Overlook Trail

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 12.5 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 4678 - 5066 feet
Cellphone: 0-5 bars
Time: 2 hrs. 45 mins.
Trailhead: Kokopelli Trail
Fee: none
Attractions: Scenic overlooks




The Overlook Trail is located just west of the Colorado/Utah state line in the BLM Utah Rims area west of Grand Junction, Colorado. The trails in the Utah Rims group compliment those in the Rabbit Valley Area on the Colorado side of the border. The trails on both sides of the border are often ridden in conjunction with each other. The Kokopelli Trail, that runs between Loma, Colorado and Moab, Utah, travels through the heart of Rabbit Valley and the Utah Rims and provides a handy connecting route between many of the trails.


A loop can be made by combining a portion of the Kokopelli Trail with the Overlook Trail. To get to the spot where this post begins take Exit 227 on Interstate 70 and follow the paved road south for 3.5 miles. At that point the Kokopelli Trail makes a junction with the paved road. Turn left and continue past the kiosk in this picture and drive 0.9 miles where another road departs on the right. That is the point where the loop begins for this post. A passenger car can probably do okay on the dirt road when it is in optimum conditions but it would be better to park near the kiosk and add an extra 1.8 miles to the round trip distance.


Another option would be to follow the road to the right and park where the Overlook Trail, Arch Loop, Westwater Mesa Loop and the Western Rim Cutoff trail all come together. There are a few primitive camping spots in that direction.


Parts of the Kokopelli Trail are pretty rocky but it is easy enough to pick out a path to ride.


A good part of the trail is hard packed dirt and easy to make good time on. At 1.3 miles there is a connecting trail that departs on the right that leads to the Overlook Trail. Turning here would shorten the loop by about 6-7 miles. We have taken this route in the past when we were short on time.


At 4.1 miles the Kokopelli Trail turns to the east as a road coming up from the gas plant near the Interstate intersects on the left.


In less than another quarter mile the Kokopelli Trail drops off the hill. Stay to the right at that point and continue a short distance to another fork where the right branch leads over to the Bitter Creek Campground and the Overlook Trail follows the rim to the left.


From this point on the trail is mostly a single track that is accessible only by hikers, horses, dirt bikes and mountain bikes.


The trail around the rim loops until it passes through the Bitter Creek Campground. There are several tables and fire pits as well as an outdoor privy.


The Overlook Trail is an easy ride with only one or two obstacles to deal with. The Colorado River can be spotted off in the distance winding its way through Ruby Canyon to the nearby Westwater Landing.


Near 8.5 miles a short spur trail makes a loop over to a nearby overlook. The main trail follows a double track to the right.


At 9.5 miles the short connector from the Kokopelli Trail that we initially passed at 1.3 miles meets the Overlook Trail.


The next junction, around the 11 mile point, is a four-way intersection where the Overlook Trail ends. A cutoff trail heads down the hill where after about 2 miles it meets the Western Rim. The Arch Loop and Westwater Mesa Loop also begin at this spot.


It is an easy ride along the road to get back to where we began on the Kokopelli Trail. The Overlook Trail is a good workout. There is plenty of great scenery to enjoy along the way. The trail itself isn't all that technical but it sure is a lot of fun to ride. The campground and other primitive campsites make it easy and cheap for anyone that would like to spend a couple of days in the area riding all the trails. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is grab your bike or 'Take a hike'.