Fruita’s singletrack attraction growing
In the mid 1990s, there was one mountain biking mecca: Moab, Utah.
That’s when a group of Fruita mountain biking enthusiasts, including Troy Rarick, former owner of Over the Edge Sports mountain bike shop in Fruita, had an idea: What if there could be two?
“And back then, the north Fruita desert was just a bunch of trash and cattle pastures and a place where people would go and shoot guns,” said Landon Monholland, general manager at Over the Edge Sports.
The mountain bikers began utilizing already existing horse and cattle trails and soon had the support from the Bureau of Land Management to use the ribbons of single-tracks through the Fruita hills for those purposes.
“Those trails turned out to be some of the best in the world,” Monholland said.
And now, some of the most “epic” cycling and mountain biking trails are around Fruita, and it only takes a morning or afternoon to experience the sometimes rocky, often rolling trails and tire-stopping views of book cliffs, canyons and red rocks.
There are three primary trail groupings in Fruita area.
Closest to Fruita is the North Fruita Desert Trail System, commonly referred to as the 18 Road Trails, with miles of single track for various technical levels.
Since the fall, three new trails have been finished in the area, two that connect the already-existing system, and the self-described “PBR” (pumps, berms and rollers).
To get to the 18 Road trails from downtown Fruita, head east on Aspen Avenue, and turn left on Maple Street. Head north 4 miles and turn right on 3/10 road, which ends at 18 Road. Turn left on 18 Road and drive until you reach the area’s large parking area.
Four miles west of Fruita, are the Kokopelli Trails with a varied terrain of single and double track and views from high cliffs of the Colorado River valley and the La Sal Mountain.
Several of the trail in this system link to the Kokopelli Trail, which is a mixture of dirt, off-highway vehicle, and four-by-four road, goes about 140 miles to Moab.
It has intense downhill rides and steep climbs, interspersed with sloping sections of road.
The lowest point of the trail is 4,000 feet in elevation and can climb to 8,500 feet.
To get there, exit Interstate 70 at Exit 15, turn south and go over the interstate then west on Hawkeye Road. Bear left at the dirt road and follow it to the parking lot.
The Rabbit Valley Trails, a sandy multi-purpose trail system in the McInnis Canyons Conservation Area, are best to ride after some rainfall.
The trails provide access to the Colorado River and the Kokopelli Trail.
To get there: From Interstate 70, take Exit 2. Turn south and continue a 1/2 mile to the trailhead. There is a large staging area and restroom.