Rode the Kokopelli's Trail this past week in four days with my wife and son. Other than stashing water at 2 locations we did the route self-supported, using mostly Revelate goods to carry a very minimal kit. My son and I were on rigid 29ers with 3" tires and wide rims. My wife rode a carbon Blur. We brought light summer bags boosted with down sweaters, a sil-nylon tarp and skimpy pads, alcohol beer can stove, a water filter and just enough food! A total of 8 bike bottles supplemented our 3 100oz bladders.
We had typical high desert fall weather with cold longish nights, sunny mild days and hardly any wind. Trails and roads were in super condition due to the unusual large rainfall in the last 4 weeks.
The Kokopelli, for the uninitiated, is a collection of jeep spurs, dirt and paved roads plus a few sections of singletrack covering 140 miles from near Fruita, Colorado to Moab. The total elevation gain is around 16000' and the riding span everything from long smooth downhills to technical gnar. Even a bit of HAB. The terrain is equally varied as the route traverses riverside cliffs, barren badlands and high mountains aspen forests. A 4 day tour like this of the Kokopelli allows for sightseeing, fun-stops and slow mornings around around the campfire, all good stuff when cruising with the family. That said, with the shorter days of fall we actually rode past sunset almost every day. Our total saddle time was around 21 hours. Some folks race this route under 15 hrs total time!
We rode the route from east to west and the descriptions below is based on this.
The first 11 miles are almost exclusively single track and make up the most concentrated technical section. Especially Troy Built will likely get you off the bike, one way or another. The jeep roads on the Yellow Cat loop and the descent into Fisher valley are also challenging.
Grub resupply along the route is not an option, even with detours. Water can be had at a number of seasonally dependent locations. The first one at mile 40 is the Westwater ranger station only about a mile off the route where an outdoor spigot usually is on. Next up is an ephemeral water course at around mile 90, then another even smaller trickle some 15 miles further. Both these are named Cottonwood Creek on the maps. The geographically odd Fisher Creek ditch is passed next and at 115 miles is a very dependable stream coming down from Bachelor Basin.
Driving the paved roads paralleling the trail gives one the option to cache water at two very convenient spots: Rabbit Valley at mile 21, and Dewey Bridge slightly past the halfway point. With longer detours there's at least a couple more options in the dry first half.
While there's some paved sections and often working ranches and views of the Interstate the trail felt very remote in many places. Here help or assistance could be slow in coming, should need arise. Cell reception is spotty, or nil for some carriers. Miles and miles of the so called jeep roads showed no sign of having had motorized traffic on them for a long time.
The pics are from GoPro stills.
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Thread: Kokopelli's Trail in 4 days
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