The first time I rode at Fruita was on my way to Moab, UT in 2004 with two truckloads of riders from the Colorado Springs area and I wondered why we just did not stay in Fruita and continue to ride on awesome single track and save ourselves another 2 hours of driving (although riding Slick Rock and Porcupine Rim was worth the drive). The next year we did exactly that…we opted for a shorter road trip and more riding by selecting the Fruita Fat Tire Festival as our destination and have been coming to Fruita the end of every April ever since. While some of the original crew has moved to Florida and Virginia [soon to Germany] we still manage to juggle schedules to come together for a great weekend of riding and epic adventures. 2010 Annual New Belgium Brewing Fruita Fat Tire Festival>>
Fruita has two main riding areas fairly close to town. The first area is west of the town of Fruita and provides access to the Kokopelli Trails network. To access these trails from Fruita continue west on I-70 and take the Loma exit #15 turn left onto the dirt road prior to the truck weight station the parking area is 3/10th of mile down the gravel road. The Kokopelli Trails are home to Mary’s Loop, Lion’s Loop, Troy Built, Horse Thief Bench and Steve’s Loop as well as the 140 miles of the Kokopelli Trail which continues to Moab, UT.
The other riding area close to Fruita is the Book Cliffs Trail system. Access to the Books Cliffs Trail system is from the 18 Road trail head: From Grand Junction drive west on I-70 to Fruita Exit (#19). From the off ramp travel .1 mile then go right to the roundabout. Continue straight through the roundabout, travel 2 blocks and turn left on Maple Street. Travel 4 miles north on Maple St. (17 1/2 Rd). Turn right at N. 3/10 Rd, .5 mile to 18 Rd. Go north on 18 Rd for 7.5 miles to a parking area on the left.
The Book Cliffs trail system provides a variety of trails from fairly easy rides such as Prime Cut, Joe’s Ridge and Kessel’s Run to several hour epic rides such as the edge loop with several thousand feet of climbing. Unlike other popular mountain bike single track locations, the Book Cliffs are controlled by BLM and only permit mountain biking vice motocross bikes which quickly degrade the trail.
The Fruita Fat Tire Festival. The Annual New Belgium Brewing Fruita Fat Tire Festival is an excuse to gather a bunch of folks that love riding single track, local bands and beer…who doesn’t love that combination? Registration typically opens on the Thursday of the event weekend followed by a VIP party [register for $25 and you can go] that night at a local bed and breakfast. Friday night the all-women rock band Riveter has performed on the lawn the last couple years and is rumored to be coming back next year. Saturday has the clunker crit and another band at night.
Mary's Loop above...on our way to Horse Thief
More 2009 Fruita Mountain Bike pictures from Friar Tuck>>
Fruita Mountain Bike Video from Friar Tuck: Team Stache rides Fruita Fat Tire Festival 2007
Why Fruita Rocks. Beyond the obvious excellent mountain biking and amazing desert vistas is the town of Fruita itself which has three key ingredients: a couple excellent bike shop, coffee shop and a brewery as well as a laid back atmosphere. Fruita is a small comfortable town with an inviting main street [Aspen avenue] and several places to grab some chow as well as some tasty refreshments. In the morning pick up a coffee at Over the Edge Sports bike shop and see if any of the group rides are of interest or read the paper at one of the benches along Main Street. Go hammer at Book Cliffs or Mary’s Loop and then have Mexican food or pizza for lunch, take a power nap and then hammer another classic trail. Shower and visit the Bone Yard Brewery for great brews and live music.
If you just want to put your head down and hammer for approximately 1300 feet of climbing visit the Colorado Monument. Start in the town of Fruita and bike to the Colorado National Monument one of most beautiful sights in America.
Trail Running. If trail running is also a passion, Fruita has excellent close-in trails at Horsethief Canyon State Wildlife Area. Multiple trails with excellent views in the 2,080 acres of land afford endless routes and variety of rewarding running. Additionally, Fruita hosts the Desert R.A.T.S. Spring Desert Ultra Trail Running Festival the week before the Fruita Fat Tire Festival Come a week before the Fruita Fat Tire Festival.
Directions to Fruita, CO. Take I-70, to Colorado exit 19. Turn North 1/4 mile to Aspen Ave. Turn east 1/2 mile, just past Over the Edge Sports, to Civic Center Park.
15th Annual New Belgium Brewing Fruita Fat Tire Festival is 29 April to 2 May 2010.