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Rustler's

Easy/Intermediate
 4.5 (191) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

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


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Map Key

3.9

Miles

6.2

KM

90%

Singletrack

4,691' 1,430 m

High

4,547' 1,386 m

Low

281' 86 m

Up

325' 99 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

12%

Max Grade (7°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Not Allowed

Overview

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.

Description

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Michael Ahnemann with improvements by Kristen Arendt and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 191 votes

#96

Overall
  4.5 from 191 votes
5 Star
61%
4 Star
27%
3 Star
9%
2 Star
2%
1 Star
1%
Recommended Route Rankings

#31

in Colorado

#96

Overall
195 Views Last Month
40,099 Since Mar 20, 2013
Easy/Intermediate

21%
22%
57%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

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

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 11 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Nov 27, 2022
Patrick Burns
The hype is real. Easy loops don't really get much better. Great trail riding. Real desert features. Long enough to feel like a commitment.
Oct 9, 2022
Cody Teliczan
Sep 22, 2022
Lane Stephens
Aug 24, 2022
Kim Clemons
Really fun and easy loop! Great views of the Colorado River 3.9mi
Jul 15, 2022
Julius Mazer
fun trail! 3.9mi — 1h 15m
Jul 13, 2022
Sarah Wieszczak
3.9mi
Jul 7, 2022
Benjamin Kaufmann
Jul 2, 2022
Brent Lindgren