The Kokopelli trail system in Loma is a favorite for tourists and locals alike.
The buff single-track on Horsethief and Hawkeye tempt us to go faster and the super chunk on Mack Ridge gets everyone's adrenaline pumping. The addition of Hawkeye a few years ago added to a great set of advanced and intermediate trails at Kokopelli's Western end.
However, since Hawkeye was built we'd all been waiting for the next big thing: an extension of Wrangler.
It seemed like it was never going to happen. For so long we'd ride Wrangler, get to an intersection with a sign and still see "trail coming soon." Week after week, the same thing: no new trail. But finally, thanks to good weather, the right soil conditions, and lots of hard work, it's here. The new Wrangler extension is finished, and along with it a Steve's re-route and an intermediate version of Moore Fun.
Kokopelli has new trails.
COPMOBA and the BLM worked with Singletrack Trails, a trail building business out of Winter Park, to get these trails built and they've added lots of opportunity to the Kokopelli area. I haven't ridden the new Moore Fun yet, but the Wrangler extension and Steve's re-route are well-built additions that allow for several new loop options.
The Wrangler extension has one end on a double track road just down from the saddle where Mary's, Mack Ridge, and Moore Fun meet. The other end connects into the original Wrangler trail above Mary's. From here you can get back onto Mary's and are able to access Horsethief Bench, etc. There are signs with maps to help you navigate.
This new section of Wrangler includes a set of well-built steep switchbacks. They're rideable in both directions, but riding them down is definitely my preferred way. Like the rest of Wrangler, it is mostly a beginner trail with some intermediate sections and some exposure.
A fun new ride is to park in the undeveloped middle parking area on the frontage road, about 3 miles west of the main parking lot, and ride the Wrangler extension down to original Wrangler. From here, bear right and follow Wrangler down to Mary's loop. Ride Mary's west until you get to an intersection with Steve's loop, at an overlook just after the exposed narrow section of single-track on Mary's. Ride Steve's and continue left at the next Steve's intersection. You'll eventually run into the re-routed section of trail.
This narrow, twisting single-track winds in and out among huge boulders. The scenery here is quite spectacular and the trail work is great, too. At the end of Steve's, follow the signs back to your car. This is about a 10-mile ride and is guaranteed to be less busy than some other rides, like Horsethief Bench, this time of year.
If you're looking for something a little tougher and even less crowded, try some of the classic trails on the western end of Kokopelli, like Lion's and Troy Built. You can make a great loop with these two, closing it on the frontage road. I recommend riding Lion's and ending on Troy Built. You'll get some good climbs, but also fun technical downhills on both trails riding this direction. Lion's has some exposure and killer hills; Troy Built has both of those and a chunky set of switchbacks, too.
If you're looking for technical trails in Loma without crowds, these two are always a good bet.
Still not enough? Pick a route that includes original Moore Fun. This is the most technical trail in Loma and is sure to impress those brave enough and talented enough to ride it. Mere mortals like myself are still looking forward to an opportunity to ride the new intermediate version Singletrack Trails recently finished.
BIKE THOUGHTS: Here are a few random thoughts that have been running through my mind lately on bike rides:
Find a helmet that fits you well. Go to a bike shop or a place like REI where people are trained to help you find one that fits. You shouldn't have much movement once the helmet is on and fitted correctly. If you can pull it off or it wobbles side to side, then it's not the right helmet for you.
Please don't take your spouse, friend, grandma, sister, etc., out on a trail they aren't ready for. If they don't know how to stand up and get their weight back, they shouldn't be riding Holy Cross. Be patient and take them to trails that are more appropriate so that they learn to love mountain biking, not fear it.
Let's all leave our public lands better than we found them. Pick up some trash even if it isn't yours, stay on designated trails, and be a good steward of the environment.
Get out and explore. Find a new trail, find a new loop, find some inner peace ... jut get out there and enjoy.