Round Trip Distance: 1.6 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Skill level:
Elevation: 5072 - 5344 feet
Cellphone: 2-5 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: North Fruita Desert
Fee: none
Attractions: Easy connector

The Vegetarian trail is located in the North Fruita Desert Area, at the end of 18 Road, about 8 miles northwest of Grand Junction. The area is popularly referred to as simply '18 Road'. Working with various groups in the area the BLM has set aside different sections of the land for ATV use and mountain biking. The trail area at the end of 18 road is open exclusively to hiking, mountain biking and some equestrian. There is a campground with vault toilets and about 35 camping spots equipped with picnic tables and fire pits. The camping is currently free of charge but there has been talk in the past of introducing a fee of $10/night.

By itself the Vegetarian is a real 'no meat and potatoes' trail less than 2 miles long. The trail begins across 18 Road from the North Fruita Desert trailhead. Follow the trail as it drops down a hill to the junction of the Vegetarian and Prime Cut trails.

The Vegetarian trail was rerouted a few years ago. It can be a little confusing picking up the start of the trail when traveling in the west to east direction. The most direct approach to the new route is to go up the trail on the left from the Prime Cut intersection that leads around the north side of the stock pond.

If by chance you do go up the stock ponds bank using the trail on the right then bear to the left at the Edge Loop/Vegetarian signpost.

The trail is a little inglourious in appearance as it heads east from the stock pond.

One hazard of the Vegetarian trail has always been a narrow crevice of a wash that runs through the area. This particular route crosses the wash at a place that was narrow enough to build a rock bridge over it.

After crossing the crevice the trail continues across the valley.

After crossing the valley floor the trail does a little climbing to get to higher ground.

The easiness of the trail continues once up the little hill.

Just before the 1.4 mile point the Down Uppity trail connects from the right.

The last quarter mile of the trail continues much the same as before.

The Vegetarian trail comes to an end at its junction with the Chutes and Ladders trail. The preferred direction for the Chutes and Ladders trail is downhill. If you go up it about 50 yards though you will come to the start of the Edge Cutoff trail. We have hiked, biked and trail run the Edge Cutoff in both directions numerous times. A nice loop is to go to the right at this point to the Edge Loop and take it back to the trailhead. Another option is to turn around and jump off on the Down Uppity trail on the way back. However you choose to do it, f you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is grab your bike or 'Take a hike'.