Mesa County bike trails: Palisade | PostIndependent.com

Mesa County bike trails: Palisade

Getting there: From Interstate 70, take exit 42. From there, turn left on G Road. (Or you could check out downtown Palisade, which features fun shops and restaurants.) Follow the road east as it curves, and you will come to the Palisade Rim Trailhead on your right. Be sure to park out of the way and be courteous to others when you do, as space is limited.

Trail talk: Bring lots of water as it can get desolate, and there is only one way out. Ride during the early season or late summer as western Colorado's heat can be unbearable. If you are weary of extreme exposure, this trail may be better as a hike. Also be sure to bring a camera, as the views are vast and fabulous.

PALISADE RIM TRAIL

Distance: 8-12 miles

Difficulty: Intermediate to Difficult

The dirt: Locals consider this ride a "must-do" when visiting the area. This trail features fabulous views of Colorado's Grand Valley and petroglyphs. Please don't touch, just look. The length of the ride depends on whether you complete the upper loop or stay below. This trail isn't for the faint of heart as the initial climb features technical switchbacks. Continue on after a short break from the climb and turn left. The trail continues on for another mile and will come up to another intersection. Take a left to get to the upper section, which adds four miles of rocky terrain and exposure. Take a right if you wish to stay on the lower loop and head back to the trailhead.