“Mile for mile, essentially the most difficult (race) path I’ve ever completed.” This quotes the 2003 “Grand Loop” pace report holder. (His report has since been damaged.) Heed his phrases.
Of all of the actions I get pleasure from, I discover that bicycling is the factor that almost all unencumbers my spirit. There is an superior 390 mile mountain bike path (contains Colorado National Monument mileage. I’ve seen estimates as little as 370 miles however higher over ready than underneath ready, proper?) accessible within the Great Basin Desert and mountains of Colorado and Utah that I hope will do the identical for different individuals. This loop path is a mix of the Kokopelli, Paradox, and Tabeguache trails. It may be completed with 4WD assist at outlined entry factors.
So it’s potential to bike through the day and sleep in a snug mattress at evening if desired (with exact planning). This in fact is an costly possibility, as comforts at all times are. Timing is vital for this extraordinary journey. The desert sections are too scorching (may be lethal) in summer season. The highland sections are too chilly and impassable in late fall via early summer season (except you like hike-a-bike within the spring thaw slush). I like to recommend beginning on the Kokopelli trailhead at Loma, Colorado and heading towards Moab, Utah so as to time your intersection of the Paradox and Tabeguache trails (at about mile 220) for roughly October 10th (sometimes peak of Colorado autumn colour within the mountains).
Judge your expertise realistically and revel in this expertise, which I’m satisfied must be the most effective accessible on this planet for mountain biking lovers. I’ve completed the entire loop so most mountain bicyclists can handle it with correct steering and preparation. COPMOBA is a wonderful useful resource for judging issue.
So, journey the Kokopelli roughly 116 miles, intersect and journey on the Paradox (turns left at Gateway Road) 105 miles, which is its complete size, intersect and journey left on the Tabeguache roughly 118 miles to Grand Junction, Colorado at Monument Road. Important observe: If the loop is completed as an intersecting path (which is the right “Grand Loop”) about 25 miles of the Kokopelli and 25 miles of the Tabeguache might be missed.
Mileages and path elevation variances are: Kokopelli (142 miles): 4200-8400 ft. Paradox (105 miles): 4700-9500 ft. Tabeguache (142 miles): 4500-9500 ft. Maps of the paths can be found at COPMOBA. Please assist this necessary group. They additionally signal the path and signage was fairly good once I rode. Vandalism of indicators will apply discomfort and necessitate some back-tracking, little doubt. I can’t low cost the potential of further time being allotted for the famed Slickrock Trail, which is on the Kokopelli Trail finish, in Moab. This would entail a 60 mile spherical journey to Moab and again to the junction of the Kokopelli and Paradox trails. I can’t emphasize sufficient (once more) the issue and great thing about the loop expertise.
Spend diligent time making ready so as to extract assured enjoyment and security. If I had my approach I might take a month to do the 390 mile journey for optimum expertise. Some sections are one mile per hour stuff. Some sections are 20 mile per hour speedways. ONE GALLON OF WATER PER PERSON, PER DAY, IS AN ABSOLUTE MINIMUM! A PERSON WHO IS THIRSTY IS ALREADY IN TROUBLE. When Water Is Half Gone The Ride IS Half Done For The Day. If driving unsupported water availability might be an added problem.
Photographic highlights embody the start of the Kokopelli (at Loma), Fisher Towers (close to Utah Rt. 128), Castle Valley, and mountains and aspens in early to mid October. Check out the Hanging Flume close to Uravan, Colorado.
Much of the path consists of nice singletrack, implying some hike-a-bike. Some components are backcountry roads. A only a few sections are paved. You’ll recover from that. Some junctions and sections are vague. Study, examine and use a compass and topo map (or your favourite dependable route discovering useful resource). An necessary disclosure: When you end the Tabeguache Trail in Grand Junction, Colorado it doesn’t connect with the Kokopelli trailhead, however ends at Monument Rd.
I like to go towards the Colorado National Monument (left down Monument Road a brief distance) and traverse the paved National Park Service street from east to west. This will value three bucks per bicycle however is nicely price it. After finishing the Colorado Monument street you can be in Fruita in 2 miles and should take the interstate freeway westbound about four miles to exit #15 and the Kokopelli trailhead. If you might be an avid mountain biker I promise that you’ll get pleasure from the most effective experiences of your life on this loop journey. The ache was price it for me. You might be whipped although. I did the journey sectionally, which means out-and-back, on an previous (1996 mannequin) Specialized Stumpjumper hardtail. An incredible bike. It might do greater than I might do.
If you could have a factor about solely driving clockwise, you might begin on the Tabeguache trailhead in Grand Junction, Colorado. It is my perception, nevertheless, that this feature is a bit more proof against seasonal timing.
Addendum: The summer season wildflowers within the excessive nation of the Uncompahgre Plateau (Tabeguache) and La Sal Mountains (Kokopelli) are beautiful. However, desert areas are very uncomfortable and harmful throughout this time.