Rustler's Loop

Consensus:    (details)
  3.9 from 39 votes
green  Easy from 10 votes
Rank: #3 in the Kokopelli Loops area
#39 in CO, #152 Overall
Views: 10,257. Last 30 days: 268
Condition Details | Update
Aug 28 Green - Dry
Featured Ride in the area near Loma,
“Possibly the best beginner loop you'll ever find with riding that's fun for all ability levels.”
Michael Ahnemann on Mar 20, 2013
Getting There     GPX File     Print
3.76.0 milesKilometers 387’118 m Ascent 4,701’1,433 m High 4% Avg Grade (2°)
90% Singletrack -425’-130 m Descent 4,539’1,384 m Low 26% Max Grade (14°)
6:16 average time for 4.3 miles. Details

There can't be a more perfect loop to take a beginning rider on than this one to get them completely hooked on mountain biking. A beginner may feel challenged on this ride, but never intimidated. The scenery is fantastic, and there's a little bit of everything to introduce new riders to the sport.

There are also a series of signs along the way to educate new riders about everything from cornering and climbing skills to trail etiquette, and the local terrain and ecology.
Need To Know
The main Kokopelli trailhead is just off the highway, and getting to the start of this ride from that trailhead requires a short climb then a short steep descent on a dirt road. True beginners might want to drive the dirt road and park at the dedicated Rustler's trailhead right at the start of the trail.

There are also many options for other more advanced rides after graduating from this one, including the Wranglers loop and Mary's Loop.

Ride in a clockwise direction only.
The ride starts out by climbing a doubletrack/dirt road. It's a fairly steep climb, but doesn't last very long before leveling out on mellow singletrack.

Once you hit the singletrack, just settle in and get ready to enjoy the ride. Obvious signs are placed along the trail with helpful hints for beginners - and they can be interesting for more advanced riders as well.

The singletrack winds gently up and down for a bit as it makes it's way right up to the edge of the rim, well above the Colorado river. The trail never gets close enough to the rim to scare riders, but it does give a sense of the massiveness of this area. There are also a few opportunities to stop and walk out to the edge of the rim and look down on the river.

The trail then heads back inland from the river, and riders will enjoy a slightly more challenging switchback descent over slickrock-type terrain. There's a sign warning riders to slow down before the first switchback. Pay attention to this sign - if you missed that first turn, you'd find yourself falling a long way over a cliff.

There are plenty of opportunities to play around on the rock and work on your skills before the trail smooths out again and becomes sweet flowy singletrack with a vertical red rock face as a backdrop.

The trail climbs a bit more up some rocky but mostly gentle sections before descending gently (but fast if you choose) back to the start.
View in 3D
4.5 (76)
The big tour of the very best of Fruita.
near Loma, CO
4.4 (16)
A spectacular off-road journey from Fruita to Moab.
near Loma, CO
4.3 (63)
A moderate climb on smooth singletrack leads to swooping hills and big grins.
near Fruita, CO

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PHOTOS of Rustler's Loop
  4.3 from 3 votes
Sunset over the Colorado on Rustler's Loop Trail. This photo is looking... (Loma, CO)
  4.3 from 3 votes
Great views and a great easy beginner trail. If you're new to the sport... (Loma, CO)
  3.7 from 3 votes
Rustler's Loop is tons of fun for beginners to experts wanting to rip it... (Loma, CO)
  3.7 from 3 votes
If you haven't ridden the Kokopelli Trail, this will give you a taste of... (Loma, CO)
  3.5 from 2 votes
Rustler's Loop is super fast, and super fun! (Loma, CO)
  3.0 from 3 votes
Getting warmed up at Rustler's. Best views of the weekend by far! (Loma, CO)
  3.0 from 2 votes
Signs along Rustler's loop teach riders about MTB skills, and also point... (Loma, CO)
  3.0 from 2 votes
Rolling along the singletrack section nearest the edge of the rim. (Loma, CO)
  3.0 from 2 votes
Nice smooth turn Craig, welcome back to biking after a 20 year break! (Loma, CO)
  3.0 from 2 votes
The sweet singletrack and incredible scenery combine to make Rustler's l... (Loma, CO)
  2.7 from 3 votes
SRB just taking it easy (Loma, CO)
  2.5 from 2 votes
Smooth singletrack along the first section of Ruster's is great for work... (Loma, CO)
  2.5 from 2 votes
The last third of Rustler's is softer and sandier. (Loma, CO)