Where to ride

Mountain Bike

Maps of the mountain bike trails can be purchased at Colorado Backcountry Biker bike shop on the circle in downtown Fruita.
Maps of the mountain bike trails can be purchased at Colorado Backcountry Biker bike shop on the circle in downtown Fruita.

Kokopelli / Loma – Trails here are ledgy and rocky. Take it easy if this is your first experience on this type of terrain. For a warmup, cooldown, or easier option for beginning riders, consider Rustler’s Loop. For the more experienced, Mary’s/ Horsethief Bench/ Wrangler combo is tons of fun or, from the west end of the system, Mack’s Ridge / Lion’s Loop / Steve’s Loop makes a great day of riding. Remember, there is little shade, and it gets very hot here in the Summer. Bring tons of water as there is none available at the trailhead.

18 Road / North Fruita Desert – There are several trails in this network ranging from fast flowing downhill to lung busting climbs. Most trails run either up or down with a couple runnning along the base of the Book Cliffs. Over all, these are the classics that made Fruita a destination. And the fact that you can camp right at the trailhead and ride right from your campsite makes this an awesome basecamp for your stay in Fruita. Same goes for water and shade here. Bring your own.

Rabbit Valley – The Western Rim trail is one of the highlights of this area with over 6 miles of fast, scenic singletrack winding around rim above the Colorado River. Trail #2 is the best singletrack route to take to get there or the Kokopelli doubletrack is another option. Either way offers lots of scenery and lots of rocky, sometimes sandy terrain. These trails are open to motorcycles and ATVs too, the only trails in the area where bikes and motos share the trail but it’s such a large area, there is plenty of room for everyone. Bring your own water and food. This system is 17 miles away from Fruita and there isn’t really anything between here and there, and nothing at the trailhead but pit toilets.

Highline State Park – An oasis in the desert, Highline State Park is the recreation epicenter for the Grand Valley with two lakes, lush grass, trails and trees. Connected to 10 miles of smooth, fast singletrack and close to communities, the park makes an ideal base camp for families exploring the Fruita area. If you are new to mountain biking, these trails are the perfect introduction. They offer super smooth, flowy singletrack without the usual rocks and climbing of other trails in the area.

Tabeguache / Lunch Loops – This trail system will challenge riders in some of the most unique and scenic terrain in Western Colorado. The Lunch Loops system includes some demanding doubletrack trails that feel more like singletrack when you ride them. With step-ups and step-downs, these trails will test your technical skills as well as your endurance and fitness. Some of the notable singletrack include the Gunny Loop, Twist-N-Shout, Butterknife, Andy’s Trail, and Eagle’s Tail. There are some technical challenges that are significant. Please ride with caution and make sure to pack lots of fluids.

Sarlacc – The Sarlacc Trail offers incredible views of the back of the Bookcliffs as well as enormous views of the Grand Valley. The trail itself is a full bench cut trail with some tight corners, rock moves and twisty and rolling whoops. The trail gets its name from Episode 6 of Star Wars because of the large holes that are found in the area where the Bookcliffs have fractured. When riding by a prominent hole at the start of the singletrack at the Western End, it is easy to imagine the Sarlacc monster and its tentacles at the bottom. Just don’t let it get you!

Turkey Flats – About 70% singletrack connected with a short section on a Forest Service road and an ATV trail. The drive up gives you a spectacular view to the west over the Uncompahgre to the canyons in Utah. The trail itself winds through aspen stands, thick pine and passes a reservoir in the middle of the ride. Elevation here ranges around 9000 ft. so this is a great trail to hit when August temps are soaring in the Fruita desert.

Road Bike

Photo credit - Denver Post
Rim Rock Drive – Colorado National Monument

Colorado National Monument – Spend the day pedaling paved Rim Rock Drive. Be sure to pack lots of water for this 23-mile journey through the semi-desert climate and keep your eyes peeled for bighorn sheep, coyotes, eight types of lizards, golden eagles and other natives. Gauge your level of fitness and ambition for the day and choose how far you’d like to go. If you decide to ride the entire circuit, keep in mind the route joins with connecting roads for a grand 33-mile loop. Bike single-file and switch on required bike lights through tunnels along this high-traffic roadway. Take in the rugged solitude as you travel alongside time-carved rock layers that are nearly 2 billion years old. More info

Off-Road Motorcycle

North Fruita Desert – This area is open to OHV use and is managed by the BLM. With its open terrain you will be hard pressed to find any tree’s but you will enjoy almost year-around riding and some of the best single track washes and breath taking views along the trails that wind up the Bookcliffs. Bring your own water and shade. You can access this area from 18 Rd, 25 Rd, 27 1/4 Rd or 29 Rd. Going North on any of these roads will get you there. Note: The mountain bike trails at 18 Road are off limits to motorized vehicles but there is ample OHV riding at the beginning of 18 Road. More info