Western Rim

Fruita

Gorgeous views off a bare rock rim.

Also in Colorado, United States of America

Mountain Biking Difficult

Distance
30 km
Ascent
585 m
Descent
585 m
Duration
2-3 hrs
Low Point
1.3 km
High Point
1.5 km
Gradient
Western Rim Map

If you want to escape the crowds at 18 Road, but you still want to be able to pedal your mountain bike from camp, Western Rim is the next most logical choice for mountain biking near Fruita.

Description

Several campgrounds in the Rabbit Valley area are conveniently located off of the I-70 Rabbit Valley exit. Whether you choose one of the developed campgrounds or opt for a dispersed camping site, camping in this area sets you up perfectly to ride directly to Western Rim without getting in your car.

To get to Western Rim proper requires a bit of a pedal from camp. Pick up the #2 trail, and follow that all the way out to the rim. The #2 rolls up and down short, steep hills. While mostly smooth, some technical sections do punctuate the singletrack with sharp rock ledges. Be prepared to grunt up the climbs despite the relative lack of elevation gain—all of the trails on this ride are shared with motos, and the braaped out trenching of singletrack is in full effect, especially on #2. Climbs that aren’t even worth considering on a motorcycle are much more challenging on a mountain bike.

Once onto the Western Rim proper, the real fun begins! The singletrack gets narrower and a bit more technical, although overall this trail is very accessible to an intermediate rider. The track twists along the canyon rim, undulating up and down with a few entertaining rock gardens and slickrock slabs.

Undoubtedly the primary reason to pedal this route is the views: the rim itself overlooks the Colorado River far below and provides expansive views of the river valley and the mountains in the distance. The rock rim itself is an impressive formation, exploding from the landscape below and forming a prominent bare rock ledge that runs for miles.

On the return trip, you have several choices. You can either return entirely on singletrack, making this an out-and-back. You can instead pedal up the dirt road from the end of the Western Rim trail and then pick up the #2 for the rest of the return (the lollipop loop mapped here). Or, for the speediest return, you can follow the dirt road the entire way back to camp.

However you slice it, the views on Western Rim are well-worth the effort!

Difficulty

Difficult

Mostly stable trail tread with some variability featuring larger and more unavoidable obstacles that may include, but not be limited to: bigger stones, roots, steps, and narrow curves. Compared to lower intermediate, technical difficulty is more advanced and grades of slopes are steeper. Ideal for upper intermediate 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

February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November

Features

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

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area