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Level: Intermediate
Length: 7 mi (11.3 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +454/ -459 ft
Total: 266 riders

Mountain Biking Chutes and Ladders

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#134 of 1,353 mountain bike trails in Colorado
#904 in the world

Whoa! We hit this one on the way back from Moab and it was just what the doctor ordered. Smooth singletrack with very little effort required. The trail gradually makes its way up to the bookcliffs. At the cliffs, you'll see why this trail is called chutes and ladders. A few nice drops and switchbacks and then the very sweet ride back down the hill. The scenery may be sparse but the jumps and twists in the trail make up for it. There are tons of trails here where you would least expect them and they are well worth the trip.

First added by Jeff Barber on Jan 1, 2003. Last updated May 2, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: yes
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
From Fruita, take Aspen St. East about 4 blocks to Maple St. Turn left (North) on Maple. Go about 3 miles and turn right onto 3/10 Rd. Go to the T intersection and hang a left. Take this road about 6-7 miles to the (unmarked) parking lot on the left. Note: this road becomes a dirt road about 3 miles down. This trail starts directly across the road from the parking lot (singletrack) and heads down to a dried up lake. Follow the trail north as it parallels the road.
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Chutes and Ladders Trail map

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Local Info

Trail checkins

Ready Shreddy (on May 11, 2019)
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Trail conditions

Dusty (on Nov 5, 2019)
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Chutes and Ladders videos

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Fruita chutes and ladders
Chutes and Ladders - Fruita, CO
Chutes and Ladders / Fruita
Fruita Fun 04-2008
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Fruita, Colorado

Beginner | 3 mi
| 1 mi
Intermediate | 8 mi
Intermediate | 40 mi

Rider questions

Q: Can you hike trail as well?

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  • rowunda

    A great loop to play on in the desert

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  • Jim Cummings

    Like all the 18 Road Trails this one is fun from start to finish.

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  • Mac10Matt

    Rode in mid-November and everything is in great shape on this section of 18 Road trails. I love the smooth climbs and obstacle array on this small section.

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  • Michael Paul

    I had high expectations of this trail but it did not seem like that much fun at all compared to some of the other trails at 18 road and Kokopelli. It is undoubtedly a difficult trail with steep ups, but I though the chutes weren't worth the ladders...compared to say, Zippity Do Dah. The fast rolling meadow after the chutes/ladders were more enjoyable to me, even though that's not my cup o' tea normally. Bottom line: if you are at 18 road and want to ride 'everything', ride it. But if you have to chose, I personally think other trails like ZDD, PBR, and Mo Joes are more fun w/o the work.

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  • vbeckman74

    The initial climb is short and steep as Hell. Good luck. The rest of the trail has some good ups and downs. The last half is a fast descent to the parking lot.

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  • tcbroncs

    The Ladders part of this ride is challenging with some good short steep climbs along the bookcliffs. The Chutes part will make you want to ride it again. Flowing smooth downhills that seem to last forever. Ride it then climb back up and hit PBR or Kessel Run

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  • david_darling

    The namesake of this trail is so true. Lots of short STEEP bursts up followed by the most fun and fast and flowing singletrack ripfest in the system. Watch for the Edge Cutoff trail on the left. Ride this sweet little gem up a bit then turn around and rip back to jct with Chutes and back down. So fun.

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  • Shanet74

    Fun quick ride, that you can tie into others for a longer ride. The climbs are short, but can be tough. Felt like a roller coaster ride. Wish I had more time to do another loop. Thanks to those of you that maintain this trail system...well maintained.

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  • stillfat

    The ladders climb pretty well because the dirt is super tacky. That said, they're still a challenge. A bit on the short side - I would have loved to keep riding similar terrain for at least a couple more miles. The meadow section was really pretty.

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  • drlg

    Over time, my climbing has improved to where I can now do all the climbs on Chutes & Ladders, so my rating of the trail has also improved the fun factor raises when you can clean the entire ride.

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  • kpmeder

    Good change up after Moab, but still a workout.

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  • PaulMiller

    Great trail tough climb to the top. alot of fun after that

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  • grangerkersten

    Great trail. The ladders are sometimes tough climbs, but the ride back is worth it.

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  • shane_anthony77

    Great trail!! The ladders are well worth the pay off you get at the end. For sure a no go when WET! I got stuck out there in a hail storm and lets just say it ended up badly. Great dirt otherwise. Very fast at the end with tight singletrack. * Review edited 6/1/2009

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  • RideorDie

    Great trail with plenty of buff single track. Do not ride when wet!!! turns into giant bog. It dries out quick - after about 1 -3 hours, so just wait it out.

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  • AK_Dan

    Very fun. Even the ladders part, some hike-a-bike but all in all the first half of the trail is a fun challenge. Once the Chutes starts the speed begins- rode all the way to the corral and then back across the valley. Enjoyed it so much I did it twice that day.

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  • BjohnsonGJ

    Short and Sweet! Smooth singletrack that flows. The trail gradually makes its way up to the bookcliffs. You will find a couple loose hills. The up and down is great with a couple tight switchbacks. great downhill back to the parking lot - Take Prime Cut for some fast fun through the Junipers

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  • steve32300

    Chute's and ladder's,,,,,any question's??This trail is really cool if you think about it.I would do this one last or whenever your legs and lungs are firing on all 8.(for me anyway,Im a clydesdale)This trail starts off with a brutal ladder climb that only get's steeper the higher you get.From there,you guessed it,chute's and ladder's until you get to the fun,fast,and furious rush of singletrack back to the lower parking lot.You really gotta give the name of this trail a chance to sink in because I feel that this trail really fit's into the big picture of 18 road,it's like an amusement park on a mountain bike up there and chute's and ladder's is a big part of that family of ride's at 18 road.

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  • jpk8888

    Honestly, this is my least favorite trail on the 18 Road system. Try Joe's Ridge or Zippity Do Dah, way better trails; faster, bigger drops, more jumps, and all around awesome!

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  • Beaker

    The steep ups and downs are more of a hassle than anything but once you get to the downhill it all becomes worth it. A great very non-technical fun fast downhill down smooth as a baby's bottom singletrack.

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