Northwest of Grand Junction in western Colorado, the Fruita area is the new hot spot for mountain biking with smooth, hard-packed rolling trails with some technical drops and descents. The trails roll through desert meadows and across ridges with scenic desert canyon vistas. Many of the trails can be ridden all year round, however, the best season is spring or fall due to summer heat and snow on high trails. Avoid riding when wet since the mud is like cement and riding will damage the trails permanently.
The Fruita area trails are divided into two districts. The Bookcliffs area, about 10 miles due north of Fruita, has rides with more climbing, but the high spots tend to be snowed in during winter months. The Kokopelli area for Mary's Loop and Horsethief, about 5 miles northwest of town, has all-season rides along the Colorado River.
In the Kokopelli area are the following trails: Marys Loop, Horsetheif Bench, Lions Loop, Troys Loop and Steves Loop.
The Marys Loop is an 8 mile ride combining singletrack and road. It is usually hard-packed and quite fast. It runs ridge rims and has some rocky sections, along with great vistas. This is part of the Kokopelli Trail running to Moab.
The popular Horsethief Bench is a 4 mile singletrack ride accessed from Marys Loop.
The Lions Loop / Mack Ridge is a 7 mile ride combining singletrack and doubletrack.
Troys Loop is a 5 mile singletrack ride.
Steves Loop (aka Handcuffs) is a very scenic, but narrow, 5 mile loop (ride counterclockwise). It leads to the Colorado River canyon rim for a great vista.
To reach Fruita from Denver, head west on US70 for 255 miles (about 4 hours) to Exit 19.
To reach the Kokopelli area from Fruita, head west on US70. There are two exits which serve the Kokopelli area. The Lomo Exit (#15) provides access to Marys Loop, Horsethief Bench and Steves Loop. The Mack Exit (#11) provides access to Lions Loop, Mack Ridge, Troys Loop and Steves Loop. From both exits, head south to the access road, Hawkeye Road (CR K-80).
FYI - Colorado River State Park Campground is located 0.4 miles south of Exit 19 off US70 (reservations required almost all year round).