Epic Rides requests event related visitors utilize one of the many parking lots located throughout downtown Grand Junction, including the Parking Garage located on Rood Ave. between 4th street and 5th street (note to self, remove bike from the roof before entering the garage).
Starting and finishing on Main Street in downtown Grand Junction, and with great cooperation from the Bureau of Land Management Grand Junction field office, all three of the Grand event routes feature a selection of trails that have contributed to the area's world famous reputation for riding.
With a graduated distance format, participants get to choose from the 15, 30 or 40 Grand routes (1 Grand = 1 mile). Each route presents an authentic mountain bike experience and provides the opportunity to experience a variety of terrain. From technical singletrack to undulating dirt roads to fun fast descents, no matter the distance, all participants able to complete the route registered for, will not only be awared a unique finisher prize, but with confidence will be able to stake claim to being a bonafide mountain biker.
Click here for course maps and queue sheets
Click here to download GPX files
All courses start on Main Ave. in downtown Grand Junction. From the start, riders head across 1st to Spruce St. then turn North to White Ave. A left on White Ave. followed by a quick right on Rice St. takes riders to Broadway. A left on Broadway takes riders across the railroad tracks and the Colorado river to Monument Road. A left on Monument Road heads South and begins a gradual uphill to the Lunch Loops Trailhead.
Enter the Lunch Loops with a left turn into the parking lot and the trailhead. Past the trailhead and along the edge of the bike park, the first dirt section commences on the Tabeguache trail. The Tabeguache double track winds through a multicolored gully then starts to climb up a short red dirt up hill. Upon cresting the top, the climb continues across an elevated flat. After the brief reprieve is a series of switchbacks and rocky sections. Eventually riders reach another flat section offering enough time to catch their breath, enjoy the surroundings (check out the fin rock protruding from the ground) then embark upon Widowmaker Hill. Although brief, Superman walks this section.
After Widowmaker, the trail flattens out, and some technical step-ups and step-downs will keep riders entertained. After a few obstacles, this section continues with a g-out downhill and quick uphill to the Tabeguache Trail-Little Park Road intersection. Epic Rides encourages all riders to cross Little Park Road with caution. After crossing, head downhill 10 yards to the entrance to the Gunny Loop singletrack.
Note, at the drop in to Gunny Loop there is a brief technical feature. We at Epic have set the over/under at 60% riding it, 40% walking it. All will enjoy it! This singletrack trail contours around the terrain gradually climbing toward Little Park Rd. Aid Station. The fun factor is in full effect on Gunny Loop. Riders will exit the trail onto a brief gravel doubletrack road that leads to the Little Park Parking Lot and Aid Station #1.
15 Grand'ers, skip to Aid Station #4 below for balance of your course description.
30 & 40 Grand'ers, after topping off water, GU Brew and taking on some nutrition provided by GU Energy Labs, participants will exit the parking lot onto Little Park Road (use caution) and enjoy a tame 2 mile paved climb while digesting their calories. A left turn (use caution) will take riders to the Third Flats trailhead, a quick left off Windmill Road onto Twist-n-shout will reinvigorate the ride. This twisty, grin inducing doubletrack is named "Twist-n-shout" for a reason. After some fun rolling and twisting riders will turn left onto Butterknife trail.
Butterknife will inhabit participants dreams far after they've finished riding it. It's one of the marquee trails on the 30 & 40 Grand courses with tight singletrack and fun technical features laid out across moonscape terrain. Completing this section announces a riders arrival as a bonafide mountain biker.
After finishing Butterknife, refilling water and nutrition (provided by GU Energy Labs) at Butterknife Aid Station...
30 Grand'ers point their bike uphill for an extended dirt road climb back to Little Park Trailhead. Once at the top, use caution while descending Little Park Rd. to Little Park Aid Stations (also the 1st Aid Station of the day).
40 Grand'ers point their bikes downhill and follow the fast descent on Windmill Road to the Gunnison River. Upon reaching the bank of the Gunnison, be sure to have a look around at the orangish red rock cliffs and flowing river for a striking contrast like no where else on the planet.
Windmill Rd. will transition into the Magellan Trail and climb 2,000 feet for 7 miles with some brief climbs and short descents. It is scenic, very very scenic. Remember to take a moment to lookaround. The Magellan Trail will conclude with a quick descent to the intersection with the Upper Tabeguache Trail. Picking the right line will pay dividends on this section due to its loose, steep and rocky moments. We highly encourage all to approach this section with caution (yes, even the pros). That said, we suspect it's rideable by 90% or more of the participants.
A right turn on the Tabeguache trail will begin the descent to Rough Canyon. 1,000 feet of down in two rocky fast miles, this is a very fun descent. Bangs Canyon Aid Station and a Medic Station await riders at the bottom of the Rough Canyon crossing. With a proper monsoon, riders may be greeted with a water fall and flowing water.
From the bottom, participants will get to climb a 1.5 mile section of slickrock to the Bangs Canyon TH. It's righteous. Note, a section of this climb offers plenty of bandwidth to pass however getting to close to the edge could prove fatal. Please remember to look where you want to go, not where you don't. We encourage all to dismount their bikes if they'd like to get a more intimate look at the slick rock cliff along the Rough Canyon climb out.
After reaching the top, participants will enter and descend Little Park Road to Little Park Aid Station. Please use caution on Little Park Road.
15, 30 & 40 Grand'ers reunite on the same route from here forward.
After resupplying at Little Park Aid Station, riders continue down Little Park Road a short way to the start of Andy’s making a left turn onto the singletrack trail (use caution when crossing the paved road to the trail). The beginning of Andy’s is steep and has some technical moments with a little bit of exposure. Please ride with caution. Enjoy the fun challenges it offers while traversing multi-colored rock and soil, and the twisty nature of the trail. The trail descends to the bottom of No Thoroughfare Canyon then ascends a rerouted climb (now 100% rideable, thank you BLM & COPMOBA). Caution should be used as the trail is a bench cut and there is some exposure (although the pictures make it look worse than it is). Upon cresting the top, riders will navigate several miles of whoop-inspiring descent.
Andy’s climbs up a series of switchbacks to join Eagle’s Tail for the final exclamation point on the course. The descent down the lower portion of Eagle’s Tail is rocky singletrack with some keynote pieces and some fun challenges including two hairpin switchbacks built for sustainability utilizing a rock armoring technique (exploits of the local trail builder prowess). The final turns of the trail bring riders back to the Pet-e-kes trail for a few hundred yards of fun. Then the course rejoins the original section of the Tabeguache Trail through the gully and out to the trailhead.
A right turn onto Monument Road gives riders a fast, paved return to town. As with riding on any roadways in America, please abide by the rules of the road. Always use caution and watch for cars. At the intersection with Broadway, riders should turn right and cross over the Colorado and the railroad tracks and follow the coned lane (re-trace egress route in reverse) onto Main Ave. Completing the course earns riders a satiating beverage, a high-five and an increase in their level of 'cool' by one notch...two notches if it's your first organized mountain bike event.