FRUITA & GRAND JUNCTION, CO

Physical Exertion: Intermediate   /   Technical Ability: Intermediate+

 

For the last several years, Fruita has been an up-and-comer on the list of top mountain bike destinations in the United States.  Trust us, not only is it on the list, it’s near the top.  Fruita has more diverse riding than you can shake a stick at, with the main trail areas of Kokopelli/Loma, 18 Road, the Lunch Loops in Grand Junction, and Rabbit Valley offering enough to keep you busy for days on end.


The sleepy town of Fruita caters well to mountain bikers, with not much going on after hours except time to tell riding stories, clean bikes, and get ready for tomorrow’s ride.  It’s not unusual to see more bikes than cars on Aspen Avenue, and some of the in-town haunts (Over the Edge, Hot Tomato) are world famous.  In the spring and fall, Fruita is a must-visit destination.  Our trip leaders- and our Colorado Backcountry guides- know Fruita like the back of their hand, so be prepared to ride the best of the best and then some.

 

Airport Options: Grand Junction (10 min)  –  Denver (4 hrs)  –  Salt Lake City (4 hrs)

“We had a ton of fun, food and riding on our recent private trip to Fruita with Chasing Epic! We kicked it off with a half day of ripping down the 18 road trails. This gave us all a chance to get a feel for the bikes and get to know the guide.  We had a bunch of opportunities to work on skills, chat about bikes, and get in touch with our dirtier sides over the next two days. Every night we celebrated with a gigantic meal in the local restaurants and went to bed completely wiped. I loved the personal touch of being guided and cared for in a different town along with the comraderie shared with my coworkers over post ride beers. Huge thanks to Chasing Epic for taking care of all the details and giving me a chance to focus on what’s important: mountain biking.”

INTERACTIVE FRUITA/GRAND JUNCTION TRAIL MAP



WHAT TO EXPECT

Day One:  For our first day in Fruita, we’ll meet at the hotel at 1:00pm to get checked-in, make introductions, and set the stage for an incredible four days of riding.  We’ll have time to check  into the hotel, unload luggage, and gear up for our first day of riding.  If anyone happened to forget something for the trip, we can make a stop at Over the Edge in Fruita to grab supplies, etc before heading out.  Our first day of riding will be on the famously fun 18 Road Trails, about 15 minutes north of downtown Fruita.  Each “lap” is proceeded by an easy two mile climb up Prime Cut, but is then rewarded with a two mile ride down mother nature’s roller coaster.  Trails like PBR, Zippity-Do-Da, and Joe’s Ridge are some of the most fun and fast trails you’ll ride anywhere.  We’ll plan on 3-4 hours of fun in the high desert, likely 15-18 miles that afternoon.

 

For dinner, there’s really nowhere else we’d rather go than Hot Tomato to celebrate the first afternoon of riding- amazing pizza and cold beer on tap.  The environment is dominated by mountain bikers telling stories and recalling amazing parts of their ride; it’s a must-do in Fruita.

Day Two:  Our second day of riding will begin with a hearty breakfast at one of our favorites, Camilla’s Kaffe in downtown Fruita.  From there, we’ll head back to the hotel quickly to gear up and grab our bikes, and it’s off to Rabbit Valley to ride the Western Rim Trail.  This ride starts on the world-famous Kokopelli Trail (that runs 150+ miles from Fruita to Moab) before splitting off after five miles.  The Western Rim portion of the trail hugs the top edge of the rim (thus, the name) overlooking the Colorado River, providing spectacular views for miles.  The trail itself is also spectacular, with high-desert singletrack that varies from technical rocks to smooth, fast singletrack.  After looping Western Rim and reconnecting with the Kokopelli Trail, we have options to extend the ride and join parts of the Zion Curtain Loop (also an epic). On the way back, we turn onto Trail #2, which parallels the Kokopelli Trail, to give us an alternate route back to the car.

 

Depending on optional add-on routes, expect about 25 miles and 2,000 feet of climbing today.  If the group is strong, we can also add a small loop in Rabbit Valley proper to finish off the day; but remember, we have two more days of epic riding ahead.  Tonight’s dinner will be in town at one of the local brewpubs- nothing like good beer and food to cap off an awesome day.

Day Three:  Be sure to eat a whole lotta food for breakfast, because you’ll need it.  Today is a big day in the saddle: we’re heading over to the Kokopelli Loops.   Our ride today will be a combination of the famous Horsethief Bench Trail, Mary’s Loop, and several other trails in the area, combining for almost 25 miles (with about 2000 feet of climbing).  We’ll start with a gentle climb from the trail head up Mary’s, which is sure to get your lungs and legs burning.  After a couple miles, we’ll break off left and drop down to Horsethief Bench… don’t worry, riding the expert-level entry is NOT mandatory!  Horsethief is one of the best loops in the west, with 4 miles of fast singletrack, fun technical sections, and amazing views of the Colorado River valley.

 

Once we carry our bikes out of the drainage and back onto Mary’s, we’ll head west and take on Steve’s Loop, which is similar to Horsethief but with better views.  By the time we hit the Wrangler Loop on the way back (and maybe even add on Rustler’s for good measure), we’ll have covered a majority of the eastern half of the trail network.  We’ll leave Troy Built, Lion’s Loop, and Mack Ridge for another day!  After a nap or a dip in the pool, we’ll head downtown for dinner tonight for well-deserved burritos and margaritas!

Day Four: All good things must come to an end, and unfortunately today is the last day of our four-day Fruia epic.  On the last day, we’ll have breakfast for you in the rooms so we can get an early start to the morning.  The last day’s ride takes us to the Lunch Loops in Grand Junction, an easy 15 minute drive from our hotel.  Often overlooked for the big-name Fruita trails, the Lunch Loops are just as fun as any trails we’ve ridden in Colorado.  Ever hear the phrase “fun tech“?  That’s what the Lunch Loops is all about.  We’ll start with a climb up the main Tabeguache Trail, which is steady but never overwhelming.  After a few miles, we connect with the Gunny Loop, possibly the most fun and well-built trail anywhere.  It’s six miles of rock roll-overs, fast meadows, and technical sections to keep you on your toes.  It’s an impressive piece of trail building, that’s for sure.

 

After a quick (and steep) climb out of the Gunny Loop, we’ll connect a few other shorter trails- like Holy Bucket- in order to get back to the main TH.  Our ride today will be about 14 miles with 1800 feet of climbing, and it’s our favorite way to end a Fruita trip.  We’ll be done by 1:00pm, plenty of time to catch a flight or make the drive home.  NOTE: This itinerary is for example only, to give customers an idea of what to expect on a standard Chasing Epic trip.  Mileage and actual trail choices may differ due to riding ability, weather and trail conditions.