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Book Cliffs Mountain Biking Trail System

Basics
Location:
North of Grand Junction
Length:
73 miles (all trails combined)
Difficulty:
Beginner,
Intermediate,
Advanced
Aerobic Difficulty:
Easy to Difficult
Time To Allow:
Varies
Season:
April to October

Description

The Book Cliffs Trail system consists of five interconnecting trails (Chutes, Edge Loop, Frontside, Prime Rib/Joe's Ridge, and Zippity) on both single and double track. The bike trails can be accessed from either 18 Rd or 16 Rd just north of the town of Fruita. Some of the tracks are a fun, easy ride with minimal elevation changes of only 500 feet, with other trails being technically difficult and gaining as much as 2500' in altitude.

Details

Location:
North of Grand Junction
Length:
73 miles (all trails combined)
Difficulty:
Beginner
Intermediate
Advanced
Aerobic Difficulty:
Easy to Difficult
Time To Allow:
Varies
Elevation Change:
Trails range from 500'' to 2500'' of elevation change
Season:
April to October

Map + Directions

Basic Directions
Begin at carsonite post across the road from parking lot. Take a short descent to a cow pond at the junction of Prime Cut, Chutes and The Edge Loop trails. Stay left and follow the trail marked "Prime Cut". Heading north you'll ascend a small valley. Go right at the road, then left on the marked single track. At the junction marked "Chutes", go right, you will immediately ascend 3 steep hills. Follow the Chutes trail as it crosses 4 drainages, veering left at any junctions. You'll cross a double track at around 4 and 4.5 miles. When you reach the cow pond, stay left, do not cross the road. It's downhill from here. At the "Edge Loop" junction, go right and follow the marked single track back to the parking area.

Edge Loop

From the old gate go left (west). Remain on this road until you meet up with Coal Gulch Rd, turn right (northeast). When you come to the fork in the road, veer right, the climb gets a little tougher at this point. Stay on the main road along the ridge. Just pass the last gas well, stay left. At approximately mile 15.7, go right (west) onto the descending double track. In less than a mile, stop and enjoy the view (Hunters Canyon to the east). Around mile 17.8, take a right (north) onto the single track. Mile 19.0, go left (west) into the streambed (occasionally has water in it). Mile 19.7, go left (southwest), hike-a-bike out of the ravine, continue down the streambed. Mile 21.0, go right (northwest) out of the wash bottom, over the hill, then continue on in that wash bottom. Mile 23.1, go left (south) onto the road to mile 24.3 where you will go right (northwest) on the single track which will take you back to where you started, mile 28.

Frontside

Begin at carsonite post across the road from parking lot. Take a short descent to a cow pond at the junction of Prime Cut, Chutes and The Edge Loop trails. Stay left and follow single track into the drainage, heading toward the high cliffs. Stay in the drainage until you come to a road at another cow pond. Go right on this road. The trail gradually ascends to a junction at the base of the adobe hills, this is the junction of "Chutes", go LEFT. You will join up with a double track and cross 18 Rd at the old gate, go right, getting back on to the single track. You will gradually ascend Joe's Ridge, go STRAIGHT, you are now on The Frontside Trail. After dipping into a small drainage and doing a little climbing you'll want to go right at the double track road which turns to single track at the top. Stay on this trail until you meet up with Goal Gulch Rd (mile 6). Go right on Coal Gulch Rd for around 2.5 miles until you come to an old road that ascends back to the right, get on the old road and start climbing, road eventually turns into a trail. The ridge will eventually open up on your right (great view!). Looking back down at 18 Rd below, turn around and head on back the same way you came. Take caution on the descent!!!

Prime Cut - Joe's Ridge

Begin at carsonite post across the road from parking lot. Take a short descent to a cow pond at the junction of Prime Cut, Chutes and The Edge Loop trails. Stay left and follow single track into the drainage, heading toward the high cliffs. Stay in the drainage until you come to a road at another cow pond. Go right on this road. The trail gradually ascends to a junction at the base of the adobe hills, this is the junction of "Chutes", go LEFT. You will join up with a double track and cross 18 Rd at the old gate, go right getting back on to the single track. You will gradually ascend Joe's Ridge, go left at the junction (going straight will put you on Frontside Trail). A short ride up the ridge sets you up for a quick descent down Joe's Ridge. A fall on the descent can be particularly nasty, walk if you have any uncertainty at all! Go left on the road leading into a wash. Go right on the single track and this will take you back to the parking area.

Zippity

From the parking lot head west on the single track for about 0.7 of a mile where you'll turn right, heading north towards the Book Cliffs. After about another 0.7 of a mile, push your bike up a pretty steep hill. When you reach the double track go right. At mile 2.3 you will intersect a small section of Joe's Ridge. At mile 2.5 go left, climbing up the double track heading towards the Book Cliffs until you come to the Old Gate at 18 Rd. Cross the road to the double track and eventually veer left on to the single track. Continue east until reaching the junction for Prime Cut and Chutes. Turn right on to Prime Cut Trail (south). After crossing a dam, go left downhill on the single track. At the dry pond, go right (west) for a short trip to the parking area.


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