Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Barnes10's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    14

    First Bikepacking trip to the Kokopelli

    Hello everyone my name is Justin and a couple of guys I ride with and my self was wanting to start planning on a Kokopelli Trail ride. I have never done a bikepack trip before and was wondering if I could get some info on the trail, seasons, and what to expect. I thank you very much for the info and help

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: vikb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    6,169
    Here is a start:

    bikepacking.net > Routes > Kokopelli?s Trail

    The search box at the top left and Google will help fill in the blanks.

    Bikepacking.net is [not suprisingly] a good source of bikepacking info as well.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    353
    With my son and wife I did the Kokopelli Trail in 4 days, self supported, last October. This is a leisurely pace, averaging 35 miles/4000' climbing per day. We went east to west.

    Your main challenge is water, but even that is not bad with careful planning. For us 4 to 5 days of food is about the most we can carry and still enjoy singletrack riding. Good thing is that particular part of your load gets lighter real fast.

    The other challenge is season. Parts of the trail traverses hot and dry desert, others go up high where snow cover the route sometimes into late spring. In other words, for a spring/early summer trip when the snow finally is gone, the desert might be uncomfortably, if not dangerously hot.

    That makes October the premier month.

    Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Barnes10's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    14
    Thank you guys very much. Is hard tail or full would be better

    jan_nikolajse. Is there any good water spots and what is the best camping sites and other great spots for seeing that great country and is this best to do it self supported or having a chase car. Or should we do a guided one

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    353
    I don't know about your level of commitment and sense of 'ethics' and adventure. Everything changes with a guide or even a chase car. You wouldn't need this thread anymore as it would just become another bike ride, albeit a long one. The terrain is still stunning and the hills just as steep, but for me I would have to be the guide, and get paid handsomely, to get as much out of it compared to going self supported.

    Okay, back to bikepacking. Starting in Fruita, the initial 13 miles are technically demanding, more than any other section. The first water is after 40 miles, a little off the route at the Westwater ranger station. Getting here on day one would be crucial. Somewhere around mile 85 you will cross a stream called Cottonwood Creek. This is another good water source. After here there's 3 more creeks and no further issues with water. The Colorado River can be reached at several spots in the first 80 miles, seemingly aiding in the shortage of water on this dry and hot stretch. However it is so silty that it will ruin any filtration system without pre-straining, or leaving it to settle with added alum powder.

    Without support infrastructure you can camp anywhere you want. With vehicles its probably best to chose one of the half dozen primitive sites along the route. Take note that several stretches does not have vehicle access, and you would have to send the sag wagon around.

    Regarding bikes: our bikes were fully rigid with over sized tires. It's hard but not impossible to load all your gear on a full suspension frame.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    49
    I work as a guide on the Kokopelli in the spring and fall for Rim Tours out of Moab. Riding the Koko as a self-supported bikibacking trip compared to a full guided trip couldn't be more different. It really comes down to creature comforts and your confidence as an outdoorsman.

    Guides know all the tricks out there; the best routes (there are singletrack, dual track grated road and paved options along the way), the best camps, where cultural artifacts lye and more. A guided service will simply maximize your time out there, Also, guides have the spread for a hearty hot breakfast, lunch, diner and can carry your beer and tons of sleeping gear etc. Its the deluxe way to go and it will cost over a grand to do it.

    Of course your bikepacking journey will pay-off in many other ways. The satisfaction of finding your way through and the feeling of independence and confidence just can't be beat. Your bikepacking trip will undoubtedly present some hardships along the way and that's the beauty of it. You will have to find water (there's water), enjoy your nuts and berries for breakfast, lunch and diner, push your heavy bike up Entrada Bluffs road and then down Rosegarden Hill, you'll be hot then cold, fix flats (at least) and at the end of the day you'll be the happiest guy on cloud 9.

    The important thing is to get out there and do it. It is amazing country and guided or not I cannot think of a stronger bonding experience. Cheers and good luck out there!
    www.sonoranmtb.com
    facebook.com/sonoranexpeditions
    "Riding the Sonoran Desert since 1969"

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Barnes10's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    14
    Thank you Sonoranmt That is a lot of great information to use. One of the guys and I was thinking about going out a year early and riding it with a guide to get a lot of the questions out of the way before we all go out on the self guided journey. Do you take large groups or small groups. and what time of the year do you think is best

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    49
    Barnes10, usually our Koko trips are pretty small to medium; 4 to 8 people. Anytime in the spring or fall is good, but I prefer spring for the wildflowers. April is ideal. Fall the weather can get a bit dicey but that's always a roll of the dice.

