Kokopelli Trail - Loma Section

Rating: 
One-way Distance: 20.6 miles
Difficulty: Strenuous
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 4401- 4989 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 5 hrs.
Trailhead: Kokopelli - Loma
Fee: none
Attractions: Epic trail




The Loma Section of the Kokopelli Trail stretches for 20.6 miles between the trailhead near Loma, Colorado and Rabbit Valley which is near the Colorado-Utah border. The Loma Section is the first leg of the 140 mile long Kokopelli trail that begins near Loma, Colorado and ends in Moab, Utah. Out of the 20.6 miles of the Loma Section 12.4 of it is singletrack with the rest being dirt and gravel roads.


To get to the trailhead take Exit 15 off of Interstate 70 and cross to the south side. Turn left onto the unpaved Hawthorne Road (unlabeled?) and follow the Kokopelli signs. There is a large graveled parking area and toilet. Camping isn't permitted at the trailhead or anywhere nearby until you get to the Rabbit Valley area. The closest camping in the Fruita direction is at the State Park along the river or at the KOA.


From the parking area the trail follows Hawthorne Road a short distance and then branches off on the left where another road travels up and over the hill.


Continue over the hill and past another small parking area at the end of the Moore Fun trail and past a couple of pullouts to where the Mary's Loop trail begins and follow it as it branches off on the right.


The trail starts out with a lot of climbing but levels off and begins following a bench that travels along the edge of the cliffs.


The next couple of miles of the Mary's Loop section of the Kokopelli trail are pretty easy. There are a few moderately technical features that come up but for the most part it is smooth rolling.


Mary's Loop leaves the bench and turns northward. Shortly after that it passes an intersection with Steve's Loop. As the trail continues northward it passes another intersection with Steve's Loop and not to far after that, at the 5.7 mile point from the trailhead, the Kokopelli trail leaves Mary's Loop and begins sharing routes with the Lions Loop trail.


Lions Loop also starts out with a bit of climbing but soon begins leveling off.


As the Lions Loop continues it reaches a bouldery section where the trails features become more advanced in nature.


At the point the Lions Loop turns away from the river it immediately begins climbing. It also transitions from a singletrack to a jeep road.


At the 8.2 mile point from the trailhead the Mack Ridge trail leaves the road on the right and the Kokopelli trail branches off on the left and begins sharing routes with the Troy Built trail.


The Troy Built portion of the trail is mostly intermediate with a few advanced features to deal with. Off in the distance is a mountain that the Kokopelli trail will eventually climb about halfway up before it works its way around to the north side and gets easy.


At the 10.7 mile point the Kokopelli trail branches off of Troy Built and begins dropping down into Salt Wash. There is a big hairy drop after the first 50 feet of so where the trail goes over a rocky ledge.


After the big drop the trail works its way down the mountain and crosses Salt Wash on a bridge. From there it loops around and comes back and travels under the railroad tracks.


The trail is advanced in nature as it climbs up the mountain on the west side of Salt Wash. It starts with a lot of climbing making use of a few switchbacks. Later the trail drops over a ridge and drops down into the greasewood flats near the railroad tunnel.


After crossing the flats the trail begins another climb that has a very technical feature at the top that you have to portage your bike up.


The next mile of the trail is pretty rocky in places with some moderately steep sections. If you are bikepacking with a lot of gear you can look forward to stretching your legs.


At the 13 mile point the singletrack meets the road that takes the Kokopelli trail the rest of the way to Rabbit Valley.


The last 7.6 miles of this section of the Kokopelli trail is all road. We were hitting 20 MPH on the first few miles of it. There are a few hills that are a real grunt but most of it breezes by in comparison to the singletrack. This section ends at the big parking lot where there is a restroom. If you are bikepacking there is a campground about another half mile down the trail. In Rabbit Valley you can camp anywhere that isn't designated as a no camping area and marked with a sign that says so. The Loma Section of the Kokopelli trail is an incredible workout. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is grab your bike or 'Take a hike'.