Fruita: 40+ Miles in 24 Hours

I recently managed to carve out a couple of days to “get away” with a friend to ride Fruita over a couple of days.  Knowing that time was short and the weather was perfect, we wanted to get as much riding in as possible over the 24 hours we were going to be in town.  By no means is this a suggested plan of attack for Fruita, but we thought it might serve as a good guide for what’s possible in certain time frames, and what you should put on your must-ride list.

We arrived around lunchtime on Monday and grabbed a quick bite to eat in town.  After letting it settle and getting changed, we hit the trails around 1:30.  Game on.

Afternoon of Day 1 : 25 miles with 2700ft climbing

Kokopelli/Loma Loops (Rustler’s – Mary’s – Horsethief – Mack Ridge – Kokopelli – Troy Built)

This was a virtual tour of everything the Kokopelli loops had to offer, with the exception of Steve’s Loop, Wrangler, and Moore Fun.  This ride was a mix of fun technical riding and fast, flowing singletrack and the miles ticked off relatively easily.  A rider in decent shape can expect to average around 8-9 mph, so figure about 3+ hours for 25 miles.




Evening of Day 1: 8.5 miles with 1,000ft of “climbing”

18 Road Trails (Road Climb – PBR – Prime Cut – Joe’s Ridge – Kessel)

18 Road in the evening is an absolute must in our book…. it doesn’t get much better than riding with the fading sun and cooler temps, and it’s always nice to see an empty parking lot when you’re done.  Notice I used quotes around “climbing”: basically, you’ve got an easy 400-500 vertical foot “spin” up the road for each lap you want to do, which makes it super easy on your legs.  An even better suggestion is to find a few friends in the lot and shuttle the road with a truck or SUV!


We did our laps on PBR, Joe’s Ridge, and Kessel: all must-ride trails.  If you have time, be sure to hit Zippity and MoJoe’s as well!




Morning of Day 2: 9+ miles with 1400ft of climbing

Grand Junction Lunch Loops (Tabeguache – Ped-e-Kes – Free Lunch – Holy Cross – Moto)

The Lunch Loops are really something special in Grand Junction, only 15 minutes from downtown Fruita.  Compared to the smooth trails of 18 Road and the flowing singletrack of the Kokopelli Loops, the Lunch Loops offer a fun, pedally technical challenge that keeps you on your toes and makes 10 miles feel like 15.  There’s a decent amount of climbing to get to the goods, but trust us, it’s totally worth it!   Must-ride trails in this network include Free Lunch (very technical!) and Holy Cross, and the Ped-e-Kes trail is a nice alternative way to climb vs the standard Tabeguache Trail.




Ironically, we finished up on the Lunch Loops around noon, fueled up, grabbed some gas and headed home…. total time spent in Fruita/GJ was right on 24 hours.  If you’ve signed up for one of our Fruita trips this spring don’t worry, we won’t go quite as hard over the three days we have!

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AUTHOR: Steve Mokan

Steve is the owner (and founder) of Chasing Epic Mountain Bike Adventures, and contributes regularly to our blog. He's passionate about providing customers with incredible mountain bike vacations, and he loves photography and travel when he's not working. Truthfully, he loves those things when he is working too.