Mountain Biking Western Colorado – When winter weather hits Colorado, it makes sense to expect snowy days and frigid temperatures for months. For many people, “ski season” is the best time of the year.
However, Grand Junction’s winter temperatures are often in the 50s, and in March the daffodils return to Jersey. So anyone who has experienced withdrawal symptoms will be relieved to know that wintertime offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, and even camping in the western Colorado desert.
Mountain Biking Western Colorado
Arrive in January, when Grand Junction averages less than 16 inches of snowfall per year, compared to Denver’s average of 56 inches or more, and you’ll find trails to explore and streets full of opportunity. deliver Summer-like fix.
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In winter and early spring it can be quite chilly near Grand Junction and Fruita, but you can still hike through the beautiful red rock landscape.
Without a doubt, some of the most spectacular hikes are in Colorado National Park ($25 per car), which stretches between Grand Junction and Fruita. There are nearly 50 kilometers of trails through the ethereal maze of natural sandstone masterpieces (with names like Couple’s Kiss, Balance Rock, and Coca-Cola Oven) that are some of America’s most overlooked geological treasures.
Located a short drive past the Fruita Entrance to the Colorado National Monument, this hiking trail is less than 2 miles long. 400 vertical feet until the hiker is rewarded with final mud that reveals the size of the house, red and white rocks that make them feel like rats in a big devil’s kitchen. .
The hybrid canyon also rises in elevation, steadily increasing in elevation, then climbing vertically up the canyon walls to 1,800 feet. There’s an optional half-mile spur at the top that’s worth the trip to see the first row of coke ovens, large conical columns reminiscent of 19th-century ovens used to turn coal into fuel.
Mountain Biking Palisade, Colorado: Shred The Western Slope Trails, Then Hit A Winery
Beginning on the Pollock Bench Trail near the monument, this hidden gem takes you to the remote Rattlesnake Canyon. In addition to having very rare rattlesnakes in winter, the canyon is home to the second largest concentration of natural rock arches in North America outside of Utah. Snow piled on top makes them even more mysterious. Most of this hike is loose and technical, but the entire out-and-back hike is over 1,300 feet of vertical gain.
Beginning at Grand Junction near the monument on the Wildwood Trail, the trail starts steeply, with the steepest part flanking the canyon for the first few miles. Here, the trail becomes more gentle and winds through pines and junipers to reach the heights inside the monument (the rocks here can be snowy and slippery in winter). The 160-million-year-old Glorious Liberty is the final stop before descending a 7-mile, 2,000-foot vertical path.
Located in Rabbit Valley, west of Fruita, there’s a good chance you’ll get a lesser-traveled route in the winter months. The lollipop-shaped trail winds through sand dunes and then steadily (less than 1,000 feet in total) reaches ridges, offering panoramic views of the Colorado River below and the mighty La Salle Mountains in the distance.
A wild horse grazes on August 4, 2017 in the Department of Lands Stew Little Beech Cliff Wilderness near Grand Junction, Colorado.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado Mountain Biking And Bike Park
The Little Beech Cliffs area north of Palisade is one of only three protected wild horse habitats in the United States. The rugged and rocky terrain covers over 36,000 hectares and is home to 100 wild mustangs. During the warmer months, horses seek higher elevations to graze, but descend into canyons. It’s narrow in winter, making it the best time to see it from the miles of trails that wind through the canyon.
You can cycle year-round near Grand Junction. Snow-covered trails can also be found in winter and early spring.
Biking admission to the Colorado National Monument is $15, and cyclists shouldn’t miss the chance to pedal the Rim Rock Drive, a 23-mile paved road that runs through it. The trail is mostly empty in winter (check for black ice in shady areas) and is about 2,000 feet long, with views of the hairpins, lookouts, and all the rocks in the canyon.
Mary, located near the Loma exit west of Fruit, and the other trails in this network are dirt and single track. In winter, you can own this popular route to yourself. Breathing all the way, he begins the trek to the edge of the canyon. It’s recommended to follow the trail through less exposed sections from here, but the sweeping views of the rocks below and the Colorado River are worth a few stops. There is 650 feet of climbing each way, and Maria can ride it as a back road ride or pair it with Wrangler’s to turn it into a lollipop loop.
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Located in the Southern Trail System (Tabeguache) and an easy drive from downtown Grand Junction (approximately 3 miles of paved road), this trail combines several short trails that are very rocky, technical and loose, but rewarding nonetheless. This loop is just over 1,300 feet and as you navigate rock gardens and open hills, you’ll feel like you’ve worked on it with every turn of the pedal.
Located on Route 18, this trail system is an attraction in its own right as you cycle up and down the smooth ground of most grandstands. Fun and smooth, each short grunt trip (just 640 feet) on this loop is rewarded with a fun descent. You can easily increase its length by adding sections of linked tracks.
As of Fall 2021, this popular BLM location has a paid reservation system, but also has a free site on a first-come, first-served basis. Winter camping is open 24/7, even when there are no crowds. It’s right in the middle of Highway 18, so many people come to it on spring and fall Wednesdays for weekend camping. If you go between mid-November and mid-March, you’ll have to agree. various options. However, do not forget your sleeping bag in sub-zero temperatures as the temperature drops at night.
Situated in the Colorado National Monument ($25 per car admission, $22 overnight camp), Saddlehorn’s A Loop is open year-round and offers a pristine setting on the Monument Plains with views of the Book Rocks in the distance. Reservations are not required from mid-October to mid-March, and the site has restrooms, picnic tables, and fire pits.
Colorado Mountain Biking Vacation
For your next vacation in the Colorado wine country, check into the Spoke and Vine Motel, a 2019 renovated 1950s hotel in Palisade. You can rent a bike to visit nearby wineries, and the husband-and-wife team that owns and manages the hotel can recommend places to visit while in town.
Even campers pretending it’s still summer will remember one day when the sun sets early and it’s time to retreat to your tent for warmth. Many local lodging options offer lower prices during the colder months and are well worth the money for warm beds, hot showers and more fun for a weekend getaway.
Located near Mesa College and the new Dos Rios Bike Park (a drag track designed to avoid pedaling), the Maverick Hotel is the newest addition to Grand Junction accommodations. Featuring stylish, modern rooms and bikes to tour the city, this independent hotel features a fantastic restaurant, Devil’s Kitchen, with spectacular views from the rooftop patio.
Located in Palisade in Orchard Mesa, about a mile out of town, this funky hotel has character in every corner. Breakfast is made on local peach wood and chicken comes from chickens in the garden.
Colorado’s 9 Best Mountain Biking Trails
One of the most unique of the area’s converted vineyards, Two Rivers offers daily tastings of the best grape juices on the Western Slope and panoramic views of Colorado National Park.
This 1950s streetcar hotel in Palisade may still look a bit patchy from the outside, but on the inside it has been completely refurbished and has a spacious and luxurious boutique feel.
One of the chain’s many options in downtown Grand Junction, Springhill is clean, comfortable, convenient and within walking distance of Main Street’s many restaurants, bars, shops and galleries.
The TacoParty in downtown Grand Junction was hosted by Bin 707 Chef Josh Nirnberg. A solid general store operation serving delicious and complex tacos.
Mountain Biking In Colorado’s Gunnison Valley
A must-visit is our Hot Tomato Fruita.
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