Hiking The Marys Loop / Horsethief / Russlers
The 69th most popular hiking trail in Colorado.
Thursday 28 July 2016 06:06 GMT
Northwest of Grand Junction in western Colorado, the Kokopelli Trailhead provides access to numerous trails which can be combined into many loops. The trails roll through desert meadows and across ridges with scenic desert canyon vistas and views of the Colorado River. The best season is spring or fall due to summer heat. Avoid hiking when wet since the mud is like cement and will damage the trails permanently.
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 hike combining trail and road. 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 trail accessed from Marys Loop.
The Lions Loop / Mack Ridge is a 7 mile route combining trail and doubletrack.
Troys Loop is a 5 mile trail.
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).
Overall, Marys Loop / Horsethief / Russlers is the 69th most popular hiking trail of all 72 hikes in Colorado.