Mesa County bike trails: Kokopelli’s Loop, Fruita | PostIndependent.com

Mesa County bike trails: Kokopelli’s Loop, Fruita

Getting there: Drive 12 miles west of Grand Junction on Interstate 70 and get off at Loma, Exit 15.

Trail talk: Throw a camera in your daypack. You're going to want to get out of the saddle a few times and soak up the views overlooking the Colorado River snaking through the rock walls of the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. The views alone make riding this area worth your time. Oh yeah—the singletrack is pretty cool, too.

STEVE'S LOOP

Distance: 2.9 miles

Difficulty: Intermediate

The dirt: If you're out for a cruise on Mary's and want to pick up a few more miles, Steve's offers some nice additional scenery worth checking out. Ride it counterclockwise and enjoy the views. It'll add anywhere from a half hour to an hour to your ride.

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LION'S LOOP

Distance: 7.8 miles

Difficulty: Intermediate to Difficult

The dirt: You can ride this singletrack fun as a loop or to connect with other trails. It continues on the same theme as the other Kokopelli rides — be ready for rocks and a challenge. The Fruita Fat Tire Guidebook offers great advice on different ways to ride one of the classic area trails.

HORSETHIEF BENCH LOOP

Distance: 3.6 miles

Difficulty: Intermediate to Difficult

The dirt: The worst part of this trail is all the grit you get in your teeth from the goofy grin you can't wipe off your face as you tear through looping singletrack. Slow down a bit at the Colorado River overlooks because there's a bit of exposure — but more importantly, the view is great.

TROY BUILT LOOP

Distance: 8 miles

Difficulty: Difficult

The dirt: More sweet singletrack with lots of rocks. Ride this baby as a loop or an out-and-back. You want to be in decent shape for this area. One reason to ride it: Folks don't seem to hit it as much as the other trails.

MACK RIDGE TRAIL

Distance: 3.8 miles

Difficulty: Intermediate to Difficult

The dirt: Mack provides riders the opportunity to survey the entire Kokopelli riding area if they'd like. There are spectacular views on this one and about 1,100 feet of climbing. Ride it out and back, or as a loop with Troy Built.

WRANGLER LOOP

Distance: 2.3 miles

Difficulty: Easy/Intermediate

The dirt: If you're tackling the climb up Mary's Loop, then head onto Wrangler Cut Off. Wrangler Loop veers right and heads up a slight hill with loose rock. At the top, catch your breath, take in the view and get ready for a fun, short descent. After a small jaunt up another hill, the trail brings you to another fun descent. It eventually continues down with swoopy, sandy goodness and you end up farther west on Mary's Loop. You could turn left to head back down Mary's for a 5-mile loop. (The short loop is fun if you want to do a little more than Rustler's Loop, but don't want to do all of Mary's Loop.)

STEVE'S LOOP

Distance: 2.3 miles

Difficulty: Intermediate

The dirt: Steve's Loop can be ridden in either direction, and it's good either way. Starting on the southern end, you'll descend a couple of steps (some riders will choose to walk them), then you'll cruise down a nice, smooth, rolling trail to a bench. Enjoy an easy stretch of trail for the next few miles, including wonderful desert features like slot canyons, sandstone walls and shelf rock. The third canyon (which is the narrowest slot canyon) offers a short section with broken rockfall that you'll need to carry your bike through. After that, it's smooth riding all the way back to Mary's Loop. One last steep, uphill stretch will cause most riders to hop off and push.