Kokopelli’s Trail was named after Kokopelli, a magical being recognized by Native American groups of the Colorado Plateau. He’s the curved-back flute player associated with the Flute Clan of the Hopi Indians. Legend holds Kokopelli was able to drive back winter with his flute playing. He wandered from village to village with a bag of songs on his back and, as a symbol of fertility, was welcome during spring planting.
The Lion’s Loop section of Kokopelli’s Trail is easy to get to, easy to hike, harder to ride and quite refreshing. If you take the entire loop, you’ll overlook the mighty Colorado River near Salt Wash, before it exits the state and flows into the canyonlands of southeast Utah.
A lengthy stretch of this trail is open to motorized vehicles, hiking and bicycling, although most of it is designated for non-motorized use.
There are a couple of spots where you can drive and park to reach this loop. Take the Loma Exit off I-70 and travel south over the highway to the frontage road. Turn right on the frontage road and in .3 miles, veer to the left, South, toward a large parking area.
Or continue on the interstate and take the Mack Exit, Exit 11. At the bottom of the off-ramp, turn left and cross under I-70. The trailhead is straight ahead up the gravel road.
From the trailhead, go east on the gravel road approximately 1.2 miles, where you hit an intersection with Mary’s Loop. To follow Lion’s Loop, go right and climb a short, steep stretch over the ridge.
The section of trail from the frontage road south over the ridge and to the cattle reservoir intersection is both part of Mary’s Loop and Lion’s Loop. It’s marked with brown carbonate signs with directional arrows.
The Lion’s Loop and all of Kokopelli’s Trail, which runs from Loma to Moab, Utah, was built and is supported by the local Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Association, Bureau of Land Management, and many other organizations and volunteers. It’s also supported by the International Mountain Bicycling Association, which urges everyone to plan ahead, leave no trace, control your bicycle, never spook animals and ride on open trails only.
The Lion’s Loop trail boasts spectacular views overlooking the Colorado River. You may also find archaeological artifacts, rocks, plants and other objects of interest. Allow others a sense of discovery and be considerate of the environment by leaving what you find.