Perched high up in the Book Cliffs, the Edge Loop offers a medley of challenges that makes it one of the most storied mountain biking trails in the country. This IMBA epic ride flaunts everything from technical climbs to exhilarating downhills. Straddling 32 miles of diverse terrain, the loop packs in something for everyone, but not without demanding a good share of skill and stamina.
Drive west on I-70 from Grand Junction to Fruita Exit #19. Travel north briefly, veer right towards the roundabout, and proceed straight through. Make a left on Maple Street and drive 4 miles north. Turn right at N. 3/10 Rd, and proceed for 0.5 miles to 18 Rd. Drive 7.5 miles further north to park at the upper parking lot.
The loop can be traversed in multiple ways, but most riders recommend going clockwise. Starting from the upper parking lot, the journey kicks off down Kessel Run leading to Western Zippety and onto the Frontside Trail. A typical Book Cliffs intro, it culminates in a steep climb up Coal Gulch Road. Navigating spur roads along the ridge top, the trail finally turns to double track, offering a short breather.As you approach the 2100 ft descent, brace for dramatic views of the Grand Valley. The terrain suddenly shifts into steep downhills, leading to a wash. Navigate this complex section and eventually reach a waterfall that requires a daring portage.Points to Note:
Cyclists hold differing opinions about the Edge Loop. While some laud its exhilarating variety, others point out long climbs with scanty shade and stretches of loose gravel. Regardless of these criticisms, the consensus leans toward its epic scale and the back-country adventure it offers.
The Edge Loop isn't your standard, buttery smooth single track. It is a mountain biker's rite of passage, demanding as much from your legs as from your bike's gears. Despite its long climbs and loose gravel sections, the breathtaking views and sheer diversity make it a must-try for any serious rider.