3 days of Enduro: Kokopelli Trail, Green River Enduro Loop, and Ramrocker (yep Ram, not Rim)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Proettermann, Oct 22, 2019.

  1. Proettermann

    Proettermann The Mule

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    Loosely planned all year, but not getting serious until four weeks prior we decided to throw airline points at the Choice Hotel Brand and set out to ride the Grand Loop from Fruita, CO to and from Moab, UT. Last week we completed 470 miles and 24 hours of moving time over 3 days of travel.

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    After a night on the elite floor of the Comfort Inn Fruita, we set out to tackle the Kokopelli Trail. Gearing up resulted in the first breakdown of the day, a buckle retired on a riding boot and was replaced with a rubber band...

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    We fired up the rides, easier for my brother's injected 2016 FE450, and a tad cumbersome for my cold soaked 2006 CRF450X. Heading out to Mack, CO (the last gas station before the 155 miles of the Kokopelli when including Top of the World), we noticed quite some leakage from underneath my skidplate when stopping at intersections. I chose to ride it out till Mack and revisit whatever leak that might be at the gas station. My brother quickly found the right side fuel line from the 4 gallon Acerbis to be melting:

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    For some reason I had decided to bring two spare fuel lines, and man was I happy that I did. We removed the purple line that delivers with the tank and replaced it with a heavier duty, but same diameter spare. That ended up working without a hitch for the next 3 days. The plumbing is not ideal as far as protection against heat or crashes goes, but boy would that exposed plumbing come in handy only a few hours later...

    We slabbed it from Mack, CO, till the start of the Kokopelli. Once past the Rabbit Valley OHV Area you have the chance to ride what is labeled as Trail 2. A fun parallel section to the Kokopelli consisting of ATV trails and some single track:

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    Eventually Trail 2 rejoins the Kokopelli and you make your way toward Westwater. Great scenery on the way:

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    We took a break close to the Westwater Boat Launch, to chow down a protein bar before hitting the upcoming Single Track:

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    #1
  2. Proettermann

    Proettermann The Mule

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    McGraw Bottom was as it always is: rocky approach to the riverbank of the Colorado River, chewed up trail alongside and overgrown singletrack along the banks:

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    Eventually you hit 128, the paved road from the ghost town of Cisco, UT, to Moab, UT. Depending on your fuel situation you can proceed straight to Dewey Bridge on pavement or cross over 128 into a high desert loop of about 10 miles of sand and slickrock, which is really scenic and a fun add on.

    At the end of the desert loop you find yourself overlooking the valley toward the next waypoint, Dewey Bridge:

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    Of course we detoured to see the Top of the World, a ledgy apporach to an epic view over Onion Creek, and the Fisher Towers from a 3,000ft tall cliff over the valley floor - gentle on that clutch close to the edge, boys...

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    After dodging Jeeps up and down Top of the World, we headed to an abandoned Rosegarden Hill and threw ourselves down the ledges.

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    Eventually my brother ran low on gas much earlier than planned. That's when he realized that he must have contracted a pinch flat somewhere and was slowly leaking air. The tube was able to hold a certain amount of pressure, and when inflated beyond that pressure by the CO2 cartridge I had brought, it just blew off and went back to almost flat.

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    Low rear tire, almost out of gas on the FE450 and still 30 miles to our destination. Since it was rideable, we decided to not burn daylight and press on. Remember the not so ideal plumbing of my 4 gallon Acerbis? Well that came in handy now. I had turned from early vintage Enduro into the Exxon Valdez. Three petcocks, plenty of hose and more leftover gas than I needed. Perfect. It is amazing though how your fuel consumption goes through the roof when your tire pressure is very low. We made it through the Sand Flats Recreation Area and into Moab, and headed straight to Maverik, you know, where adventure begins =) Also he ended up pushing the bike the last 100 feet...

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    Day 1 was full of adventure and excellent riding.

