For those yearning to break away from the arid, desert landscapes, Turkey Flats Trail offers a lush, forested loop with a touch of mountain charm. Located in Fruita, Colorado, this 10-mile route serves up moderate challenges and cooler temperatures, making it an ideal escape from the heat of the Grand Valley.
Coming from Fruita or Grand Junction, traverse through the Colorado National Monument and take the road to Glade Park. Reach an intersection where the Glade Park store stands on the corner. Head south on Road 16.50, passing a campground on the right at about 7 miles. The road forks at 8 miles; stick to the right, following the sign for Fruita Reservoirs. At the 10-mile mark, a picnic area appears on the left side of the road. Parking is available here.
Start the adventure by heading back up the road for 1 mile, and then take the Turkey Flats singletrack on the left. Ride through meadows before hitting an intersection around the 2-mile mark; continue on Turkey Flats. The trail eventually opens to Reservoir #1 Road. A right turn leads past a lake through a combination of doubletrack, singletrack, and forest roads. At 6.5 miles, divert onto an ORV trail. Around the 7.5-mile marker, opt for another right that descends back to the initial intersection. From here, backtrack or take the right to loop back to the parking lot.
Cyclists commend the trail for its idyllic aspen meadows and fast singletrack, although sandy portions may slow things down. Technical sections are generally manageable, but beginners may find them challenging. The insect population can be intense, especially during the summer, so bug spray is highly recommended.
To experience solitude, plan a mid-week ride. For a more extensive adventure, consider combining Turkey Flats with nearby trails like Hay Press, Ridge Trail, and Fruita Reservoir #1.
Turkey Flats offers a mix of classical mountain singletrack filled with technical climbs, root drops, and cool shade. For riders who've been exploring desert trails all summer, this loop acts as a refreshing change of scenery and pace. Although it poses some challenges, the overall experience is captivating enough to keep you coming back for more.