Mesa County Mountain Bike Rides: 18 Road in Fruita |

Mesa County Mountain Bike Rides: 18 Road in Fruita

Trails in north Fruita, called 18 Road Trails, are world-renowned and considered some of the greatest mountain biking in the country.
Submitted photo |

Mesa County, Colorado, features some of the best mountain biking in the country. It provides great views; it tests your mental and physical strength; and it’s a great addition to any healthy lifestyle.

Stop in at local bike shops for trail tips, touring opportunities and tunes. You won’t be disappointed with singletrack and trails made for every level spanning Grand Junction, Fruita, Palisade and even further afield.


As you cruise through miles of farmland on your way to the trailhead, you’ll be reminded that Fruita is a tale of two happily coinciding communities — farming and riding. There are several ways to get to 18 Road, depending on which way you’re coming from. If you’re in Fruita, get on Maple Road and head north out of town for about four miles. Hang a right on N 3/10 Road until you hit a “T” intersection. That’s 18 Road. Follow it north to the singletrack promised land.


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We’re calling this the 18 Road area. But when you start talking to locals, you’ll find they also refer to it as the “North Fruita Desert” and “The Bookcliffs.” Who cares what it’s called! All you need to know is this area — created by a group of locals in the mid-1990s — is singletrack at its best. Take a day, two days or set up camp and stay awhile. Some folks never leave. The elevation varies from 5,300-7,200 feet and skill level ranges from easy to difficult. It’s miles of singletrack for your pleasure.


Distance — 28 mile loop

Difficulty — Moderate to tough


Thinking about biting off a multi-day trip like Kokopelli or Tabeguache? You might start by spending a day on “The Edge.” It gets you on top of the Bookcliffs and allows you to soak up the site of the mountain-biking heaven below. It’s long, it’s remote, it’s beautiful.


Distance — 9.5 mile loop

Difficulty — Tough


You loved the game as a kid; now you can have just as much fun on the ride as an adult. It’s not super technical, but don’t expect to nail a perfect ride your first time. Have a blast!


Distance — 10.5 miles

Difficulty — Moderate


Be prepared to climb, but you know what climbing means — killer downhill fun. Views at the top are incredible.

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