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    #2
  3. 75bronco

    75bronco Long timer

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    Looking forward to the rest
    #3
  4. Proettermann

    Proettermann The Mule

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    Day 2 started reasonably slow. Even though each days' goal was to ride by 0700, we had to contend with a busted rear tube today. Breakfast, coffee and then onward to Madbro Sports, a powersports shop at the very South end (Spanish Valley area) of Moab. They opened at 0900 and were happy to swap a tube for us as long as we brought them the wheel only, thus making this as quick on the tech as possible. We motored to Madbro, and the friendly folks let us use a stand to pull the rear. Madbro is great. They carry pretty much everything that you could need (grip donuts over tires to spark plugs). They are open Mon-Sat and are located on 191:

    http://moabperformance.com/home/

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    That got us back on wheels quicker than we could have blood knuckled the tire and tube in the hotel parking lot, and allowed us to get some riding done the rest of the day. On the books was the a bunch of trails strung together West of 191 starting at the "Dino Museum" (turnoff to Island in the Sky), making it to the Enduro Loop between Canyonlands and Green River. You can imagine it much like the Sovereign Trail but much, much longer. The section closest to Canyonlands is intersected by MTB trails quite often, so watch out for those fine folks. Endless Slickrock portions connected by vast stretches of deep sand ATV trails, and farther North a handful of steep, rocky, ledgy climbs out of valleys.

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    We ended up in the White Wash Sand Dunes about 15 miles South of Green River, and refined our sand riding skills faster than you can blink. Hang that butt over the rear fender and don't stop, accept that you are basically surfing. Yet some dunes are only dunes halfway, the other side may be a vertical drop which you won't know until you crest it. So look out for sudden freefalls. Traffic was next to none. We gave way to two guys on 450s riding their hearts out when lining up for a narrow climb and learned that they had already clocked 300 miles of trails that day. Wow. We were sitting at a solid 70 at that point...

    The return was handled via slab since we had a late start and were not ready to run out of light on another 70 miles of trails we had planned for the return. We liked the area so much that we want to return and ride more trails out there. Plenty of legal camp sites around, so staging from your trailer/van/toyhauler is an option.
    #4
  5. Proettermann

    Proettermann The Mule

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    Day 3 was the return to Fruita CO. We chose to do so via a modified version of the Rimrocker, thus we called it the Ramrocker. We strung together La Salle Pass (no images, sorry - it was early and cold and my insulated gloves don't work well with a smartphone screen), the Rimrocker portion past Uravan, and then headed up into the Uncompahgre via Burro Creek, which we thought was called Spring Creek. Eventually you make it on USFS Rd 668 which takes you up to the Divide Road 402. There is a turnoff to Spring Creek Trail 616, which we followed as we thought that we should be on Spring Creek, but that ended up being a dead end. Some fun in and out challenging riding though with a water crossing and plenty of cows standing in the way. After reaching the divide road we just graveled it all the way to the end and took highway 141 to highway 50 into Grand Junction and back to Fruita. Originally we planned a fuel stop in Nucla, but that tacked on a 30 mile roundtrip, and since we had successfully fueled one bike from the other before, we chanced it after doing some largely inaccurate mental math.

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    I was not allowed many pictures on the last riding day, since we still had to truck our bikes back to the Front Range, so here is the take.

    Old miner’s hut on the Rimrocker, somewhere above Uravan:

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    Dropping down toward the brief pavement ride on 141 connecting the Rimrocker portions:

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    Intersection of 668 (which you want to take) and the dead end of 616 Spring Creek:

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    And at last cresting 668 toward the Divide Road 402:

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    We are blessed to live and ride in this beautiful region and will be back!
    #5
  6. JDUBinCO

    JDUBinCO Mass Centralized

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    Impressive ride report! Makes me want to get out.
    Total miles traveled??
    #6
  7. Proettermann

    Proettermann The Mule

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    470 miles.
    #7
  8. pprO.R.A.

