11 routes · Trail Running
The Edge Loop
A masochistic loop through the North Fruita Desert and the Book Cliffs.
Trail Running Extreme
- 45 km
- 1.2 km
- 1.2 km
- Low Point
- 1.5 km
- High Point
- 2.2 km
However you choose to craft this route, the governing concept behind the Edge Loop 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 breathtaking variety of 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 goes straight down a dry waterfall, and requires you to use a rope to slide your way down the sheer rock cliff face in the canyon.
The section of trail after the waterfall that descends the main wash is technical and challenging as it crisscrosses the rocky wash and 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!
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 runnable downhill reward. So while the Edge Loop may hold a place in Fruita lore, only the most masochistic of runners think that the Edge Loop sounds like a fun way to spend a day.