Mesa County Mountain Bike Trails: Lunch Loops | PostIndependent.com

Mesa County Mountain Bike Trails: Lunch Loops

Lunch Loops in Grand Junction offers many rocky, technical sections.
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.

GETTING THERE

At the intersection of First Street and Grand Avenue in downtown Grand Junction, head west for about one mile on Grand (aka Hwy. 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 two 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

THE DIRT:

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

ANDY’S LOOP

Distance — About 7 miles, or a lot more depending on how you ride it

Difficulty — Moderate to tough

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 — Moderate

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 — Moderate, strenuous

THE DIRT:

This trail was built by community members 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 TRAIL

Distance — 5 miles, give or take

Difficulty — Moderate

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 on a bike 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.


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