[I’m a few weeks behind on my posts, so I apologize a couple of these are out of chronological order.]
I arrived in Fruita, CO on July 6th and stayed for four nights. I’ve been wanting to visit Fruita now for several years, ever since I heard they had great mountain biking trails. For whatever reason, though, I really had to push myself to stick with my plan of stopping there after visiting Telluride. I was mostly concerned about being able to reach the trails from the RV Park. Unlike Telluride, they are not as easily accessible by bike. The town itself wasn’t quite as appealing as some of the towns I’ve been to so far like Telluride, Durango or Springdale. Chain and fast food restaurants by far outnumbered enticing and unique restaurants.
After arriving, I biked over to the local bike shop, Over the Edge Sports, and got a lot of helpful information on the local trails. It was recommended that I check out the Horsethief Bench trail at the Kokopelli Trails system since they were the closest being about six to seven miles away, depending on which route I decided to take. He said I could ride along Hwy 50 which is a two-lane road that ran through Fruita and paralleled I-70, or I could just ride on I-70 which apparently is legal. Um, yeah, no riding on the interstate for this chica!
The next morning, I set out early out on Hwy 50. The first couple miles were a breeze and there was a decent shoulder for me to ride on. But soon the shoulder became non-existent and cars were flying by me at 50-55mph. Thankfully, most of the drivers were courteous and went half way into the other lane as they drove by. Before I knew it I arrived at the parking lot for the Kokopelli Trails, which incidentally was HUGE! I could have easily parked the RV here and ran the AC off the generator.
The views from the lot were stunning. To the North, the Book Cliffs dominated the landscape as far as the eye could see. Once on the Horsethief Bench trail, I was treated to a bird’s eye view of the impressive Colorado River. The trail itself was technical in spots, so much so that I hiked-a-bike a handful of areas, but there was still plenty of fun riding too.
The following day, I looked into biking the 18 Road trails which were along the Book Cliffs. These were a little further away, maybe 10-12 miles, but about five of those miles were down a gravel road. The guy at the bike shop warned me that the road is “bumpy.” I figured ‘ol Betty could handle “bumpy”. The parking lot looked nice and big, too, according to Google satellite.
That evening at the RV Park, one of the craziest thunderstorms I’ve been in thus far rolled through. I was sure the world was coming to an end in Fruita, CO. The thunder was relentless. I couldn’t see any lightning and the thunder wasn’t explosive. It was just a continuous roll of rumbling as the storm blew through with howling winds.
The next morning, I headed out for the 18 Road trails. The guy at the bike shop was correct when he said the gravel road was bumpy. It was as if the entire length of the gravel road had break bumps. But I made it to the parking lot, albeit slowly. I decided to just do a couple laps of climbing the gravel road for a few miles and then take one of the trails back down to the lot. So, on my first run down, I did Joe’s Ridge, which had some cool steep downhill sections along the top of a narrow ridge. Then, continued down MoJoe’s, which was a short little freeride trail with some jumps. On my second run, I came down Pumps, Bumps and Rollers (PBR), which was a fun, fast, flowy trail back to the lot. I contemplated doing one more lap, but by then it was nearly noon and getting hot, so I called it a day.
It would definitely be fun to go back with a group of friends and explore more of the many trails they have here.