Round Trip Distance: 4.9 miles
Elevation: 4561-4932 feet
Cellphone: 3-4 bars
Usage: Hiking - Biking - Equestrian - Dogs
Time: 3 hrs.
Facilities: Vault Toilet at Kokopelli Trailhead
Trailhead: Moore Fun Parking Area
View Wranglers Loop in a larger map
The Wranglers Loop trail is part of the Kokopelli Trails system just south of Interstate 70 between Loma and Mack. The Kokopelli Trails are some of the most popular mountain bike trails in western Colorado. To access the Horsethief Bench Loop trail you can park at the Kokopelli Trailhead and follow the road over the hill or you may be able to find a spot open at either the Moore Fun parking area or the Rustlers Loop trailhead. I parked at the Moore Fun area and began from there.
Wranglers Loop isn't a loop trail in and of itself so I figured to add in a section of Mary's Loop, which isn't a loop trail in and of itself either. I headed down the road toward the Rustlers Loop trail to the beginning of Mary's Loop. Mary's Loop starts out by gaining about 212 feet in the first 7 tenths mile. That elevation gain puts you on top of the Entrada sandstone cliffs above Rustlers Loop and heading west along a nice bench trail.
There are some great views of the Colorado River and the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness Area to the south. Across the river I could see Pollock Canyon, Rattlesnake Canyon and Bull Canyon. At the top of west Pollock Canyon I could see Window Rock Tower, a.k.a. South American Arch.
During the first part of the day it is common to see more runners and hikers than mountain bikers.
I continued following Mary's Loop as it traveled along the rim of the cliffs. At about 1.7 miles I passed the turn off to the Horsethief Bench Loop trail. Within another half mile or so I was passing the Mary's Loop Cutoff. I skipped the cutoff and continued to the start of the Wranglers Loop trail about another couple tenths of a mile.
At this point the trail cut back to the north gaining only slightly in elevation. The trail gains about 50 feet of elevation as it heads north until it cuts back to the east towards the trailhead. The first section heading north is a single track but as it heads eastward it becomes a double track on an old jeep trail.
The trail reaches its high point as it rounds a cliff of whitish sandstone. From here the trail begins its long descent back to its junction with the lower part of Mary's Loop. There is a jeep trail that you can take that will bring you out between Moore Fun and Mary's Loop. I noticed someone with a dog walking up that section.
Off in the distance are 2 coyotes that are spread out as they cross the valley. Judging from several rabbits that were spotted along the way the coyotes have good reason to be optimistic about finding a meal.
Wranglers Loop met back up with the lower section of Mary's Loop a couple tenths of a mile from where that trail begins. By this time the Rustlers Loop parking area was completely full but Moore Fun had room for several more cars. There were a lot of people in the area by now. I saw mostly bikers but also several other hikers and several people running the trails. It's nice to see winter depart and be able to hit the trails again. I only drank 20 ounces of water on the hike but I did eat an energy bar and a protein bar. If you want to try a different trail that is in the 5 mile range then all you have to do is head over to Kokopelli and 'Take a hike'.