East Bluffs

One-way Distance: 1.5 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Skill level:
Elevation: 4679 - 4726 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 30 mins. (biking)
Trailhead: East Entrance
Fee: $7/vehicle
Attractions: Lake overlooks

The East Bluffs trail is located in the Highline Lake State Park west of Grand Junction, Colorado. The trail begins off of the Highline Lake Loop near the east entrance of the park where it travels along the bluffs above the east shores of the lake. Near its northern end it drops off of the bluffs and reconnects with the Highline Lake Loop after about 1.5 miles. The East Bluffs trail is also part of the annual 18 Hours of Fruita mountain bike race which is held every year during the Fruita Fat Tire Festival.

This post follows the East Bluffs trail from south to north. The south end of the trail begins by branching off of the Highline Lake Loop a short distance past the lakes intake from the Government Highline Canal.

As the trail starts out it makes an easy to moderate meandering climb up the adobe hills along the eastern shore of the lake.

Once on top of the bluffs the trail turns northward.

As the trail progresses it follows the contour of the bluffs by winding in and out of each of the valleys that it encounters.

Picnic sites that are accessible to boaters can be seen below near the shores of the lake.

The bluffs become much shorter near the northern end. In this area the trail is less than 10 feet above the normal water level of the lake. Highline Lake remains at a constant level during the months that it is being fed by the canal.

At the 1.36 mile point the 18 Hours of Fruita route departs on the right where it crosses the Highline Lake Loop and begins a fun run along the Engle Loop.

Near the 1.5 mile point the East Bluffs trail spills out onto the Highline Lake Loop. For this post we are calling this the end of the trail. The literature shows the East Bluff trail as being 1.5 miles long but we have come across more trail markers further to the west with one even being near the shores of Mack Mesa Reservoir. We rode our mountain bikes for this post. While the East Bluffs trail would be a fine hike it is a great mountain bike ride. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is grab your bike or 'Take a hike'.