Round Trip Distance: 5 miles - Kokopelli Trailhead
Round Trip Distance: 3.6 miles - Rustlers Loop
Elevation: 4536-4690 feet
Cellphone: 3-4 bars
Usage: Hiking - Biking - Equestrian
Time: 1 hrs. 55 mins.
Facilities: Vault Toilet at Kokopelli Trailhead
Trailhead: Kokopelli or Rustlers Loop
View Rustlers Loop in a larger map
Rustlers Loop is part of the Kokopelli Trail system just south of Interstate 70 between Loma and Mack. The Kokopelli trails are some of the most popular trails with mountain bikers on the western slope of Colorado. You can park at the Kokopelli trailhead and hike over the hill to the beginning of Rustlers Loop or there is room for a few cars to park at the Rustlers Loop trailhead.
I began at the Kokopelli trailhead and walked along the road until I reached Rustlers Loop. The signs indicated to travel in a clockwise direction. The trail starts out going up a hill on a gravel road. At the top of the short hill the trail cuts sharply back along the top of the hill. From here the going was real easy as the trail meandered around the top of the hill getting closer and closer to the Colorado River.
Once the trail reached the bluffs above the river the scenery improved dramatically. At this point the trail was heading back to the west. The trail changed from gravel to red dirt with sections of slick-rock. Over the next mile or two I was passed by 5 or 6 people on bikes. Nice weather at last and people were making the most of it.
The trail started looping back away from the river passing through Junipers and an occasional wash. Except for a few rock shelfs along the way the trail remained pretty easy going.
The northern section of the trail passed along the base of the Entrada sandstone cliffs. The trail varied between long gradual hills and shallow washes with a few hair pen corners to navigate.
Several cars full of mountain bikers were unloading when I made it back to the Rustlers Loop trailhead. Most of the other riders had parked at the Kokopelli trailhead. It took me about 10 minutes to walk back over the hill to the parking lot. I was out just under 2 hours and had only drank 20 ounces of water. I plan on coming back some time and giving the trail a go on my bike. The Rustlers Loop is another great place in the valley to 'Take a hike'.