Grand Junction/Fruita Mountain Biking Who Needs Moab?

    I started trekking to Fruita in 1996 twice a year for the excellent mountain biking the area used to offer…now the options are INCREDIBLE!  Hats off to the various trail building groups responsible to the plethora of trails on varied terrain in Mesa County.  There are a few distinctive areas to visit if you mountain bike here.  First, I suggest the 18 Rd/North Fruita Desert area. There are trails to accommodate every skill level and the easy trails are almost as much fun for experts as beginners.  Kessel Run (inspired by the famous smuggling route used by Han Solo and Chewbacca in the Star wars movies) is a swooping and swooshing thrill for all ability levels.  Joe’s Ridge on the other hand sports an incredible ridge run with significant exposure. There are many more options from seasoned standards like Zippity Do Dah or Chutes and Ladders, to the relatively new PBR that can keep you busy for days.  Another area to explore is the Kokopelli Trails south of Loma.   Mary’s Loop…enough said.  This trail is incredible on its own overlooking the Colorado with awe inspiring views of Red Rock canyons. It doesn’t stop there though; add on loops like Horsethief Bench, Steve’s Loop, Lion’s loop, or Mack’s Ridge for endless opportunities. A little further west at the Rabbit Valley exit you HAVE to try the Western Rim which also overlooks some magnificent Colorado River scenery.  And if that is not enough, the in town “Lunch Loops” offers excellent riding opportunities a few minutes from downtown and sports a terrain park type area to hone your skills.  Do not miss the epic Holy Cross ride if you visit this area.  All of this and we have not even discussed summer favorites on the Grand Mesa where you can leave the hot summer days behind and ride through Aspen groves and alpine meadows full of spectacular wildflower displays.  Trail areas to hit on the Mesa include The “Flowing Park” complex and the “Mesa Lakes” complex. If you are one of those Front Range bikers that whiz by Grand Junction and Fruita on your way to Moab you really owe it to yourself to stop and sample the trails Mesa County has to offer.

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