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Horsethief Bench Loop

Consensus:    (details)
 4.5 from 27 votes
  Intermediate from 5 votes
Your Opinion:
Rating: -none- change
Rank: #2 in Fruita
#2 in Colorado
#3 Overall
Trail near
“A mostly intermediate scenic ride with a few very technical sections.”
Nick Wilder on Mar 20, 2013
Getting There     GPX File     Print
3.8 Miles 447’ Ascent 4,794’ High 4.4% Avg Grade
Singletrack Type -447’ Descent 4,504’ Low 9.4% Max Grade
3:00 average ride time for 3.8 miles. Details

From the junction with Mary's Loop, 99% of riders get off their bike and carry their bike 100 yards down to the bench. It's large drop after large drop, with ledges, boulders, and a few slots thrown in to keep things complicated. If you get a chance to watch someone ride down, cheer them on!

Once down on the bench, ride the loop clockwise. Around the first corner, you'll come to a slickrock-like drop onto a sandy floor. The drop is tacky and ridable by upper intermediate riders, but some will choose to walk.

The trail then meets the edge of the bench overlooking the river with several incredible viewpoints, a few small rock ledges, and then pokes in and out of small side canyons.

Once you turn in away from the bench edge, you'll come to many rock ledges including a four foot move that most people have to hike up. Past this side canyon, the trail becomes much easier, smoother, and faster.

You'll leave the rock behind and ride through grassy terrain on smooth dirt singletrack, along a huge rock wall. Finish with a gentle climb until you arrive the entrance hike.
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89° | 57°

91° | 62°

92° | 63°

91° | 63°

86° | 61°
Recent Conditions
Apr 2
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4.6 (7)
A spectacular off-road journey from Fruita to Moab.
near Fruita, CO
4.5 (37)
The big tour of the very best of Fruita.
near Fruita, CO
4.2 (26)
A moderate climb on smooth singletrack leads to swooping hills and big grins.
near Fruita, CO

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PHOTOS of Horsethief Bench Loop
 4.7 from 3 votes
Colorado River overlook (Fruita, CO)
 4.3 from 7 votes
Troy kills it on the technical section. (Fruita, CO)
 4.5 from 2 votes
There's a high barrier to entry, but once down on Horsethief Bench, ther... (Fruita, CO)
 4.3 from 4 votes
One of the few features on Horsethief Bench. It looks intimidating from... (Fruita, CO)
 4.2 from 5 votes
Just a sample of Horsethief's wonderful scenery (Fruita, CO)
 4.0 from 5 votes
Nick and Mike, two of the three founders of MTB Project, hard at "work"! (Fruita, CO)
 4.0 from 2 votes
One two-foot drop might not be that bad, but he's cleaning the 10th in a... (Fruita, CO)
 3.7 from 3 votes
Great singletrack on Horsethief Bench (Fruita, CO)
 3.7 from 3 votes
Clean after 3 tries in 2003. Been too chicken to do it again ever since. (Fruita, CO)
 3.7 from 3 votes
The scene at the entrance to Horsethief Bench. Once down on the bench, ... (Fruita, CO)
 3.5 from 4 votes
Miles and miles (Fruita, CO)
 3.3 from 3 votes
Smooth, mostly easy riding around Horsethief Bench (Fruita, CO)
 3.3 from 3 votes
Turning away from the river on Steve's Loop (Fruita, CO)
 3.3 from 4 votes
Quick break to look at the Colorado River (Loma, CO)
 3.3 from 4 votes
Riding the great singletrack on the Horsethief Loop (Fruita, CO)
 3.3 from 4 votes
Playin' on the rocks right before the big bend in the trail (Fruita, CO)
 3.3 from 4 votes
Mike coming around the bend. (Fruita, CO)
 3.0 from 3 votes
Down onto the bench, and the riding is nice and flowy. (Fruita, CO)
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