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Rustler's

Easy/Intermediate
 4.5 (167) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Possibly the best beginner loop you'll ever find with riding that's fun for all ability levels.


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Map Key

3.9

Miles

6.2

KM

90%

Singletrack

4,691' 1,430 m

High

4,547' 1,386 m

Low

281' 86 m

Up

325' 99 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

12%

Max Grade (7°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Not Allowed

Overview

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 Wrangler loop and Mary's Loop.

Ride in a clockwise direction only.

Description

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Michael Ahnemann with improvements by Kristen Arendt and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 167 votes

#90

Overall
  4.5 from 167 votes
5 Star
60%
4 Star
28%
3 Star
10%
2 Star
2%
1 Star
1%
Recommended Route Rankings

#28

in Colorado

#90

Overall
553 Views Last Month
35,015 Since Mar 20, 2013
Easy/Intermediate

23%
14%
63%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

Sunset over the Colorado on Rustler's Loop Trail.  This photo is looking toward the start of Rattlesnake Canyon.
Aug 15, 2016 near Loma, CO
New views around every corner on Rustler's Loop
Nov 6, 2018 near Loma, CO
You can find some fun tech sections even on Rustler's, you just need to look.
Sep 6, 2016 near Loma, CO
Great views and a great easy beginner trail.  If you're new to the sport, this is the ride to start with!
Apr 2, 2013 near Loma, CO
Great views and flowy singletrack make Rustler's a great intro to the Kokopelli trails.
Sep 6, 2016 near Loma, CO
Rustler's Loop is a beautiful trail rich in wildflowers and views. Thankfully, it never gets too close to the edge.
Feb 25, 2017 near Loma, CO

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 7 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

May 31, 2021
Connor McLeish
May 31, 2021
D McLeish
May 14, 2021
Hannah Schmidt
May 13, 2021
Richard Schmiedeke
Fun trail with some blue/ black places. Poorly marked at some intersections.
May 9, 2021
Derek Grzelewski
May 8, 2021
Mike Prouty
4.2mi — 0h 56m
May 3, 2021
Atsuko Ohtake
Apr 29, 2021
Paige Crofton