Grand Hogback Extravaganza returns to Rifle for third year

Glenwood Springs resident Sam Whelan rides the Grand Hogback Trail System.
Kati Whelan Photography/Courtesy

The Grand Hogback Extravaganza is set to take over Rifle Oct. 7, as local and regional mountain biking enthusiasts gear up for a day of fun, games and community connection.

Organized by the Rifle Area Mountain Bike Organization (RAMBO) for the third year, the annual fundraising event is being held at the popular Grand Hogback Trail System, located just five miles north of Rifle at the Rifle Arch. Known for its high desert riding trails, the Grand Hogback is a hotspot for riders seeking a distinct biking experience.

Rather than a competitive race, the event emphasizes enjoyment. Adult participants can join in for $35, while the entry fee for kids is just $10. The 6-mile course is dotted with multiple stations where riders can play games like tube toss and dice rolling.

“Some of the events are based more on luck than skill,” RAMBO President Lindsey Williams said. Riders winning at these stations will earn tickets, which can be exchanged for raffle prizes at the event’s conclusion.

Recalling the event’s beginnings, Williams highlighted its emphasis on community fun. 

“We figured the racing aspect of mountain biking could certainly turn a lot of people away,” Williams said. “We wanted to make this as enjoyable as possible for the mountain biking community.”

The trail’s design is the product of Aaron Mattix from Gumption Trail Works. Through his work, Mattix has transformed the landscape into a biker’s paradise.

“Aaron Mattix is nothing short of an artist,” longtime Rifle resident and mountain biking enthusiast Gary Miller said. “What he did with the trail, the high banks and steep ravines, is something I never thought we would see in Rifle.”

Although the 2022 event was dampened by a last-minute rainstorm, the enthusiasm wasn’t. Participants improvised with parking lot games.

“It was a real bummer that we weren’t able to ride the trails last year but we were able to make a series of parking lot games and everyone still made a great time out of it,” Williams recounted.

RAMBO has set its eyes on attracting both regional mountain bikers and locals this year. Coinciding with International Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day, the event will feature a special kids strider-ride at the family flow loops near the trailhead.

The event’s fundraising aim is clear. After previously obtaining a non-motorized state trails grant, RAMBO hopes to raise $10,000 at the Extravaganza, which will be directed toward completing the trail system.

Local businesses have generously donated raffle prizes, ranging from tune-ups at area bike shops to gift cards, emphasizing the community’s support for the event.

Williams highlighted the extensive support received from various stakeholders. 

“The city of Rifle, Colorado River Valley, Bureau of Land Management, and Garfield County have invested significantly into these trails. This event showcases these trails and the work done,” Williams said.

For those interested in participating, start times for the race:

  • 9 to 10 a.m. – Rolling Start
  • 11 a.m. – Kids Strider Ride High (12 and under)
  • Noon – Raffle Prizes

To register and find more details, visit

If you go…

What: Hogback Extravaganza
When: Saturday, Oct. 7
Where: Grand Hogback Trail System
How much: $35 for adults; $10 for kids

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