The Edge Loop

Fruita

A masochistic loop ride that was removed from IMBA's list of Epics.

Mountain Biking Extreme

Distance
45 km
Ascent
1.2 km
Descent
1.2 km
Low Point
1.5 km
High Point
2.2 km
Gradient
10˚
VIEW ON MAP
The Edge Loop Map

Description

The Edge Loop spent many years on the IMBA Epics list but was eventually removed due to having too many miles of dirt road in its 28-mile loop. However, with the recent addition of the Sarlacc Trail, it’s possible to add more singletrack to the loop during certain times of the year.

However you choose to craft this route, the governing concept behind the ride is a massive loop route that runs from the 18 Road Trailhead up to the top of the towering Book Cliffs, and then back down to the trailhead. Along the way, this brutal loop traverses a wide variety of breathtaking desert terrain.

The loop begins by climbing the classic Prime Cut trail and then traversing Frontside all the way along the base of the Book Cliffs. After some steep ups-and-downs on Frontside, you’ll join a dirt road for the bulk of the climb to the loop’s high point on top of the Book Cliffs.

The descent from the top of the Book Cliffs is the stuff of legends! One section of the descent drops straight down a dry waterfall and requires you to shoulder your bike and use a rope to slide down the sheer rock face in the canyon. There is a ride around option, but according to some reports, the alt option isn’t that much easier.

The section of trail after the waterfall crisscrosses a technical, rocky wash. Despite mostly descending, it punches up several steep climbs. Rated as a double black diamond on many maps, this trail is hands-down the most difficult section of singletrack in the 18 Road Trail System! Some people even claim that this section is “unrideable,” so proceed with caution!

After braving the gnar, you’ll be rewarded with a very brief, smooth descent down either Down Uppity or Vegetarian to return to the trailhead. Unfortunately, that means that despite all the work you put in to negotiate the 4,000 feet of climbing on this loop, there’s almost nothing in the way of shreddable downhill reward. So while the Edge Loop may hold a place in mountain bike lore, only the most masochistic of riders think that the Edge Loop sounds like a fun way to spend a day.

Source: Singletracks.com

Difficulty

Extreme

Very steep, difficult, narrow singletrack with widely variable and unpredictable trail conditions. Unavoidable obstacles could be 15in/38cm tall or greater, and unavoidable obstacles with serious consequences are likely to be present. Obstacles could include big rocks, difficult root sections, drops, jumps, sharp switchbacks, and more. Ideal for expert-level riders.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

April, May, June, July, August, September, October

Features

  • Technical
  • Picturesque
  • Singletrack
  • Road sections
  • Drops
  • Rock Rolls
  • Rock Slabs
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area