Kokopelli Trail

Kokopelli Trail

The whoop-dee-doos will make you laugh out loud and the technical sections will challenge your bike handling skills on the famous Kokopelli Trail. It offers mountain bikers some great desert riding en route from Fruita, Colorado to Moab, Utah.

Our point to point ride starts on the banks of the Colorado River where the trail includes some great singletrack and spectacular views. As we travel west, we leave the river for some technical jeep road riding through the labyrinth of red rock canyons at the base of the La Sal Mountains. Sandstone domes and sheer red wall cliffs give way to aspen groves as we climb into these beautiful mountains.

This is our most challenging desert tour with long miles and several days with vehicle support in the morning and evening only. You'll be rewarded for your climbing efforts with a beautiful descent into Moab, commonly regarded as the mountain biking center of the universe. This is a serious trip which includes some technical riding and big climbs. Ready for the challenge? Give us a ring at 800-845-2453. We'll help you get started planning one of the best cycling trips ever.


Day 1

We start our trip with a quick shuttle to the Mary’s Loop Trailhead in Loma. Our day starts with a gentle doubletrack climb to a high bench overlooking the Colorado River. From here the singletrack begins and connects us to both the Lions Loop and Troybuilt trails. The singletrack riding here is so good that the locals from Moab travel to Grand Junction to ride these very trails. A stout singletrack climb and some hike-a-biking takes us to our lunch spot where the support truck will be waiting. Our afternoon ride is a fun rolling double track through Rabbit Valley which takes us into a sandstone walled canyon. We will camp at Knowles Canyon Overlook perched high above the Colorado River. TOTAL MILEAGE: 32 miles

Day 2

Shortly after we leave camp today, we will cross the state line into Utah while riding through a beautiful canyon. The riding this morning is on a rugged four-wheel drive road which climbs out of the canyon to the higher Pinyon pine and juniper covered plateau. We will descend to the banks of the Colorado River, and lunch at the Westwater boat ramp. Downstream, the river cuts through Precambrian rock which is approximately 1.8 billion years old. Not only is Westwater Canyon known to river runners for Class 3-4 rapids, it is one of the only times this ancient rock is exposed along the river until the bottom of the Grand Canyon gorge. A quick shuttle after lunch bypasses some open desert riding and delivers us to more fun jeep roads and singletrack. We’ll cross the Colorado River and ride a final section of dirt road that takes us to our camp at the base of the Entrada Sandstone bluffs. TOTAL MILEAGE: 30 - 35 miles

Day 3

This morning we start with a major climb, insuring a good strong appetite for lunch. This famous 2,400 foot climb will take us to the top of Sevenmile Mesa, rewarding us with great views of the Uncompahgre Plateau and the Dolores River canyon. There is a spur ride off our route called “Top of the World,” which is pretty much how it feels! Toward the top of the climb the road gets rough and the riding gets technical. Wildlife abounds in this remote country and we may see bighorn sheep or a bald eagle. We’ll eat the lunch we packed on the edge of the spectacular canyon and then descend down Rose Garden Hill into Fisher Valley and Onion Creek. Tonight we will camp near beautiful slickrock formations among the pinyons and junipers. TOTAL MILEAGE: 22 miles

Day 4

Now we have reached the La Sal Mountains and to start we must climb up to North Beaver Mesa. The riding is loose at the beginning but improves as we gain altitude, as do the views, which are truly incredible. The La Sal Mountains were named by the early Spanish explorers who called them “mountains of salt.” These mountains seem to rise right out of the desert. They are laccolithic which means they were pushed up by volcanic forces but the crust was never broken, resulting in their rounded appearance. Just over the top, having gained several thousand feet, we will stop for lunch near some very distinct dinosaur tracks in the slickrock high above the valley floor. We will also enjoy a great view of Fisher Valley below. After lunch we descend on pavement into Castle Valley, then settle in to the climb up the other side. We’re straddling ecosystems here with alpine over the left shoulder and the desert’s red rock canyons over the right. The last section of today’s ride is back on dirt on one of our favorite segments of the Kokopelli. A two track swoops down off the shoulder of the mountains and this is where the aspens meet the slickrock. We’ll camp tonight with sunset views of Arches National Park. TOTAL MILEAGE: 32 miles

Day 5

From camp this morning we will head down the Sand Flats Road, which is also the route of the Kokopelli Trail. Today’s ride is payback for all the climbs we have done along the way. The sun is at our back as we descend, lighting the finned rock and the red wall cliffs of the Moab Rim. Our views reach as far as Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. As we finish our epic ride we will have one more delicious lunch and then we will shuttle back to Grand Junction. TOTAL MILEAGE: 20 miles

Ride Notes

This tour contains some difficult riding on technical jeep roads and some singletrack trails. A high level of skill and fitness is required to enjoyably navigate much of the route. We will be without vehicle support during many sections of the ride. If you do not consider yourself to be an expert rider and doubt your ability to complete this tour, please call us and we can help you determine whether this trip is appropriate for you. Itineraries are subject to change due to weather, road conditions, rider safety, and other factors which may affect the logistics of the adventure.

Riding Surface: Variable. Includes packed sediment, some rocky and sandy sections of double and singletrack trails, some smooth dirt sections and some asphalt sections.

Overall Rating: Intermediate/Advanced

Technical Difficulty: Moderate to difficult—some steep and technical sections.

Physical Difficulty: Difficult—steep climbs, long days and technical sections make this ride a challenging one.

Altitude: 4,000 - 8,500 feet

For travel logistics and a packing list, please download the complete trip itinerary.

Location: Colorado
Duration: 5 days
Ability: Intermediate-Advanced
Price: $1260

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