Vacationland Biker

Whether you’re biking for the first time this spring or you’ve been at it for 20 years, the Grand Junction and Fruita area bike trails will thrill you with scenic views, killer climbs and fun, rolling terrain.

For road cyclists, the newly expanded Colorado Riverfront Trail provides a beautiful paved ride as far west as Fruita.

From the Jr. League Service Park entrance near 24 Road and Redlands Parkway to Fruita, the trail covers 8 miles one way.

The new portion of the trail means that instead of biking Colorado Highway 340 to close a ride over Colorado National Monument, you can pick up the Riverfront Trail and avoid traffic.

For maps and information on the Colorado Riverfront Trail, go to riverfrontproject.org/trails.

For mountain bikers, be sure to check out the brand new Curt’s Lane reroute and TIMe Machine trail at the Lunch Loops/Tabeguache Trailhead area off Monument Road.

For advanced riders, try your hand at Butterknife, a long and technical ride off of Little Park Road (expect to be out about three hours).

Beginners will enjoy the views and tips on Rustler’s Loop, which is one of eight loops at the Kokopelli area south of Loma.

And everyone will grin after riding the fast swooping trails at 18 Road, also called the North Fruita Desert Trails, north of Fruita.

Need a map or more information on the rides mentioned here? Check out the RIDE guide at GJSentinel.com/bike.

Tips & Tricks

Gulp it down: Biking in the arid desert means you’ll need to work hard to stay hydrated. Fill up your hydration pack before heading out.

Got a spare? Goat heads, cactus needles and even sharp rocks can leave you flat. Take a spare tube and/or patch kit on every ride.

Rent a bike: Shops in Fruita and Grand Junction can outfit you with the right ride. Google “Grand Junction bike shops” for a list of shops.

Play it safe: Several trails in the area have exposed portions. Follow the motto of “look where you want to go” and pedal or walk it. There’s no shame here!

Places to Pedal

Escape the crowds: Find more solitude and singletrack on trails at the western end of the Kokopelli area: Lion’s Loop, Mack Ridge and Troy Built are all intermediate to advanced rides.

Try outs: The Lunch Loop’s Free Lunch and Lunch Line trails off Little Park Road offer thrilling downhill jumps and drops.

Bike park or BMX: Along with the bike park in Fruita (off of Colorado Highway 340 on the east side) and the Lunch Loop bike park, a newly constructed BMX bike park can be found at the Mesa County Fairgrounds, 2785 U.S. Highway 50.

Best views: Head to Rabbit Valley’s Western Rim or Zion Curtain trails, or check out Sarlaac at 18 Road.

Take a day: Enjoy Palisade’s beautiful scenery and vineyards with a bike tour on the Palisade Fruit & Wine Byway, palisadetourism.com/ attractions/item/fruit-wine-trail.

Lights on: Planning a bike ride through the Colorado National Monument? You’ll need lights. Both front and bike lights are required for the 23-mile scenic ride on Rim Rock Drive.

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