    pprO.R.A. Hipster Dufass

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    Nice report and pics @Proettermann ,, that is my kind of riding in my favorite area. When we recently did the Rimrocker we started and ended at the Ballpark CG so did not ride the Uncompahgre. Does the RR route intersect that 668 trail or Burro Creek then 668 ? Also got to check out that Enduro Loop, did not know about that one.
    #8
  9. Proettermann

    Proettermann The Mule

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    Yes, the RR intersects with the climbs up to the 402 Divide Road in the Spring Creek Mesa and Burro Creek Mesa. Since we were traveling Eastbound we took the first turn toward the hills (red arrow in image):

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    Haha - I just noticed this basically happens right across from where you stayed at the Ballpark campground. Yeah this was a real fun climb to the Divide, endless waterbars, plenty of sand and steep, narrow climbs. Semi-maintained two track - easily done on the bikes we rode. Doable on an ADV Bike for sure if you are up for it.
    #9
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  10. pprO.R.A.

    pprO.R.A. Hipster Dufass

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    Yeah I would like to explore over there on the UNC next time, looks like fun. We are on small dirt mules as well, so the rugged terrain is right up my alley. Is there any info you care to share about that enduro loop?,,,if you do not want to put it up on the interwebs you cam PM me if you like.
    #10
  11. Proettermann

    Proettermann The Mule

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    #11
  12. pprO.R.A.

    pprO.R.A. Hipster Dufass

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    Thanks @Proettermann ,, I have heard of the Avenza maps and after exploring their website I will start using the app.


    BTW,, did you guys do the "Big Drop Switchbacks" ,, looks gnarly.
    #12
  13. Proettermann

    Proettermann The Mule

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    We did not. Don't even recall that section, must have missed that. You would not believe the amount of intersecting trails close to the White Wash OHV area. We tried to follow some GPS tracks, but got real good at throwing 180s on sand, hahaha. Will that up next time for sure. I just googled some images, haha, looks great.
    #13
  14. MaParkerColo

    MaParkerColo Been here awhile

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    You're killing me! I want to get out there again so bad! I took the kids the last three spring breaks to Rabbit Valley and Fruita. May try to duplicate this with my 16 year old now that he has a plated bike...
    #14
  15. Proettermann

    Proettermann The Mule

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    I am sure your 16 yr old would enjoy this adventure. Originally we thought about trucking to Moab and riding trails locally only, but I just could not stomach not riding the Koko. It seems like a waste trucking past it. We seem to keep doing the Koko in and Rimrocker out, and spend one day riding in Moab. Perfect three day getaway.
    #15
  16. eaglescan

    eaglescan Borrego rocks Supporter

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    Great report, I see you took La Sal pass, is the Talus slope still a rock garden? We did it in 2012 , lucky for me a young guy took my G 650 X across for me. I found out later there is a bypass.
    #16
  17. Proettermann

    Proettermann The Mule

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    Yes, yes the Talus slope is as it is every year. Loose and loud. Only one way across: butt over rear fender, throttle wide open and let it dance - forward momentum is largely self-correcting (easy on the baby bikes we rode - I realize this may be different with ADV rig loaded to the brim).

    Funny thing about Talus: I shattered my left Talus in MX practice last year. Surgeon gave me a 25% chance of recovery. I have been walking, cycling, running and of course riding MX and Enduro without impact since April. All I can say is Praise God! And I mean that. Ride safe!
    #17
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  18. pprO.R.A.

    pprO.R.A. Hipster Dufass

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    The Talus slope crossing was fun for me,, clickity/clack,,, over the stretch.
    #18
  19. rides2little

    rides2little Braaaaaap Supporter

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    They have redone several sections of the Enduro loop in the last few years and the Big Drop Switchbacks are no longer. It wasn't really rideable in both directions so there were several sections that were changed but still super fun.
    #19
  20. pprO.R.A.

    pprO.R.A. Hipster Dufass

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    I got my little intel from watching a few Youtube vids about Enduro Loop,, I suppose @Proettermann rode the revised loop,, but I have to say it is stellar riding on any account,,, my kind of stuff.
    #20