    If you decide to go with a guide give Rim Tours a call at 435-259-5223 and tell them Rob sent you. See what kind of deal you can get out of them. Would be happy to show you around. Cheers!
    www.sonoranmtb.com
    facebook.com/sonoranexpeditions
    "Riding the Sonoran Desert since 1969"

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Barnes10's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    14
    Ok will do and thank you very much on the info

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    17
    Some good info in this guide:
    Kokopelli Trail

    Toby Gadd's gpx file has water stops called out:
    Toby Gadd: Kokopelli's Trail GPX Track

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    136
    First Bikepacking trip to the Kokopelli-1073687_10201644608310777_1905825104_o.jpgBarnes I did the kokopelli with Hermosa Tours in October. There were only 4 people on our trip and the other 3 bailed on day 3. It's a great route and totally bikepackable. We had the added issue of rain and mud/clay though and i would not have wanted to be out there bikepacking in those conditions. As an example, Day 2 was approximately 50 miles. It had rained the day before and trails were so bad(the wheels loaded up with so much mud and clay they wouldn't turn) we ended having to skip large portions of it and hike/carry our bikes to the road to be able to reach our next camp. It took us over 10 hours to reach camp. Additionally, although we didn't see it on the trip there is a lot of soft sand. So while others enjoyed the bikepacking, just be aware that the trail conditions could swing dramatically based on weather. And having cold beer and hot food at the end of day is not overrated!

  12. #12
    ballbuster
    Reputation: pimpbot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    12,639
    Heh... I went to grade school with a kid named Justin Barnes. He's probably your great uncle by now, or something.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Barnes10's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    14
    bikerider2 do you think the guided was the best or not? And would you do it earlier in the year or later in the year.

    pimpbot where was the school

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    136
    First Bikepacking trip to the Kokopelli-img_1343.jpg I liked the self guided tour, but I have not tried bikepacking for frame of reference. I'm an experienced backpacker so am used to going minimal. But with the tour company you start the day with breakfast and a recap of the trail, things to see, water stops along the way, options for bailing out, or riding more. Additionally the set up is pretty nice with the campsites all picked out and each one we stayed at had pit toilets. Having an ice chest full of beverages camp chairs, fire, stoves, coffee and reall food allowed us to relax at the end of the day and enjoy the riding without being fully laden. I'm not against the bikepacking way of doing this route and think it would be great to be self sufficient. Day 3 would be tough though as there's a lot of climbing at altitude. Day 4 would be frustrating having all the camping gear and not being able to bomb porcupine rim. I think the ideal time to do this ride would be late April or late September. I
    ve had good luck both of those times of year in Moab.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    49
    To be clear, Hermosa tours are not guided. They have a camp ready for you and that's about it. No added value. With a fully guided trip like we offer at Rim Tours or Sonoran Expeditions your guides would have offered alternate routes around muddy sections or had vehicle support on the ready or taken you to slickrock or any other number of options. That is where guides will maximize your time on vacation. You're there to ride and camp and we provide that 100%

    That is precisely what you pay for with a guide service. Sure, there's the food, transportation, interpretation, camp preparation and all the tangibles but where a guide service really shines is in the added value of maximizing your time out there. You're not fumbling around looking for a trailhead, intersection or camp. You are guided around the less fun sections and on the sweet sections (how many of your Kokopelli riders thought of riding the Western Rim trail while your were out there)? Then, when you get to camp at a reasonable hour you have time to pitch your tent and have a beer before the sun sets. Meanwhile your guides are preparing an awesome 4-course meal and telling great lies.

    Just calling it like it is. Bikepacking is an incredible experience (just finished a 3-day Black Canyon Trail myself) given you have the time to smell the roses and explore a little. Its like backpacking. It offers an incredible sense of self-awareness and accomplishment, especially through the muck and mire.

    Self-guided trips are a non-guided trip where you have all of your car-camping creature comforts shuttled around and rent-a-camp. No guides, your food, you cook it, you find camp on your own (which can be daunting in some places). No on-trail support... nada. No added value there, but it is an inexpensive route to getting shuttled and your stuff hauled around. And I've got to say to Hermosa's credit, they're doing a good job of it.

    Kokopelli is a serious route. Lots of inside knowledge there. Maybe take a guided trip and revisit a bikepacking in the future. Cheers!
    www.sonoranmtb.com
    facebook.com/sonoranexpeditions
    "Riding the Sonoran Desert since 1969"

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Barnes10's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    14
    That is both some very valid points. So SONORANMT if I did a guided trip I wouldn't have to carry everything on the bike or ya?

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    49
    No, Barnes10, you just carry your day pack. You'll see the truck a couple times a day (or at lunch) to restock on water and snacks and whatever else. The lunch spread is a full deli set-up. Pretty deluxe.
    www.sonoranmtb.com
    facebook.com/sonoranexpeditions
    "Riding the Sonoran Desert since 1969"

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Barnes10's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    14
    Ok Thank you again SONORANMT.

    Another question for anyone that has better info than me. Whats a good place or brand for bikepacking bags for the bike setup

Similar Threads

  1. Another fam bikepacking trip
    By verslowrdr in forum Bikepacking and Bike Expedition
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-20-2013, 07:47 PM
  2. Solo bikepacking trip Ros- WF T-way- Ros
    By verslowrdr in forum Washington
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 07-09-2013, 09:30 PM
  3. 3 day SF bikepacking trip?
    By bikeny in forum Bikepacking and Bike Expedition
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 06-13-2013, 12:26 PM
  4. Tips on bikepacking the Kokopelli?
    By Whambat in forum Bikepacking and Bike Expedition
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 05-29-2013, 02:19 PM
  5. 1/6/12 Bikepacking Trip...
    By beagledadi in forum Bikepacking and Bike Expedition
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 02-09-2012, 03:58 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •