Rustler’s Loop, Fruita Colorado

Fruita, Colorado may not be well known in most circles, but to mountain bikers it’s a veritable Mecca. I’m slightly ashamed to admit that I have very little experience mountain biking, being a Mountain Mom after all. Lucky for you readers, that shame led to me try it out on my recent trip to mountain bike paradise.

The tots and I were in Fruita to visit an old friend, author Renee Collins. Her debut novel, Relic, was inspired by the local landscape – juniper bushes, desolate red rock and dry Colorado washes.

Renee took me on what she described as a beginner’s mountain biking trail. I would describe Rustler’s Loop as an expert route compared to the flat, paved, traffic free bike path I am used to riding. Rattling along rocky ruts and puffing up steep inclines, was difficult but surprisingly fun.

Rustler’s Loop started out with an intimidating incline, that I only rode for about twenty feet. The rest of the way uphill was me pushing my borrowed bike and wondering what I had gotten myself into. After that rocky start, the single track trail meanders over the plauteau, offering beautiful views of the Colorado River and Colorado National Monument across the way.

Sign posts along the trail and Renee’s coaching helped give me confidence on the bumpy, rock strewn path. I was glad someone was there to remind me, “Don’t panic and squeeze your brakes too hard downhill” and “Keep your speed up in this area, you’ll need it in the uphill section that follows.” Once I got past the fear of destroying the borrowed bike on the rocky road, I became more comfortable with pedaling and steering and even hit this amazing section of road!

The whole 3.5 mile trail only took about an hour, and I had so much fun I’m ready to do it again. It was a blast!

For directions to the trailhead click here.

Rustlers Loop
Length: 3.5 miles
Time: about 1 hour
Elevation Change: about 300 feet
Tips: Signs along the trail help beginners like me know what’s coming next.

Author: Mountain Mom

Hi! I'm Mountain Mom. I live with my husband and three young kids in the mountains near Sundance, Utah. When we're not hiking, biking, skiing and camping, I spend my time doing Mom stuff and reading. Summer of 2016 we traveled over 7,000 miles along the US National Park to Park Highway.

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