Riding in the North Fruita Desert
Riding here is what dreams are made of. Usually desert riding has a lot of downers, mostly because the trails are abused by cattle and horses. But these trails are shared with horses but because of the technical aspect it didn't seem that a lot of horses used the trails there. It was nearly unique to cyclers and walkers. Maybe some runners too, but they're usually harmless unless they're packin' heat.
I rode this as a night ride, but I bet the views are pretty cool. You're riding directly beneath the Book Cliffs. You're also riding on top of some crazy slopes. The trail is hard packed, like clay. It's actually so tacky you can hear your tire tread smacking the dirt as though you were on some race track.
What I rode was from the top of the campground. I had done "Zippity" years ago and turns out there's a couple of other "Zippity"s out there too. I got on "Front Side" sponsored by Over the Edge Sports in Fruita. It is part of the "Edge Loop" which sounds like a lot of fun, if you have a cool long day to do it. Front Side is technically moderate so go prepared for some wacky descents and some loose rocks, some gullies, some fun, and some more fun. It drops you out on a road which normally you'd take up the canyon there to start your loop. Because of the hour I took the southern direction and ended up on roads for the next hour with a short section of "Western Zippity" which put me back on a strange road that I really wasn't comfortable on until about 20 minutes later of heading south, I was able to find the lower section of a "Zippity" that took me back to the trail system trailhead.
When I go back to Fruita, I'll be content to ride all of that again. It was super fun! I recommend it. Plus the camping there is Fantastic!
Camping in Fruita
Camping in Fruita area isn't far off and is right close to some awesome riding. It's on BLM land and you can have fires there. Amenities include: pit toilets. The campgrounds are nice too.
Take exit 19 to Fruita. Go north to the first intersection and take your first right, Aspen Avenue. You'll be heading east and when you get to Maple Street (17 1/2 Road) take a left and go north again. You'll follow this for a few minutes until you get to "N 3/10" road. Go right here and then you'll get to the "18 Road" where you'll turn left. Follow this up to the North Fruita Desert BLM land. You'll find camping there.
Looking at the map there are clearly other options to get on 18 Road but just make sure you respect the locals and drive courtiously.