Mountain Biking the Lunch Loop

Call them the Town Trails, Tabeguache, or the Lunch Loops and everyone knows what you mean: The trails out on Monument Road in Grand Junction where 70% of town (it seems) bikes, hikes, and trail runs most days of the week. Locals head here to “secret routes” during the spring to escape the crowds in Loma and Fruita. We also head here after work for quick evening rides when driving even 25 minutes to the Kokopelli trails is just too far.

Maintained and mostly built by or with the help of COPMOBA, the Lunch Loop trails are rough, tough, and not for the faint of heart. It took me a year of riding before I even attempted to ride at Lunch Loop. I’ve crashed there. I’ve seen others crash there, and one time I even saw a guy walking his bike back down the trail with the worst taco’d wheel I had ever seen. People have broken ankles here and dislocated shoulders here–sometimes in the same week!

Here are some of my favorite trails and moments from one of the most technical trail systems in the Grand Junction/Fruita area.

Pet-Y-Kes. One of the most popular ways to go “up” from the main lot, Pet-Y-Kes can be pure torture or an exhilarating chance to test your technical prowess. After the first 1/3 of the trail it mellows slightly and there are multiple opportunities for do-overs.

Coyote Ridge. If you want to head across the ridge from Pet-Y-Kes, High Noon, or Lemon Squeezer, you’ll find yourself on Coyote Ridge. A thru-way from one side of the trail system to the other, Coyote Ridge skirts the top of a ridge near cliffs overlooking the Bentonite Hills.

This is the “original” trail leading down into Miramonte Canyon from Miramonte Rim. Sketchy in places and infrequently used, Miramonte Canyon is often filled with wildflowers, but few people, in the Spring.

Holy Cross. Not long after I performed an excellent endo, “A” rode this tough section of the trail with ease. Holy Cross is one of the most technical trails at Lunch Loop and it’s meant to be that way. Whatever you do, do NOT attempt to find or create a ride-around here!

Ali-Ali Loop. Not to be confused with Alley Ali that goes the opposite way, towards Kurt’s Lane, Ali-Ali is a little piece of trail that wraps itself in a U-shape and overlooks the Holy Cross trail. It can be ridden in either direction and we often use it just to tack on an extra bit of singletrack to the ride.

The main Tabeguache Trail. There’s nothing wrong with opting to take the main trail up instead of Pet-Y-Kes. These days we often take the main trail half-way up and then drop onto Pet-Y-Kes at its first intersection. Though this is more of a jeep road, it has some tough climbs between the start and the turn off to Holy Cross. If you continue up you’ll face the dreaded Widowmaker hill. I think the name says it all.

And finally there are awesome views like this one to be had from all over Lunch Loop. If you’ve been here and ridden at Fruita and Loma, head into town for a taste of something different.

The Lunch Loop trails are an awesome set of technical singletrack trails that are continually growing. The Mesa Land trust, City of Grand Junction, and COPMOBA’s joint efforts to extend the trails to a nearby section called The Three Sistershave included old-fashioned fundraisers and matching donations from large companies around town. Adding more non-motorized trails will not only provide more enjoyment but also more publicity for our town and our trails. It’s a win-win!

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