Round Trip Distance: 3.3 miles
Difficulty: Easy - Moderate
Elevation: 4694 - 5107 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Usage: Hiking - Biking
Time: 1 hrs. 15 mins.
Facilities: Vault toilet
Trailhead: Tabeguache Lunch Loop
Fee: none (donations appreciated)
Attractions: Easy access close in to town.
View Pet-e-Kes in a larger map
The Pet-e-Kes Trail is part of the Tabeguache Lunch Loop trail system located just off Monument Road in the Redlands area of Grand Junction. To give you an idea of how popular the trails are all you have to do is checkout the parking lot. A survey of license plates will often times show a spattering of locations from across the nation. While the Pet-e-Kes trail by itself is only about 2 miles in length it can be combined with the other trails in the Lunch Loop to provide as long an outing as you would like. The trail is named in honor of Pete Larson a public land steward.
The Lunch Loop trails are mostly maintained by the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association, COPMOBA. They are a group of mountain bike enthusiasts that build and maintain many trails in the Grand Junction area including the Kokopelli's, 18 Road, Grand Mesa and others. You can show your appreciation and support for the great work that they do by making a donation at the trailhead or by visiting their website at www.copmoba.org. They also provide the trail maps that are usually available at the trailhead.
The beginning of the Pet-e-Kes trail is over a half mile from the trailhead. The shortest way to get there is via the Tabeguache trail that leads south from the parking area.
The Tabeguache trail begins by crossing the wash that leads up to No Thoroughfare Canyon and then following a draw. There is a fork in the trail about 1/2 mile from the trailhead. The Tabeguache trail continues to the left while the right fork leads over to the Pet-e-Kes, Eagles, and Andy's Loop trails.
Less than a quarter mile up another draw is the beginning of the Pet-e-Kes trail. You will notice from the trail marker that travel on the Pet-e-Kes trail is restricted to hiking and mountain biking only.
'Really cool and lots of fun' is about the best description I can give of the trail. Most of it looks easy enough to handle on a bike. Since I'm on foot all I can say is that I really enjoy hiking among the washes of clay and sandstone of the Morrison formation. It's a good place to keep your eye out for fossils and dinosaur bones.
The Pet-e-Kes trail rises in elevation about 400 feet over its entire length. The climbing seemed pretty gradual and easy to manage. The upper section of the trail provides a pretty good view of the surrounding area.
There is a cut off that leads back over to the Tabeguache trail just over a mile from the trailhead. It will shorten the over all distance by almost half if you go that route.
The Pet-e-Kes trail ends at the upper end when it meets up with the High Noon trail. The High Noon trail stretches between the Eagle's and Tabeguache trails.
It is only a couple tenths of a mile from the Pet-e-Kes trail to the Tabeguache trail when taking the High Noon route. Heading north, or downhill, on the Tabeguache trail leads right back to the trailhead.
This section of the Tabeguache trail is an old 4-wheel drive road. Since most all of the riders stay in the same groove the old road has more of the feel of a single track.
After hiking some pretty long and hard trails in the Kannah Creek area and then hiking Pet-e-Kes it seemed that this trail deserved an 'Easy' rating. After thinking about the elevation gain and the overall distance I added the 'Moderate' level. I did this hike on a weekday after work. There is another post from a winter hike of the Pet-e-Kes trail that includes Raven Ridge and Miramonte. I got tired of looking at the snowy pictures and decided to hike it again and repost it. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.