MTB Project Logo



Possibly the best beginner loop you'll ever find with riding that's fun for all ability levels.

Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key







4,691' 1,430 m


4,547' 1,386 m


281' 86 m


325' 99 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (7°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Not Allowed


There can't be a more perfect loop to take a beginning rider on than this one to get them completely hooked on mountain biking. A beginner may feel challenged on this ride, but never intimidated. The scenery is fantastic, and there's a little bit of everything to introduce new riders to the sport.

There are also a series of signs along the way to educate new riders about everything from cornering and climbing skills to trail etiquette, and the local terrain and ecology.

Need to Know

The main Kokopelli trailhead is just off the highway, and getting to the start of this ride from that trailhead requires a short climb then a short steep descent on a dirt road. True beginners might want to drive the dirt road and park at the dedicated Rustler's trailhead right at the start of the trail.

There are also many options for other more advanced rides after graduating from this one, including the Wrangler loop and Mary's Loop.

Ride in a clockwise direction only.


The ride starts out by climbing a doubletrack/dirt road. It's a fairly steep climb, but doesn't last very long before leveling out on mellow singletrack.

Once you hit the singletrack, just settle in and get ready to enjoy the ride. Obvious signs are placed along the trail with helpful hints for beginners - and they can be interesting for more advanced riders as well.

The singletrack winds gently up and down for a bit as it makes it's way right up to the edge of the rim, well above the Colorado river. The trail never gets close enough to the rim to scare riders, but it does give a sense of the massiveness of this area. There are also a few opportunities to stop and walk out to the edge of the rim and look down on the river.

The trail then heads back inland from the river, and riders will enjoy a slightly more challenging switchback descent over slickrock-type terrain. There's a sign warning riders to slow down before the first switchback. Pay attention to this sign - if you missed that first turn, you'd find yourself falling a long way over a cliff.

There are plenty of opportunities to play around on the rock and work on your skills before the trail smooths out again and becomes sweet flowy singletrack with a vertical red rock face as a backdrop.

The trail climbs a bit more up some rocky but mostly gentle sections before descending gently (but fast if you choose) back to the start.


Shared By:

Michael Ahnemann with improvements by Kristen Arendt and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 186 votes


  4.5 from 186 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Recommended Route Rankings


in Colorado


286 Views Last Month
38,818 Since Mar 20, 2013



Sunset over the Colorado on Rustler's Loop Trail.  This photo is looking toward the start of Rattlesnake Canyon.
Aug 15, 2016 near Loma, CO
You can find some fun tech sections even on Rustler's, you just need to look.
Sep 6, 2016 near Loma, CO
Great views and a great easy beginner trail.  If you're new to the sport, this is the ride to start with!
Apr 2, 2013 near Loma, CO
New views around every corner on Rustler's Loop
Nov 6, 2018 near Loma, CO
Magnificent views of the Colorado River from Rustler
Apr 25, 2022 near Loma, CO
Great views and flowy singletrack make Rustler's a great intro to the Kokopelli trails.
Sep 6, 2016 near Loma, CO


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 1 day ago See History
Add Your Check-In


Jul 2, 2022
Brent Lindgren
Jun 10, 2022
Asher David
This was the best possible route to take the kids on. Very fun. 4mi — 1h 00m
Jun 2, 2022
Quentin Tompkins
May 25, 2022
Bence Tamas
First MTB trip!!
May 21, 2022
Samantha Rosales
May 14, 2022
AnnaRiling Riling
So. Many. People.
May 9, 2022
Perfection 3.9mi
Apr 30, 2022
Steven Salinas
6h 53m