Round Trip Distance: 4 miles
Difficulty: Easy - Moderate
Elevation: 4671 - 4900 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Usage: Hiking - Biking
Time: 1 hs. 30 mins.
Facilities: Vault toilet
Fee: none (donations appreciated)
Attractions: Wildflowers, close to town.
View Miramonte in a larger map
The Miramonte trail is part of the Tabeguache Lunch Loop Trail System located just off Monument Road in the Redlands area of Grand Junction. The trail itself is located about a mile east of the Tabeguache trailhead. I made use of about 6 different shorter trails getting to and from the Miramonte trail.
The Lunch Loop Trail System is located on BLM land and is managed in cooperation with the City of Grand Junction and the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association (COPMOBA). To show your support and appreciation for all the hard work put into building and maintaining these world class trails, and others in the area, you can make a donation at the trailhead or on the COPMOBA website.
There are several ways to get over to the Miramonte trail from the trailhead. For this trip I began by heading down the Tabeguache trail for about 100 feet and then taking a left at the marker for the Curt's Lane and Kid's Meal trails.
Curt's Lane crosses through the wash in the Kid's Meal section and then begins switchbacking its way up the hill east of the parking area. Most of the mountain bikes that I see are heading in the downhill direction on Curt's Lane. There are an awful lot of trail runners and hikers that enjoy these trails all year round and for most of them one direction is about the same as the other.
On top of the hill Curt's Lane skirts through and around the boulders along the rim of the cliff. Looking down there are some good views of parts of the other trails in the area. If you get your kicks from hiking, mountain biking or trail running then you might get the impression that you have arrived at the 'pearly gates' and found heaven. It is perfectly understandable to feel that way. The area around Grand Junction kinda does that to a person.
Curt's Lane is a little over a mile in length. As the trail approaches the Raven Ridge area there are several other intersecting trails. The first trail leads off to the right and will take you down Bentonite Hill. Next is the Raven Ridge trail and a little further along is a cutoff trail that leads from Ali-Ali Loop up to Raven Ridge.
I took the short cutoff that bypasses both ends of Ali-Ali Loop and continued on passed the junction of Miramonte and the Gunny Loop.
When you reach Miramonte the trail branches again. The trail to the right is the Miramonte Rim trail and it takes you around the east side of the mountain. For this hike I followed the trail to the left. It also follows the rim, and very close at times, but it goes around the left side of the mountain.
The Miramonte and the Miramonte Rim trails meet up again on the backside of the hill. Just before that conjunction is another trail, the Left Overs trail, that heads down the hill and provides an alternate route back up to Curt's Lane. I had never gone this way before and the trail looked pretty sweet so I took the left fork and headed down towards the wash.
The Miramonte trail follows the wash back up to the ridge where it started making a nice little loop. Instead of going that way I cut straight across the wash and stayed on the Left Overs trail. The trail made use of a couple of switchbacks to reach the rim on the opposite side of the little valley.
There is a 3-4 foot drop where the trail cuts through the upper ridge of rocks. The drop isn't anything that I could ride up or down but I know there are some that really get off on little trail treats like this. Of course, it's not an obstacle at all for a hike.
At the top of the hill the Left Overs trail follows a bench along the rim until it meets up with the middle of Curt's Lane. Left Overs is a pretty nice trail by itself and it added a good variation to the Miramonte hike.
I headed back down Curt's Lane and back to the trailhead. It took me 90 minutes for this 4 mile hike but I had spent some of that time moving some of the larger rocks that were cluttering up the trail off to the sides where they had fallen from. I guess doing a little trail maintenance is something where a hiker has the advantage.
You can put as many of the trails in the Lunch Loop System together as you like to make for just the right experience that you are looking for. I did this hike one afternoon when I got off work. Here is a link to another hike that I did in the winter that included Pet-e-Kes , Raven Ridge and maybe a few others. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.