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Trail Report - Sarlacc Trail

Feb 18, 2015
by NinerBikes  
The newest trail in the Fruita/Grand Junction area, Sarlacc was completed in May last year and is a mixed use singletrack open to motorized use. It's named for the Sarlacc monster in Star Wars Episode six because of the large holes that are found in the area, at least one hole near the beginning of the trail could easily be imagined to have a Sarlacc hiding at the bottom. The trail was built by the Grand Valley Trails Alliance in cooperation with the Bookcliff Rattlers, Motorcycle Trail Riders Association, the Grand Junction Field Office of the BLM, and COPMOBA.

Mark Mueller rides the Sarlacc Trail near Fruita Colorado.

The trail is a eight mile bench cut singletrack that traverses the top of the Book Cliffs above the 18 Road riding area. It is accessed from Coal Gulch Road (V 8/10 Road) and can be ridden from either end. The West end starts with a 2.3 mile steep double track climb and then rolls East across the top of the cliffs for 7.4 miles. The East end starts at a gate by a well pad.

SARLACC Trail is closed seasonally from Dec 1 to May 1
  The East end gate. Sarlacc is closed seasonally from December 1st to May 1st every year to protect the trail and the local wildlife.

November 30, 2014 Thanksgiving Weekend - While heading home from a Thanksgiving riding trip in Moab, Mark Mueller decided to ride Sarlacc on the last day before it closed for the winter...

Mark Mueller rides the Sarlacc Trail near Fruita Colorado.
Mark Mueller rides the Sarlacc Trail near Fruita Colorado.
  Ridden from the main parking lot at 18 road the Book Cliffs seem to be a long way off...

Mark Mueller rides the Sarlacc Trail near Fruita Colorado.
Mark Mueller rides the Sarlacc Trail near Fruita Colorado.
Mark Mueller rides the Sarlacc Trail near Fruita Colorado.
Mark Mueller rides the Sarlacc Trail near Fruita Colorado.
  While the riding on the front trails at 18 road can be warm and sunny, Coal Gulch Road in late November is just a little bit icy.

Mark Mueller rides the Sarlacc Trail near Fruita Colorado.
  We asked for directions at Over The Edge, in Fruita and were told it was best to ride from East to West. Mark Mueller takes the first corner at the East end of the trail

Mark Mueller rides the Sarlacc Trail near Fruita Colorado.
Mark Mueller rides the Sarlacc Trail near Fruita Colorado.
Mark Mueller rides the Sarlacc Trail near Fruita Colorado.
  Most of the trail follows along the edge of the cliffs, sometimes exposed, always scenic.

Mark Mueller rides the Sarlacc Trail near Fruita Colorado.
Mark Mueller rides the Sarlacc Trail near Fruita Colorado.
Mark Mueller rides the Sarlacc Trail near Fruita Colorado.
Mark Mueller rides the Sarlacc Trail near Fruita Colorado.
Mark Mueller rides the Sarlacc Trail near Fruita Colorado.
Mark Mueller rides the Sarlacc Trail near Fruita Colorado.
  As the the trail makes its way West it follows the contours, an easy rolling climb to the west that seems to go on forever. It seemed that every time we'd reach the top of the hill the trail would roll off into the distance.

Mark Mueller rides the Sarlacc Trail near Fruita Colorado.
Mark Mueller rides the Sarlacc Trail near Fruita Colorado.
  Eventually we reached the top of the double track climb at the West end. From here you can look out over all of the 18 road riding area.

Mark Mueller rides the Sarlacc Trail near Fruita Colorado.
  The West entrance to the trail. In the future we would probably start here and ride the long steep double track up so that we could ride the trail as a long mostly downhill roller coaster from West to East. After getting to the East end you could ride back down the road or continue up to finish with the Edge Loop which would make for an epic all day ride.


Sarlacc Trail


MENTIONS: @trailforks @NinerBikes




19 Comments

  • 22 2
 gratuitous male lycra ass shot, 29er, rigid seatpost.....have at it PB community
  • 3 0
 My eyes...ah my eyes!
  • 2 0
 I actually liked the view.
  • 2 0
 you looked at his lycra ass i looked at his socks...seems are priorities are a little different
  • 1 0
 Yeah but they're classic black Search and State lycra, not many ass details in that shot Wink
  • 8 0
 The original route, Peak-a-boo, was built illegally by a Jesus-loving, former drug addict who I occasionally let crash in my shed. Hope he's doing well wherever he is now. This trail rocks in both directions, but if I'm doing it as a big loop I prefer West to East. Hopefully, at some point a connection will be built off the front of the Bookcliffs that links Sarlacc to the standard 18rd stuff.
  • 5 0
 Rode it as an out and back from 18rd, climbed up the West face and then descended back down the double track. Was a rippin good ride!!!
  • 3 0
 Aidanclark, there was use an article in the Denver paper that said a few ski area types bought Powderhorn and are in the middle of making major investments. The article said new chair lifts, but also a major investment in mountain biking. And of course real estate, but hey they gotta pay for it all somehow.

Here you go: www.denverpost.com/News/ci_27458049/Powderhorn-ski-area-to-get-5M-upgrade-largest-in-20-years
  • 1 0
 The mayor of Vail Andy Daly bought it with some partners. For pennies on the dollar. Vail people for what ever reason haven't embraced the mountain bikers they way they embrace the ski race crowd. Even though the last World Cup Mtn bike race held on Vail mountain drew the biggest crowd ever to Vail. The town of Palasade was talking about running a shuttle from town up to powder horn. They have also been talking with powder horn to get the lifts running in the summer. Apparently there is a pretty good trail system that runs all the way back to town. Hopefully it works out. I think it would benifit both Powder horn and the town of Palasade.
  • 1 0
 Vail has some decent runs (PMT/Mane Lane and Magic Forest/Nine Line), but the best part of riding there is that you'll feel like a pro among all the tourists, especially compared to Trestle or Keystone where good riders are common.
  • 1 0
 My biggest grip with Vail is that they have over 5000 acres to work with and they utilize less than a thousand of that for riding. There is no reason that Vail can't have a bike park on par with Whistler. The towns of Eagle and Avon have both spent some money on trails and are already seeing money come back into the towns because of those trails. Since then there has been talk of greatly expanding the trail System on Vail Mtn. Lets hope they take a trip to Whistler to see what a real bike park should look like first. Vail is big enough that it could easily have over two hundred miles of trails. Their full lease covers over 7400 acres. From Vail pass to Red Cliff.
  • 2 1
 That fact that articles about the Grand Junction/Fruita area get posted on the largest biking website in the world all the time and Powderhorn just sits on its ass all day, blows my mind on the money they lose for not opening up a bike park.
  • 1 0
 It goes well both ways, but best is going W->E, then turn around and do it back the way you came. Also, replacing road mileage with Sarlacc trail miles makes the Edge Loop even better.
  • 3 0
 Its ok fellas, that was 'enduro' spandex. All good.
  • 1 0
 "American Enduro"
  • 2 1
 Dude! you forgot to wear your baggies! this is PB. Great article too btw Wink
  • 1 0
 The vastness of this place is awesome, love it!!!
  • 1 1
 Tons of great riding in and around Grand Junction and Fruita... and all only, what, 90 minutes from Moab too... then there's Cortez, Mancos, Durango only a couple of hours further on... and in other directions... Yup. Love the area. Too bad the trail'll be closed when I head there in April...
  • 1 0
 I don't always wear Lycra, but when I do it's Search and State

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