38° 34' 23.88" N 109° 32' 59.28" W

Destination: Mountain Biking Fruita & Moab

Aaron McHugh

My buddies and I have always wanted to ride the world-class singletrack of  Fruita, CO and Moab, UT. Between planning a wedding, gaps of unemployment and a stolen bike, it seemed this trip was never going to happen. Enough excuses. My great friends and riding bros, Zack and Anthony, decided to ditch work Friday through Monday, book an amazing AirBnB in downtown Fruita and head west.

Day 1 – Departing Colorado Springs to Fruita

Zack, Anthony, Myself and Cannoli (The Italian Greyhound)


We pressed through the 5 hour drive from Colorado Springs to Fruita, dropped bags and hit the first trail: Zippity Loop: 8.5 miles of quintessential Fruita.

18 Road Trails. PC: Zack Robinson

The 18 Road Trails holds 51 miles of classic Fruita singletrack. Located in the North Fruita Desert, the system is full of flowing singletrack, exposed ridge lines, fast descents and big vistas. Every mountain biker’s dream.

Day 2 – Ride #1: Palisade Rim Trail, Palisade, CO

Fully fueled by our AirBnB host’s home-roasted java, we headed east to Palisade, CO. Rumored by locals to possess a lesser known clone of the famous Moab classic Porcupine Rim, Palisade Rim trail.  The perfect Moab pre-game warmup packing more singletrack and fewer people per mile.

Overlooking Palisade, CO.

We heard there were exposed sections on this trail but were delighted by the amount of singletrack exposure the Palisade Rim trail delivered. After our satisfying lung burner, we headed to the Palisade Brewing Company for IPAs and eats.

Zack exposed.

Day 2 – Ride #2: Kokopelli Trail System

For our afternoon ride we aimed for the Kokopelli Trail system to tackle the popular Mary’s, Horsethief, Steve’s & Wranglers loop ride. The Kokopelli trail system overlooks the Colorado River and offers terrain for all riding abilities. Included is the intense technical Horsethief Bench drop-in, flowy and fast singletrack, slick rock features, fast desert berms and canyon rim exposure. Check out the video below of pro rider, Nate Hills making the technical Horsethief Bench drop-in look easy and then continue on Horsethief trail.

Overlooking the Colorado River.
The Usual Suspects Anthony and Zack, posing for their hero shot before climbing back home. 

Day 3 – Moab bound: The Whole Enchilada

Next stop, Moab, for the epic Porcupine Rim (PR) trail. PR is the lower segment of  The Whole Enchilada (TWE), one of the top rated rides in the world. TWE begins high in the La Sal Mountains, descending 8,000 ft to Moab’s desert floor. Snow in the La Sals limits access to The Whole Enchilada during summer and fall. Our Moab shuttle pushed as high as snowpack allowed and delivered us 6 miles from the top. Leaving us to descend Upper Porcupine Singletrack (UPS), Lower Porcupine Singletrack (LPS) and then Porcupine Rim back to Moab.

Anthony & I with the snowcapped La Sal Mountains in the background.
Anthony owning that classic Moab slickrock.
PR exposure.
Taking in the Colorado River.

Our total ride over-delivered on 23 miles of some of the toughest, most bone jarring riding I’ve experienced. Next time: I look forward to covering some other classics: Mag 7, Slickrock, Captain Ahab and of course, the unridden sections of The Whole Enchilada.

Day 4 – Exploring a hidden gem: hiking Hanging Lake

Monday was mostly a travel day complete with an adventure hangover. To criscendo our epic adventure, we stopped outside of Glenwood Springs to hike to the highly trafficked Hanging Lake.  Our reward for skipping out of work: we practically had the place to ourselves.

Hanging Lake, CO.

Stop delaying adventure

I felt refreshed from dedicating an entire trip to adventure. Waking up and having nothing to do but explore new trails with friends. No social obligations, social media fear of missing out, chores, etc. Fully disconnected from the outside world, but totally connected to ride.

My lessons learned:

  1. Take the trip that you’ve delayed.

  2. Call a few friends to sell your idea.

  3. Find someplace cheap to sleep.

  4. Do some research (or not).

  5. Come home with unforgettable memories.

This guest post was written by Kyle Spinuzzi, mountain biking adventurer. Kyle lives in Colorado Springs, CO and most days you’ll find him exploring a knobby tire trail along the Front Range. Want more details on his adventure? Follow him on Instagram.

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