Bike: Kokopelli Trail (5 day)
A true western adventure, this 5-day mountain bike trip will feature tough climbs, out-of-this-world views, unbeatable singletrack, and remarkable camping, perfect for intermediate to advanced mountain bikers.
A true western desert backcountry adventure. This 5-day, 142-mile mountain bike trip features tough climbs, spectacular views, classic singletrack, and exceptional camping. Perfect for intermediate to advanced mountain bikers. The Kokopelli Trail is quintessential American West mountain biking – hands down one of the best multi-day rides in all of North America. We cover the 142-mile trail over five days from Loma, Colorado to Moab, Utah providing a professional guide and vehicle support each morning and evening. This is our most challenging desert tour, a serious adventure that requires some technical riding skills and big climb endurance. Your efforts will be continuously rewarded, however, with breathtaking moments of ‘WOW’ culminating in a beautiful, final day descent into Moab, commonly regarded as the mecca of mountain biking. The vistas are grand, wildlife sightings are plentiful, and the biodiversity unique to this part of the continent and world make the Kokopelli Trail a truly worthy bucket list adventure. Our goal is to experience some of the best mountain biking of Colorado and Utah, learn new skills, and have a safe and stimulating experience that you will cherish forever.
Itinerary: The over trip length is 5 days, which includes four days riding the Kokopelli Trail, transportation to/from Denver Colorado, and one extra day riding in Moab Utah. Two extra days driving to/from Denver.
Day 0: Travel to Colorado. Drive from Denver leaving around 10 am. Arrive in Grand Junction by 3 pm. Optional 26 miles road tour through Colorado National Monument in the late afternoon. 3:30 – 6 pm. Dinner in Grand Junction and stay in a winery and chateau outside Colorado National Monument.
Day 1: We start our trip with a quick shuttle to the starting Trailhead in Loma. Our day starts with a gentle double track climb to a high bench overlooking the Colorado River. From here the single-track begins and connects us to Fruita area Loops and trails. The single-track riding here is so good that the locals from Moab Utah travel to Grand Junction Colorado to ride these great Fruita mountain bike trails. A stout single-track 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 and into a sandstone walled canyon. We will camp at a 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 that climbs out of the canyon to the higher pinyon juniper covered plateau. We will descend to lunch on the banks of the Colorado River, 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 it’s 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 single-track. 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, ensuring 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. It’s good practice for the downhill because good bike handling skills are needed in order to enjoy this descent. 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. Our camp tonight will be at the Hideout, a favorite of Butch Cassidy and his pals. 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 early Spanish explorers who called them “mountains of salt” named the La Sal Mountains. These mountains seem to rise right out of the desert. They are laccolithic which means volcanic forces pushed them up 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 slick rock high above the valley floor. We will also enjoy a great view of Fisher Valley below. Happy from lunch we descend on pavement into Castle Valley, and 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 slick rock. We’ll camp tonight at Malloy Park, right on the edge of Castle Valley with sunset views of Arches National Park. TOTAL MILEAGE – 32 miles
Day 5: From camp this morning we will head down the Sandflats Road, which is also the route of the Kokopelli Trail. Today is payback for all the climbs we have done along our way. The sun is at our back as we descend, lighting the finned rock and the red wall cliffs of the Moab Rim in front of us. Our views reach as far as Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. We’ll stop on our way at Moab’s famous Slickrock Trail for an exciting lap around the practice loop. After lunch we’ll shuttle you back to Grand Junction. TOTAL MILEAGE – 20 miles
Included in our rates: Professional Bike Guides; Permits (BLM, USFS, NPS); backcountry camping permits; all food during the trip; all transportation starting and ending in Grand Junction (Day 1 – Day 5); Re-supply drops, Vehicle support at the beginning and end of each day; All necessary; group gear (water purification, fuel and fuel bottles, stoves; group cooking gear, tents and group medical kit); Group CB and contingency and emergency support.
Not included in our rates: Meals while in the front country (breakfast day 1 and dinner day 5); laundry; alcoholic beverages; hotel night before trip (Day 0) and at end of the trip (Day 5), personal equipment (sleeping bad, pad) – all can be rented; Mountain Bike – can be rented, gratuities for guide(s) – recommended 20%. Optional: trip cancellation insurance.
Special Notes: Bikes. We recommend a full suspension mountain bike for this ride on the Kokopelli Trail.
Difficulty Description: : Moderate: Steep slopes and/or obstacles, possibly on narrow trails with poor traction. Most Difficult (Hard): A mixture of long steep climbs, loose trails surfaces, numerous difficult obstacles to avoid or jump over, drop-offs and sharp corners. Some sections are definitely easier to walk.
What to Bring: Sent with trip confirmation