Mesa County bike trails: Lunch Loops, Grand Junction | PostIndependent.com

Mesa County bike trails: Lunch Loops, Grand Junction

 

Getting there: At the intersection of First Street and Grand Avenue in downtown Grand Junction, head west for about one mile on Grand (aka Highway 340), following the signs directing you to the Colorado National Monument. Cross the bridge and you'll come to Monument Road; hang a left taking you toward Colorado National Monument. Follow that road for 2 miles. You'll see the parking lot for Lunch Loops on the left.

Trail talk: It's a technical system of trails that locals love, particularly Grand Junction residents who can walk out the front door, jump on their bikes and ride a few miles to the trailhead. It's called the Lunch Loops because locals can easily jump on for a quick lunchtime ride.

KID'S MEAL / PUMP TRACK

Distance: 1-2 miles

Difficulty: Easy

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The dirt: It's a one-of-a-kind bike skills park and pump track with dirt jump lines and more. Then warm up your riding skills on the Kid's Meal singletrack trail that circumnavigates the Lunch Loops trailhead area.

ANDY'S LOOP

Distance: 8 miles

Difficulty: Intermediate to difficult

The dirt: Andy's is a great technical ride with lots of climbing and lots of challenges. Don't be ashamed to hop out of the saddle on portions, because it gets pretty steep. There are a lot of rocks in this system of trails, and they don't give much when you land on them.

GUNNY LOOP

Distance: 5 miles, give or take

Difficulty: Intermediate to difficult

The dirt: Gunny is kind of a loner, off by itself on the other side of Little Park Road, but don't cast off this ride just because it looks like a castaway. Gunny is a blast. As with most of the trails in the Lunch Loops area, if you're not on your A-game, Gunny will eat your lunch.

PET-E-KES

Distance: 1 mile or so

Difficulty: Intermediate, Difficult

The dirt: Community members built this trail in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management. It's named for Pete Larson, a former teacher and BLM employee. This trail is a great way to get to higher ground — tight singletrack with lots of switchbacks. It's a good way to hone your technical skills. Beware, fall the wrong way in some areas and you won't stop sliding for 10 or 12 feet and three or four cactuses.

EAGLE'S WING & EAGLE'S TAIL

Distance: 5 miles, give or take

Difficulty: Intermediate

The dirt: The Eagles are at the heart of the Lunch Loop Trails area. If you ride into Lunch Loops not knowing where you're going, there's a good chance you'll land on a Wing or a Tail. That's not a bad thing. Get to the top of Eagle's Wing, take a few minutes to soak up the view and gain an understanding of why it was named. As with most of the rides in this area, there are more rocks than you can shake a punctured tube at.

FREE LUNCH

Distance: 1 mile

Difficulty: Depends on how fast you burn down it

The dirt: This black diamond freeride was dedicated in November 2007. Free Lunch is the first officially sanctioned freeride trail on BLM lands. To minimize conflicts with other trail users, the trail is open to mountain bikes only, and it is restricted to downhill travel. If the last jump you did was over your buddy in the driveway as a kid using a propped-up piece of plywood, it's in your best interest to avoid the jumps, drops and rocks on this trail. But make sure you watch the people who do have the ability — it's an incredible spectacle. Pucker-Up is also a designated downhill MTB trail — one-way and no hiking.

MIRAMONTE RIM

Distance: 1.8 miles

Difficulty: Intermediate

The dirt: If drops, swoopy singletrack and exposure are your thing, then Lunch Loops' Miramonte Rim is perfect for you. This looped trail is a great addition to your ride if you are playing around on Clunker and Bunker or coming down from High Noon or Holy Cross. This ride can be ridden clockwise or counter-clockwise. If you ride it clockwise, you will have several drops ranging from three to seven inches. If you ride counterclockwise, you will hit flowing singletrack and descend until you reach several technical climbs. Don't forget to enjoy the views when at the north side of the trail.

THREE SISTERS

Distance: 1-3 miles

Difficulty: Easy/Intermediate

These trails meander through the Three Sisters area of Lunch Loops. Singletrack swoops and slides through 3-4 miles of rocky terrain. It includes sections where beginners and even some intermediate riders may have to hop off, but it is still fun to ride. It is often used as a warm-up ride. Yes-N-DeeDee takes you to the top of Curt's Lane, which can be used to head back down to finish with Kid's Meal or connect to the other trails like Miramonte.