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The Edge Loop

Difficult

Trail

29.1 mile 46.8 kilometer loop
35% Singletrack
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 3,132' 955 m
Descent: -3,132' -955 m
High: 7,298' 2,224 m
Low: 5,075' 1,547 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 28% (15°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Map Key

Trail shared by Leslie Kehmeier

An epic loop combining the best of Fruita singletrack and 360 degree views from the Book Cliffs.

Leslie Kehmeier

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Overview

Standing on top of the Book Cliffs, more than 2,000 vertical feet above the Grand Valley basin, one begins to realize why The Edge Loop in Fruita, Colorado, is indeed epic. East and south loom the mighty snow-capped Rockies. Canyons and arroyos dominated by red rocks unfold to the west. There is nothing to do but stand in awe.

Tight, slalom-like singletrack bookends The Edge Loop, guaranteeing ear-to-ear grins. The ride also features a 50-foot rappel down a slickrock waterfall (theres also an option to hike-a-bike around).

By the time you circle back to the trailhead, you'll remember what stoked you about mountain biking in the first place.

Need to Know

The Edge Loop comes with a whole lotta adventure, including a rappel.

Approximately two-thirds into the ride youll come to a slickrock waterfall in Lipan Canyon. The two-pitch rappel set up with bolts and anchors. There is an option to hike around this section.

Also keep in mind that the North Fruita desert can be very hot from late spring into late fall. Adequate water and food is essential. Much of the route is backcountry so plan to be self-sufficient.

It's a great idea to check in with Over the Edge Sports regarding conditions for the route before starting out. In spring, the trails in the 18 Road system may be dry while the upper reaches of the route could be buried under snow.

Description

The Edge starts by pedaling the length of Prime Cut towards the Book Cliffs. At the intersection with Chutes & Ladders, turn left on Frontside.

Pedal Frontside from east to west, first passing through the very upper end of 18 road and then continuing through intersections with Joe's Ridge, Zippity Do Da and Western Zippity.

Beyond Western Zippity theres another bit of Frontside singletrack. It climbs slightly at first before diving into a steep descent that shoots you across the bottom of the mesa. From there, theres one, kick-in-the-pants climb before rolling out to the road.

It may be hard to get psyched for the next part of the Edge, a 15 mile section of dirt. Fortunately youll be riding in a beautiful canyon that eventually takes you up to 360 degree views. The grade is mellow at first and then gradually gets steeper. Bear right at the junction in the road. From here the route is a grinding 1,000 foot climb with no rest. The effort is rewarded with big views across blue skies as you ascend.

The road levels out briefly, passes the Hunters Canyon Compressor Plant and then descends quickly to a three-way intersection. Stay straight here. Prepare for steep punchy climbs and steep descents on chundery surface through the next part of the route. This will take you out to the furthest extent of the Book Cliffs rim. You are literally going to the edge.

With the precipice in sight youll have two wicked, steep and loose descents to the intersection with the Edge singletrack. Take a break here to enjoy the views before tackling the next part of this epic.

The Edge Loop - Lipan Canyon Section starts with a fun, twisty descent through pinion and juniper into classic desert canyon. Its somewhat rocky in loose soil so its good to be ready and balanced on your bike. The descent exits into a sandy wash. There are clusters of rocks and dense vegetation corralling this part of the route. Be ready to duck, dive and wiggle your way through this part of the route.

Now for the crux of The Edge Loopto rappel or not?

The rappel section of the Edge Loop is obvious as the wash comes to the top of a small slot canyon. You'll have two options to descend here.

The rappel is a two pitch challenge. The first section is at the head of the slot, about 10-12 feet tall and tight. There are ropes at the top of each pitch anchored by a bolt and carabiner. Use at your own risk.

The non-rappel descent is found by following the track to the right along the slot rim. Theres a short slog up and then around to a hikeable descent down to the wash. This option is steep, kinda loose and rocky, but very hikeable.

The route then continues in the wash with steep walls on your left. There are fewer rock clusters to contend with and the route is more open.

Lipan Canyon ends at an intersection with the Edge Cutoff East. Go straight here, climbing and descending multiple mesas and washes. Left takes you through another sandy wash, eventually rejoining the Edge Loop.

At the intersection with 18 6/10 Road, turn left off the Edge Cutoff East and roll downhill to the next junction. Following the signs for Edge Loop, turn right. Continue straight through the next intersection and then bear left at the one after.

From here, you'll follow Edge Loop - Lower 18 Road Section and signs for Edge Loop and/or Vegetarian Loop all the way back to the main parking area and the start of the Epic route.

Biked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Dogs Allowed, Features, Electic Mountain Bikes Allowed, History & Background

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Check In

Check-Ins

May 4, 2020
Mary Hamilton
May 3, 2019
Sammy Rutherford
38mi
Oct 26, 2018
Jo Pa
29.1mi
May 17, 2018
Preston Dennis
Nov 25, 2017
Chris Bondurant
Oct 14, 2017
Jack Graber
Jun 3, 2017
Brian Thomas
Hard as shit. 3 liters of water was not near enough. Ran out with 7 miles to go and got severely dehydrated.
Apr 17, 2017
Pete Sunden
Diverted on Sarlaac, Cut off, Chutes, and Frontside 33mi

Trail Ratings

  2.8 from 44 votes

#764

Overall
  2.8 from 44 votes
5 Star
11%
4 Star
18%
3 Star
23%
2 Star
36%
1 Star
11%
Ride Rankings

#154

in Colorado

#764

Overall
284 Views Last Month
22,237 Since Jun 8, 2013
Difficult

0%
0%
19%
0%
70%
11%

Photos

A great overview of the 18 Rd. trails in Fruita.
Oct 9, 2013 near Fruita, CO
There are jumps everywhere on MoJoe.
Jan 17, 2017 near Fruita, CO
Descending to the rim overlook on the Book Cliffs.
Jun 29, 2013 near Fruita, CO
Heading back to the top after PBR. Two mile trek uphill every time, thinking of a shuttle-ride.
Apr 6, 2016 near Fruita, CO
Ascending Chutes and Ladders just after the intersection with Prime Cut.
Oct 20, 2018 near Fruita, CO
Stunning Views and Desert Colors
May 28, 2013 near Fruita, CO

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