Steve's Loop

Round Trip Distance: 4.2 miles Steve's Loop
Round Trip Distance: 5.5 miles via cutoff
Round Trip Distance: 3.4 miles Steve's Cutoff-Mary's Loop
Difficulty: Moderate
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 4589 - 4834 feet
Cellphone: 1-5 bars
Time: 2 hrs. 45 mins.
Trailhead: Mack Ridge
Fee: none
Attractions: Scenic singletrack

Steve's Loop is part of the Kokopelli Trail System located south of Interstate 70 between Loma and Mack. Steve's Loop might be the most scenic of all the trails in the Kokopelli system though it has a lot of competition. There are 3 distinct options for hiking Steve's Loop. The most obvious is to hike the half mile from the Mack Ridge trailhead to the beginning of Steve's Loop, hike the loop and then return to the trailhead for a total distance of 4.2 miles. A second option is to hike the loop taking the upper trail first then while coming back on the lower loop take the Steve's Cutoff trail up to Mary's Loop and then return to the trailhead for a total distance of 5.5 miles. The third option is a shorter hike of 3.4 miles where you hike out from the trailhead, take the lower loop to the cutoff trail and then return to the trailhead.

Beginning at the Mack Ridge trailhead we must descend the old 4-wheel drive road to the south that is now part of Mary's Loop.

Steve's Loop begins about a half mile from the trailhead. I took the upper loop to the right. This easy trail follows a bench around the mountain heading west. Looking down you can see the trail that forms the lower loop.

Looking down at the lower trail you get a spectacular view of it traversing around the rim of one of the canyons.

The lower loop skirts the sandstone cliffs above the river as it works its way back to the east. These pictures are a little hazy from the light rain that was falling. I was holding the camera under my hat to keep the lens dry. It wasn't the greatest weather for taking pictures but it sure was nice for an August hike.

There are 2 canyons that cut into the mountain and the lower trail follows the rim of each one as it bends in away from the river and back. The trail stays just far enough away from the edge of the rim to instill a feeling of safety but close enough in places to approach exhilaration.

Around one canyon and then on to the next.

Steve's Loop is a popular addition to mountain bike riders coming across Mary's Loop. Some even like to tack on Lions Loop for a 'tour de force'.

After about 2.5 miles the lower loop junctions with the Steve's Cutoff trail. From here it is a half mile to the beginning of the Steve's Loop trail. If you take the cutoff trail it adds on about 8 tenths of a mile. The cutoff trail is the most used route for people coming over from Mary's Loop.

From the trail junction Steve's Cutoff takes you back to the cliffs above the river. There are nice views of the canyon of the Black Ridge Wilderness Area on the south side of the river.

Looking back to the north you can see how the trails on this end of the Kokopelli trails system all stack up. The Mack Ridge trail is on top with the Lions Loop below on the upper bench and Steve's Loop on the next two lower benches. The trail builders have done a great job of making the most of the terrain.

It is about one mile from the junction of Steve's Cutoff and Marys Loop to the beginning of Steve's Loop and about another half mile from there back to the trailhead. There is a nice single track trail that runs along the road for most of the last half mile that might be more enjoyable whether you are hiking or riding. Steve's Loop is a very nice addition to the trails of the Kokopelli Trail System. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.