggestions for those looking to experience the Grand Junction on two wheels.
Kokopelli’s Trail gets all the headlines, and for good reason. Its 140 miles of singletrack, dirt roads and ORV trails stretch from Fruita to Moab, and offer some of the best of the Colorado Plateau’s scenery. It also offers a variety of challenges, ranging from long coasts down the backside of a ridge, to truly grueling uphill climbs. Over the course of three to five days (the typical trip duration), you will experience it all, including frequent views of the Colorado River and red rock outcroppings straight from old Western films. The group of private biking enthusiasts known as the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association (COPMOBA) built Kokopelli’s Trail in 1989, and they clearly knew what they were doing.
As with Grand Junction’s other trails on Bureau of Land Management land, camping and admission are free but accommodations are minimal to nonexistent. The local BLM offices can be contacted through the agency’s main website.
Many other trails crisscross Rabbit Valley, where Kokopelli’s Trail is situated. And these trails constitute some of western Colorado’s best opportunities for a biking adventure. The Zion Curtain Loop, located on the Colorado-Utah border, is 12.4 miles of a mostly doubletrack trail that is as challenging as it is rewarding. Curving through eerie groves of dead piñon pines – the victims of forest fires – the trail crests at the Zion Curtain overlooking the Colorado River. This trail (like many others in the Rabbit Valley) also meets with Kokopelli’s Trail, meaning you can add or subtract smaller loops to your schedule and skill level.
If you are short on time or just need a quick fix, consider the Lunch Loops. This is a series of more than a dozen short rides that were allegedly given the name due to their proximity to Grand Junction, allowing local residents to go riding on their lunch hour. The trails are adjacent to the Tabeguache Trail, a 142-mile corridor that was once a backcountry road between Grand Junction and Montrose. Today, the 2.4 miles between Monument and Little Park roads are used extensively by mountain bikers with strong constitutions; except for the aptly named Kids Meal trail, these are some rough rides. Because they’re so close to town, expect to have some company on the Lunch Loops, which range from the tiny .3-mile-long Pucker Up Trail to the 2.7-mile Andy’s Loop. Other trail names include Pre-Nup, Holey Bucket and Lemon Squeezer – you’ll have to ask the local experts about the stories behind those.
Find more information on mountain biking trails, or spend some time exploring the city of Fruita, CO.
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