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Length: 62 Trails, 53 Miles of Trail
Trailhead(s): Lunch Loop Trailhead (Main Trailhead)
Elevation Gain: Varies Based on Chosen Route
Trail Type: Trail System
Difficulty: Beginner to Advanced
Permit Required? No
Considerations: Desert Riding
Season: Year Round
The Lunch Loop mountain biking trail system in Grand Junction, Colorado is excellent riding in an area known for excellent riding. With 62 trails and 53 miles of trail, there is something for mountain bikers at every level.
What Makes Lunch Loop such a Blast to Ride?
For starters, Lunch Loop offers that rocky goodness that makes western Colorado a legendary mountain biking location. Add to that extensive expertly built trails offering enough variety for a couple or group with varying skill levels to all enjoy a day of riding. And to just lump more joy on top, it is only minutes away from Fruita’s famous Kokopelli and 18 Road trail systems, as well as a mere 1 hour, 45 minutes from Moab (an easy and beautiful drive that most rabid mountain bikers don’t hesitate to take). Trust me, Lunch Loop is a ride system you do not want to miss!
Riding the Lunch Loop Mountain Biking Trails System
The Lunch Loop mountain biking trails system’s 53 miles of trail includes 8 beginner trails, 27 intermediate, 18 advanced, and 3 double black diamond. The trails are a bit of a maze, but are well signed and easy to navigate, particularly if using an app such as Trailforks. Just realize, you may be checking your app regularly at junctions to determine your next move, which is not uncommon the first time riding in a large, new system. The upside of this is that due to the intertwined nature of the trails, many loops and routes are possible within the system.
One thing to be aware of when heading out to Lunch Loop, these trails own their rating. Even compared to Kokopelli, 18 Road, and many of the Moab trails, they are technical with true intermediates and blacks. The difficulty of the system, however, should not intimidate beginners and offers an excellent opportunity for all riders to advance their skills while having a ton of fun.
Lunch Loop’s 8 beginner trails all cluster around the main trailhead. From the trailhead, beginners can also pedal over to Redlands, which is another system sitting on private lands that allows public mountain biking and has an additional 14 beginner trails.
Lunch Loop’s beginner trails, as with many in the area, are somewhat rocky and a little more technical than riders will find in other areas of the country. That said, they are fun and offer beginners the opportunity to up their game without braving the intermediate trails.
Lunch Loop’s intermediate trails are just plain fun. The 27 trails vary in difficulty from low to high intermediate. Most of the intermediate trails in the lower elevation parts of the system are less technical than those at the higher elevations in the system. The lower level trails also offer great flow compared to some of the more technical trails.
Among the intermediate trails, a couple stand out. I think my favorite is the Miramonte Rim Loop, which runs high on a mesa and offers excellent views as well as fun, technical ridge riding. Other fun intermediate trails include High Noon, Coyote Ridge, Clunker, and Holy Bucket. In fact, Coyote Ridge, Holy Bucket, and Clunker can be combined to make a large loop with a mix of flow and tech.
Lunch Loop’s 18 advanced trails warrant their rating. In general, my experience is that many trails rated as advanced (also called expert or black) are really high intermediate with some advanced features. This is not, for the most part, the case at Lunch Loop, so intermediate riders should use their judgement before riding advanced trails here. For expert riders, however, these trails are a blast with a lot of tech, jumps, drops, and some decent exposure.
Of particular note among the advanced trails are Holy Cross, Raven Ridge, and The Ribbon. Holy Cross is a very popular trail with some good tech and drops. Raven Ridge, which can be combined with Holy Cross as part of a loop, is not as technical as some of the other advanced trails, but is a fun, fast trail with boulders and ledges. The Ribbon, often ridden as a shuttle, is 2.9 miles of fast fun with a ton of rock and awesome views. If you’re looking for some fun tech, without getting into double blacks, these 3 trails are great options.
For those looking for some pucker factor, the double black diamonds are the way to go. In fact, one of the trails is named “Pucker Up”. This .3 mile trail is short, but packs in some serious challenges for most riders and will leave your adrenalin filled body craving more. To get more, head to Free Lunch for an additional mile of jumps and drops. Just remember, before giving these a go, there are consequences for poor judgment, so make sure your skills are up to the task and don’t be shy about walking any features you think are above your pay grade.
Concluding Thoughts about Lunch Loop
Lunch Loop is an awesome mountain biking trail system. It has something for every level of rider and more than enough trail to fill a day. In fact, unless you are part of the superhuman crowd, it will take a couple of days to ride the whole system. The good news is that it is minutes from one of my all time favorite mountain biking towns, Fruita. I highly recommend spending some time in Fruita and hitting not only Lunch Loop in Grand Junction, but Kokopelli and 18 Road. You’ll want to come back again and again!
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Lunch Loops Mountain Biking Trails Slideshow
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