Troy Built Loop

Round Trip Distance: 6.4 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 4563 - 5168 feet
Cellphone: 2-5 bars
Time: 2 hrs. 30 mins.
Trailhead: Parking area at end of Hawkeye Road
Fee: none
Attractions: Scenic challenge

The Troy Built 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 Troy Built Trail you can take the Mack exit off of Interstate 70. Instead of turning north, towards Mack, turn to the south. There is a parking area just off the Hawkeye Road but if you turn west and follow the Hawkeye Road for about a mile there is another parking area that is a little over a tenth mile from where the Troy Built Loop begins.

From the parking area follow the jeep road west and after walking .15 miles you will come to the beginning of the Troy Built Loop. This post follows the Troy Built Loop trail to its junction with the Lions Loop trail and then follows the 4-wheel drive road up and over Mack Ridge and back to the parking area.

The trail drops over the first small hill and then begins climbing around to the west side of Mack Ridge. After a little over a half mile the trail turns up a slickrock draw. The trail only follows the draw for about a 100 feet before it climbs out and continues around the ridge.

The trail continues on the west side of the ridge heading south toward the Colorado River gradually gaining elevation as it goes. The trail levels off on a grassy bench where there are some interestingly weathered rocks. This area is right at 1 mile into the hike.

At this point the trail begins descending down the hill towards Salt Creek and the railroad tracks. Before reaching the bottom of the valley the trail levels off again and heads south along the broken sandstone cliffs. The junction of the Kokopelli trail that heads over to Rabbit Valley comes up just under 1.7 miles into the hike.

At about 2.6 miles the trail makes its first eastward bend as it rounds a rocky cliff and at 3.2 miles it reaches its closest proximity to the Colorado River. From here the trail is heading mostly east. At the point where the trail reaches the hill side and begins climbing up to the 4-wheel drive road it has been recently rerouted. Instead of the once steep climb to the road the trail now ascends at a more gradual angle traveling around the south side of the hill and meets the road at the same spot as the Lions Loop trail. This not only makes the hiking and mountain biking a little easier it also makes the Troy Built trail a more natural extension of the Lions Loop.

The junction at the 4-wheel drive road and the Lions Loop is at about 4.2 miles. Mountain bikers that are out for a tour de force begin at the Kokopelli trailhead near Loma and ride Mary's Loop to Steve's Loop, Steve's Loop to Lions Loop, Lions Loop to Troy Built, Troy Built to Mack Ridge, Mack Ridge to Moore Fun and Moore Fun back to the Kokopelli Trailhead. That is a pretty mondo effort.

The 4-wheel drive road is probably the crux of this hike. The south side isn't too steep but it is about one and a quarter miles of continual uphill.

The road is met by the Mack Ridge trail not too far from the roads highest point.

Once the road begins its descent it continues relentlessly for about a mile and a quarter. A few places feel a little like coming down Mt. Garfield where it is steep enough that you have to watch your footing so a rock doesn't roll under your foot. There are some very nice views of the valley coming down Mack Ridge.

The Troy Built Loop section of the hike is by far the most enjoyable part of the trek. The hike over the ridge is pretty nice but coming down the road to the parking area can be a little tedious. It would be much more enjoyable if the 4-wheel drive road section was rerouted to a single track with a few more switchbacks. Over all it is a good hike. If you want to check it out for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.