The Rustler’s Loop Trail in the Kokopelli Loops just outside of Fruita is an excellent place to get started on your mountain bike journey here on Western Slope. The easiest of all of the loops in McGinness Canyon, Rustler's Loop is purpose built for a great warm-up or to get novices on the trail.
The entire canyon is composed of several different terraces that descend like a staircase into the Colorado River below. Since the trail was created to test skills, it involves a variety of the terrain you will find in Fruita including sand, slickrock, cliff exposure, and fast descents along the plateau. There is a small doubletrack that leads up to the loop from the parking lot, and the trail can be ridden either way. Signs along the trail help instruct new bikers how to conquer terrain features and educate about the geology and ecology of the area.
Most of the trail is smooth and fast with only a few rough sections and very few uphills, making it a fantastic ride if you're short on time. The plateau you ride on was once the riverbed of the Colorado River millions of years ago, and evidence can still be seen in the erosion patterns and unique stone features here. At several points in the trail you'll find yourself riding on large, smoothly polished stones that look like they were placed as cobblestones to smooth out the path. They're actually the exposed remnants of the ancient riverbed, and the stones were polished over millennia. The last sections of the trail bring you along the edge of red rock cliffs as the trail winds its way to the end. Take in the view of Mary's Loop and Horsethief Bench and the other trails that await, because you're guaranteed to want more after riding here.