La Fair Loop

Round Trip Distance: 4.1 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 8449 - 8688 feet
Cellphone: 0-2 bars
Time: 2 hrs.
Facilities: none
Trailhead: LaFair/Bittle Loop
Fee: none
Attractions: Pine/spruce/aspen forest, wildlife

The La Fair trail is located in the Uncompahgre National Forest near Grand Junction, Colorado. The trail can be combined with a short section of the Bittle Loop trail to form a loop of its own. The La Fair trail is also open to OHV (off highway vehicles) as well as any other full size vehicle. A 4-wheel drive vehicle would be required for some sections of the trail but the first part of the trail is probably smooth enough during dry weather for anyone that is just wanting to get away from Divide Road a short distance to camp.

The trailhead for the La Fair trail is located north of the Divide Forks Campground on Forest Road 402 which is also the Divide Road. Measure about 8.5 miles from the northern forest boundary and lookout for the signs for the La Fair and Bittle Loop trails on the east side of the road. If you come to the Uranium Road turnoff then you have gone a little too far.

The entire length of the trail follows a road through groves of aspen, pine and spruce trees.

You should have no trouble seeing deer and sometimes elk in the wooded areas along the trail.

You might also want to keep your eyes open for a couple of metates in a section of sandstone slickrock. The Tabeguache tribe of the Ute Indians spent their summers hunting and gathering on the cool plateau of the Uncompahgre. These grooves would have been made from grinding seeds and nuts with a mano. At some point the metate on the left developed a crack. It may not have happened until more recently when vehicles began traveling through the area. Close by to this spot are some tree branches that may have been used for a wikiup.

Hiking this type of trail is a pure delight. If someone is with you there is plenty of room to walk side by side. The temperatures are 15-20 degrees cooler than the valleys and on this day there wasn't another soul insight.

This is a picture of the biggest hill on the trail. The elevation changes are all very gradual other than this spot.

Fritillaries are among the common butterflies in the area.

The La Fair trail meets up with the Bittle Loop after 3 miles of hiking. From here it is just over 1 mile back to the trailhead.

Within 3/4 of a mile from the trailhead the Mud Holes trail branches off on the left.

The La Fair, Bittle Loop and Mud Holes trails are probably the closest trails to the Divide Forks Campground. There are a few good primitive camping spots right near the trailhead also. On the Uncompahgre people generally drive around until they find a spot that no one else has already taken and either park their trailer or set up a tent. The only restroom in the area is a vault toilet at the campground. About the only other amenities at the campground are picnic tables and fire pits. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.