MOUNTAIN BIKING MCINNIS CANYONS’ KOKOPELLI LOOP TRAILS
Two of the nation’s top 100 classic mountain bike trails can be found seven miles west of Fruita, on the Kokopelli Loop trails, located within the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. Whether you’re riding the 3.5-mile beginner Rustler’s loop trail or tackling the strenuous Mack Ridge Trail, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness and Colorado River. The Kokopelli Loop Trail system is arguably the best desert mountain biking in Colorado and is situated in an area easy to access and close to town.
Mary’s Loop and Horsethief Bench – A Fruita classic, this loop takes you through both technical and flowing single-track with the opportunity to test your skills with a famous drop-in at the start of Horsethief Bench (for experts only). Once you make your way up the initial rocky two-track you will have outstanding access and hours of fun at your fingertips. The nearly four-mile, clockwise Horsethief Bench loop is twisty and fast and affords wide-open views of the Colorado River and Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness Area. There’s a large slickrock drop around one of the trail’s first big bends that some might prefer to walk, but the trail is appropriate for confident, intermediate riders. When the trail starts to wind away from the river after about a mile-and-a-half, be on the lookout for a stretch of tricky rock ledges. After that, it’s mostly smooth riding on dirt single-track with a slow, steady rise for a little over a mile back to the hike-a-bike section, where you can pick up where you left off on Mary’s Loop. The next 3.5 up-and-down miles are relatively easy. Although the trail is rocky, there’s nothing overly technical that’ll force you off your mount. Complete the loop by taking the dirt road 2.3 miles back to the main parking lot.
A COMMUNITY OF SUPPORT
The Kokopelli Loop trails are a focal point of the Bureau of Land Management’s Connect with Communities initiative, a collaboration with the city of Fruita, local businesses and the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association (COPMOBA). This collaboration has brought the new Wrangler and Hawkeye Trails to completion with three more trails scheduled for construction in the fall of 2018. This is a great example of a collaborative effort bringing trails to our public lands!