Mesa County Mountain Bike Rides: Kokopelli Trails
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.
Drive 12 miles west of Grand Junction on Interstate 70 and get off at the Loma Exit 15.
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.
Distance — 2.9 miles
Difficulty — Moderate
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.
Distance — 7.8 miles
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 — Moderate to strenuous
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. Ride this trail, period.
TROY BUILT LOOP
Distance — 8 miles
Difficulty — Strenuous
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 — 7.1 miles
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.
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The Coal Ridge High School boys and girls basketball teams will both be home Tuesday night to open the Class 3A state basketball tournament.