When our local trails get dusted with early snow (may we be so blessed) it’s a good time to plan trips to nearby trails outside Grand Junction. In the high desert of the Western Slope, warm, dry days make for excellent mountain biking. The Lunch Loops biking area offers 65 miles of single-track, with something for everyone in your group.
By Ian Anderson
Here are a few good trails that you can explore during a day trip or over a getaway weekend:
Green: Kid’s Meal
Easily accessible right from the Tabeguache trailhead parking lot, this 1.6 mile trail can be ridden in multiple configurations. It’s smooth and fluid with signs along the route offering helpful skills development tips. It’s a perfect confidence builder for younger riders, or warm-up ride for Mom, Dad and older siblings.
Blue: Hop, Skip & Jump
A brand new trail to the Lunch Loops, the HSJ trail loops along the base of the Three Sister’s hills, adjacent to Monument Road. Incorporate Noreaster and Yes N Dee Dee (clearly marked Blue trails) to extend the ride.
Blue: Miramonte Rim
Here is a fun step up into 4 1/2 star riding. Warm up with a mellow uphill climb to a plateau loop overlooking the desert.
Bluish Black: The Ribbon
Note: This trail is located South of the map area. It is easily found with clear trail markers by following the Tabeguache Road, as shown on the map. This is one of the most iconic trails in Colorado, featuring massive slabs of slickrock that can be descended at high speeds. Kids love the wide open slickrock riding. It’s accessible to intermediate riders, but there is some exposure followed by some technical rock drops. But the drops are short and easily walked, and this is a ride your kids will always remember. With 1,500 feet of descending, this one is best done as a shuttle.
There are lots of black diamond trails in the Lunch Loops network to choose from, but Moto is one of the most accessible. To get there, climb up the Tabeguache doubletrack to Motocross, then turn left onto Moto for a fast, flowy downhill with some jump options.
Bonus: The Trailhead Coffee Bar & Café, located right off of Monument Road, has great baked goods and awesome post-ride smoothies.
Boneshaker Adventures Mountain Bike clinics in Grand Junction, Fruita, Loma, Palisade and Rabbit Valley. Weekend and after school programming.
Hint: If you’re looking for a great birthday party idea for your mountain biking tween, teen or spouse – call Dawn Cooper to plan a private, small group guided adventure.
The Mountain Bike Project website offers extensive descriptions, photos and elevations of trails. The site covers almost 40 thousand mountain biking trails, both in the U.S. and abroad.