Bicycling Magazine Fruita, CO: Mary's Loop 

A canyon-country classic along Kokopelli's Trail, this 8.7 clockwise loop combines spectacular Colorado River views with trail thrills for riders of any ability--a must-hit for Fruita first-timers.

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Author: Bicycling Magazine
Date: 15 Apr 2009 5:53:43 PM
Activity: Mountain Biking
State: Colorado (CO)
Distance: 8.74 mi  (Change units)
Survey Elevation: Total Gain: 1596 ft
Total Loss: 1596 ft
Net Change: -1 ft
Difficulty: 5 / 10
Tags: Colorado, Fruita, Grand Junction, Loma
Rating:   1 rating(s) Rate it

Follow the dirt road south from the Kokopelli Trailhead to the saddle and then downhill to the right-hand turn onto Mary’s Loop (also Kokopelli's Trail). The ride’s biggest climb begins on the rocky doubletrack that leads uphill from the road toward the cattle guard and Horsethief Bench loop at mile 2. Turning north, the trail rolls the canyon rim above the bench—look for riders on the trail below and views of Bull and Rattlesnake canyons on the river’s far side.

Arguably this loop’s best stretch is the singletrack along its northwestern corner. With several technical challenges peppering the trail, it’s a fun, fast and scenic section preceding the rolling doubletrack that closes the loop. You’ll pass spur trails for Steve’s Loop (a great intermediate add-on) and Moore Fun (a serious, technical challenge/alternate return to the trailhead) before the climb to the BLM map kiosk near a saddle in the ridge. From there, it’s an easy roll along the frontage road back to the parking lot.

-Mapped by Gene Poncelet

TO TRAILHEAD: From Fruita, drive 4.8 miles west on I-70 and take exit 15 toward Loma. Turn left to go over the freeway and turn right onto Hawkeye Rd. Just before the weigh station, in 0.2 miles, bear left onto the dirt road and follow it 0.6 miles to the trailhead parking lot.

Position Format: Datum:

Mary's Loop

Distance: 8.74 mi Points: 755
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi

Points of Interest


Location: 39.177533, -108.827369
From the main Kokopelli Trailhead, ride up the the gravel road, heading left uphill before a quick descent down towards the beginning of Kokopelli's Trail (also Mary's Loop).


Location: 39.177150, -108.831511
Bypass this right-hand spur and another 200 yards ahead.


Location: 39.174672, -108.829258
Turn right and uphill at this well-worn, but rough, doubletrack trail at Mary's Loop.


Location: 39.172359, -108.837304
The trail climbs about 200 feet following the edge of the cliffs toward the river and access to Horsethief Bench. Along this stretch, there are scenic views south across the Colorado River.


Location: 39.171361, -108.850608
A small cattle guard at mile 2 marks the left-hand spur down to Horsethief Bench. Continue straight on Mary's Loop to follow this route along the cliff-tops overlooking the bench and river below.


Location: 39.181375, -108.858504
The best section on this relatively beginner-level loop begins where the singletrack starts, just past the BLM sign near mile 3.3.


Location: 39.182473, -108.867302
The Colorado River is more than 300 feet below the ride's high point on this singletrack section just past mile 4. Up ahead the trail cuts across a rocky cliff face before turning east.


Location: 39.186627, -108.872457
Turn right to follow Mary's Loop on the doubletrack. A singletrack trail, Steve's Loop, continues straight and after a short ledge drop 100 yards north of this junction: Steve's is a relatively easy intermediate way to add just over 3 miles to your ride.


Location: 39.192718, -108.865821
Stay straight on Mary's Loop, bypassing the left-hand trail reconnecting here from Steve's Loop. It's a gentle climb alongside a wash from here to the saddle.


Location: 39.197440, -108.858633
There's another cattle guard near mile 6 where the Moore Fun Trail merges from the right. Advanced riders could consider turning right here onto the difficult, technical ridge-top trail that also leads back toward the trailhead. For an easier ride, continue downhill (past the trailhead kiosk) from the saddle and turn right on the frontage road's easy double track.


Location: 39.199220, -108.858268
Turn right at the T-junction onto the dirt frontage road. The last 2.4 miles follow this road back toward the trailhead on a mostly downhill grade.

Colorado River

Location: 39.184469, -108.871293
A view of the Colorado River from the singletrack trail. This scenic route offers many such stunning views. © Gene Poncelet

Trailhead Parking

Location: 39.177092, -108.828088
Looking down on the parking lot from the ridge road. Watch for traffic on this developed section of road that serves other trail access points in the area. © Gene Poncelet

Horsethief Bench

Location: 39.171328, -108.850608
A hike-a-bike descent leads to the Horsethief Bench Trail's 3.8 mile loop. If you have extra time, consider adding the loop for an even longer intermediate level ride. © Gene Poncelet

Horsethief Bench

Location: 39.175354, -108.852325
Mary's Loop follows the cliffs above the bench. It's a spectacularly scenic ride offering glimpses of the trail and river below. © Gene Poncelet

Trail Signs

Location: 39.192684, -108.865929
This is just one of many signposts that mark these area trails and make it easy to keep your bearings. © Gene Poncelet


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