I went to Fruita 2 years ago on the first annual Bikecation. At the time it was more of a stop on the way to Moab. This time, it was a destination. The great thing about Fruita is the variety of trails, and the quality of after-ride burritos.
18 Road (aka the Bookcliffs)
This is a section of fast, flowy, trails. Somehow the 18 Road has defied the normal rules of physics – for every foot you climb, it seems you get three times the amount in descent. The only problem with the Bookcliffs is that you can easily do every trail in about 3 hours. But, every trail is awesome enough that it doesn’t really matter. This year they added a new trail called PBR (Pumps, Berms and Rollers) which is even more fun than my previous favorite Kessel’s Run.
Highlight of my 18 Road day was rolling up to groups of men climbing the access, then flying past them with a cheerful hello.
Best Route (so far): Uppity Down, Chutes and Ladders, PBR
After riding the Kokopelli trail network, I have a hankering to make the full trek from Fruita to Moab. I remember riding these trails on the original bikecation, and being shocked (and admittedly a little scared) by the stone steps. Now, after two extra years of riding, the steps were pure entertainment and the views of the Colorado river were incredible.
Best Route (so far): Mary’s Loop to Horsethief, to Wranglers
I had never visited Rabbit Valley before, but looking for at least one new ride, I headed there with my sister. What we found was an awesome cliff-side ride that wove above a green Colorado River valley. Even those with slight vertigo should try this out. There is only a small section that is close to the edge, the rest is a comfortable 3-5 meters away from the side.
Best Route (so far): #2 to Western Rim
I am a Junction junkie. I spent 4.5 hours riding the Tabeguache trails with a huge grin on my face. These trails are fun, technical and well marked. Definitely the highlight of my Fruita riding. For the first 2.5 hours I rode solo, retrying the trails from 2 years earlier and being thrilled at how much more I could get through. For the last 2 hours I rode with my sister, a new mountain biker, on a long fun downhill.
Best Route (so far): Pet-e-kes to Holy Cross to Ali to Kurt’s
Now I’m back in Whitehorse, riding on a soft bed of snow and wishing for some red rock and hot desert sun. At least I still have burritos.