Delphinide recently wrote a great post about the “Top 5” trails to ride at the Fruita Fat Tire Festival. It was a good list if you’ve been riding for a year or two… however, if this is your first Fat Tire Festival, or if you’re still new to the whole mountain biking thing, here are a few trails that you might prefer.
At Lunch Loop:
The Three Sisters trails: These new trails are short, but provide some excellent beginner and early intermediate terrain. In particular, the Yes N DeeDee trail will give intermediates a few good rock sections to practice rolling down. There is limited exposure on this trail, but if you take it all the way to the top and over the ridge, you’ll get some pretty sweet views. You can create sort of a figure 8 with Kid’s Meal, Hop Skip and a Jump, and Yes N DeeDee. There are skills signs on these routes, and Kid’s Meal provides easy, intermediate, and advanced options on some features, which is great for building skill and confidence.
A favorite loop: One of my favorite intermediate loop of about two hours at Lunch Loop is: Ride up Pet-Y-Kes and then take High Noon to the ridge. Cross and ride down Raven’s Ridge then turn onto Ali-Alley. Make your way out to Miramonte and do a lap around the rim. If you prefer, you can drop down the Holy Cross hill and do a lap around Holy Bucket/Clunker. Eventually make your way back to Ali-Alley and Curt’s Lane. Head down to the parking lot via Curt’s or the Three Sisters trails if you want to spend a little more time out.
If you want something longer, Gunny Loop is always an option! It’s fun, long, and has great views. It’s still fairly technical, but not as tough as Holy Cross might seem.
Troy Built: This is listed as an intermediate trail, and it has awesome views! You can drive down the frontage road to the Mack Ridge parking lot (about four miles from the main lot) and ride from this parking area west to Troy Built. It can be ridden as an out-and-back, or you can create a loop with Mack Ridge. Mack is more technical, but it’s definitely a fun downhill ride!. If you decide to do Troy Built as an out-and-back, ride out to where the switchbacks start up to Lion’s Loop and use that as your turn around spot.
Wrangler: Use this trail if you need an escape from the crowds when you’re heading down Mary’s Loop (use the entrance right by Horsethief Bench, and then ride the trail west). Ride Mary’s out-and-back, and then turn off on Wrangler (again, to avoid the crowds). This is also a great trail to use as a short, final loop on your last day (take the last entrance to it–the second one past Horsethief). It’s listed as “beginner,” but the backside has some intermediate downhill sections.
At 18 Road:
Zip Off might become your new favorite ride. You can use it as an out-and-back if you want. There are two short, steep hills near the beginning, but after that the trail is smooth and fun, and a great place to practice singletrack riding. Ride it and connect with Western Zippity. Continue on Western Zippity if you want; you’ll go through a cattle gate and cross a doubletrack road. At the intersection, instead of turning right, turn around and head back the way you came for a great out-and-back. If you turn right, push up the switchbacks and then turn down towards Joe’s Ridge. You can ride this, or head down to the campground.
What else is new?
In Grand Junction, the Edgewater Brewery is a great new restaurant to check out. It’s the sister restaurant to Kannah Creek Brewing Company and is located at 905 Struther’s Avenue. The easiest way to get there is to take 7th Street South until you dead-end at the Botanical Gardens. Turn left, and Edgewater will be down on your right. The onion rings are spectacular! The beer is tasty too 😉
There are several great new lunch spots in Grand Junction, too. If you’re downtown and hungry, check out Cafe Sol for fresh salads, paninis, and soups, or Roasted for great wraps, sandwiches, and coffees.
In Fruita, there’s a new sushi restaurant on Aspen Avenue. No Coast Sushi has been in Grand Junction for a few years and recently expanded to Fruita. They offer a great variety of menu items, and the reviews I’ve heard have all been positive. It’ll definitely be a departure from pizza or burgers.
Finally, if the weather isn’t cooperating with you and you need something else to do besides bike in the rain (and we all know you don’t want to bike in the rain on trails made of clay), I suggest heading to Palisade to sample some wines or great drinks at the distillery!
If you’re coming to Fruita next weekend, I hope you have fun at the festival!