Trails >> Mary's Loop

Fruita - Section of Mary's Loop

I decided that this riding was pretty fun, but not this day. I was tired and exhausted from an exhilarating night ride the night before. The riding was nice where I could ride, but the 4th class scrambling ruined my palette for the day. Srambling started when I got to the trailhead of Horsethief Bench, a geographically isolated shelf of land that was characteristic of where early cattlemen would take a herd of cattle to let them roam for the winter months, grazing without chaperon all winter and because of the nature of this bench, they can't leave unless they suicide dive into the Colorado River, which undercuts this bench on the entire south side. But if I had been a horse bandit I'd have hidden them there, after blasting the old road down the cliff face to get to the bench.

For a better view

Riding down the blasted road (yes, that means two things) isn't necessarily recommended. Sessioning sections to figure it out I'd only recommend with a full-face helmet and body armor. It is ridable, but mostly if you have some trials skills. So I walked it. At the bottom you can ride the loop in either direction, but because of the wash that you encounter, I recommend only riding it counter-clockwise. This way you'll have the gravity advantage going down the sandy wash. The hard packed sections of this trail are phenomenal riding, fast, swooping, and some technicals. But then I encountered technical sections that demand a prowess for walking, 4th class scrambling, that didn't seem to make sense. I mean, these sections didn't even have to be there. They could have been skirted so easily. Oh well, not my trail, not my job to cut. I appreciated the rest of the trail and the work that's been done to maintain it.

Climbing back up to the main (Mary's) loop, I hopped back up to Wrangler and enjoyed the rest of that section down to where Mary's evolves from an unused road to a singletrack riding atop a shear cliff. This part hovers over the Horsethief loop. That's kinda fun to see what you just rode, but be careful looking down so you don't ride off the cliff. I passed up Steve's cut and Troy Built and Moore Funn to get back to the truck. I was suffering and had had it. There is undoubtedly more good riding, and technical riding at that on all those trails. I've ridden Troy Built, and it's pretty fun! But not that day.

If you look at my GPS map there, Horsethief is the south loop on there.


Getting to the trail system of Mary's Loop requires taking the Loma Exit and taking the road on the south side of the exit, dirt road, that skirts the weigh station. Down that road there are several places to park, but there is an obvious parking area 1/8 mile down that road. Usually, I'd start from here. Pick a up vinyl card map of this place for 5$ at Over the Edge Sports in Fruita.

Once there, you see a road traverse up the hillside to the south of the parking lot. Go up and over that and down into a little valley where you'll find a bunch of trail heads. Ride hard!