The Edge Loop - IMBA Epic

 21 votes
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Featured Ride

29.1 Miles 46.8 Kilometers



3,132' 955 m


-3,132' -955 m


7,298' 2,224 m


5,075' 1,547 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (15°)

All Clear

9 days agoUpdate

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

Leslie Kehmeier


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.


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.


Rate Featured Ride


3.1 from 21 votes

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Your Check-Ins


Apr 17, 2017
Pete Sunden
Diverted on Sarlaac, Cut off, Chutes, and Frontside 33mi
Apr 16, 2017
Mike McGovern
Aug 27, 2016
Marion Wohlrab
10h 00m
Apr 24, 2016
Eric Helgoth
Not for the weak! Not good for an early season ride! 30.6mi — 6h 45m
Apr 23, 2016
Tom Robson
30mi — 6h 30m
Apr 24, 2015
Cory Chance
Apr 11, 2015
Taylor MM
Did new trail that bypasses initial road climb. Very sandy soil, especially after the rappel. Exceptional views but overall I would not recommend. 33mi — 7h 11m
Apr 13, 2014
Matt Bilodeau
Take tons of water. Brutal climbs with some amazing views.

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Trail Ratings

  3.1 from 21 votes


  3.1 from 21 votes
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All Clear 9 days ago

Getting forecast...


45% singletrack!!!! This trail basically avoids every good trail in the area. Nov 19, 2015

Too much gravel road riding and not enough singletrack. (Sarlaac still under seasonal closure at time of ride.) It is what it is I guess! The waterfall was fairly easy to navigate, even solo, but takes some thinking as the lower rope section is almost too short. All rope could stand to be replaced....beware or bring your own! The wash on either side of the waterfall was miserable and only made worse with my bonk factor. The only reason to do this one is to say you have, which is unfortunate because this ride could be so much better with a few reroutes to get away from the gravel road and washes...probably not that simple though! That being said, once was enough and there's no reason to do it again. Regardless, thank you for the pain! Apr 26, 2016

For a trail designated as an IMBA Epic Ride, this trail is underwhelming but a fine enough adventure nonetheless. Many complain about the long dirt road section, but for me that was the fun part. The views were nice. The single track section was an eroded motor bike trail/gouge of loose rocks, followed by a flat dry sandy wash, then mellow flat prairie singletrack. Better bet: do Sarlacc twice. Oct 17, 2016

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