Rustler's Loop

 43 votes
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Featured Ride

3.7 Miles 6.0 Kilometers



387' 118 m


-425' -130 m


4,701' 1,433 m


4,539' 1,384 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (14°)

Bad / Closed

16 days agoUpdate

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

Mike Ahnemann


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.


Rate Featured Ride


3.9 from 43 votes

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Your Check-Ins


Nov 30, 2016
Bradley Kraushaar
Nov 24, 2016
Ry Zy
Oct 20, 2016
Audie Rubin
Rode with Randy and Jim
Oct 12, 2016
Michael Ratzloff
Fun trail. Great ride. 3.6mi — 0h 52m
Oct 8, 2016
Lu Chin
Sep 28, 2016
Ken Hunt
Great trail and views of the CO river. Trail has great signage for beginners. Trail starting to show wear. One of the best for new riders.
Sep 25, 2016
Noah Rabinowitz
Sep 22, 2016
Chris Sarot
Fun loop in 40 mph gusts and rain!

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Trail Ratings

  3.9 from 43 votes


  3.9 from 43 votes
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in Colorado


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11,887 Since Mar 20, 2013
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Bad / Closed 16 days ago
Muddy, Snowy, Icy - If you are going to ride it, get out before the temp is above freezing!
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Getting forecast...

This is a great trail and usually the first one I bring Fruita newbies to (new to Fruita, rather than new riders). It has a lil' bit of everything with climbing, swoopy turns, ledges, loose rocks, etc...I specifically like the step-up ledges that progressively get bigger. If you've never ridden in an area with them, the step-ups look impossible to ride. However, one ride around Rustler and you may start believing anything is possible. It doesn't hurt that it finishes with some fast flow trail which makes you forget about all the work you out in. Now you're ready for Mary's and Horsethief Bench!! Mar 18, 2015

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