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The Kokopelli Loops have long been popular with mountain bikers, with most of the trails having been built by mountain bikers, for mountain bikers.
But as the popularity of trail running continues to increase, runners have begun flocking to these gorgeous singletrack trails—especially in the springtime, when the Rocky Mountains are still buried in snow.
Trail running races and festivals, such as the Desert Rats, have helped increase the trail running popularity of the Kokopelli Loops. While most people choose to park at the primary trailhead off the Loma exit, parking off the Mack exit provides access to an incredible set of lesser-traveled trails in the Kokopelli Loops Trail System.
Despite being lesser-traveled, one of the newest trails in the network—the Hawkeye Trail—forms the final descent of this loop and is now one of the highest-quality singletrack trails in the region. The route as it is mapped here begins by climbing up the Troy Built trail.
Make no bones about it: Troy Built is a strenuous climb up the mountainside.
For an easier ascent and a steeper descent, reverse this route by climbing Hawkeye and descending Troy Built.
Pick your poison: this loop is great in either direction. After reaching the Mack Ridge trail, the singletrack continues to climb before plateauing on top of the ridge.
Here, you’ll enjoy fantastic views of Colorado National Monument, the Colorado River, and the Book Cliffs.
The views from the top of the ridge are simply fantastic, and should be savored! After running along Mack Ridge, enraptured by the phenomenal views, you’ll reach the descent down Hawkeye.
Get ready to blaze down the ridge! The singletrack descent features a trail tread that’s not too steep, providing delightful swoop and flow as it descends.
The trail makes maximum use of the hillside, working back and forth and turning what would otherwise be a steep plummet into an extended, enjoyable descent.
For runners who don’t like running down extremely steep singletrack descents, Hawkeye will be a welcome relief. The Hawkeye Trail runs through a variety of intriguing rock features—through clefts in the rock, over boulders, and around photo-worthy formations.
The trail is interesting and entertaining, but never overly technical or difficult. The descent down Hawkeye is over all too quickly, and will definitely leave you wanting more!