Miles: 5 miles round trip
Time: 3 hrs
Trailhead GPS Coordinates: 39° 2.991′N , 108° 36.343′W
View Clunker in a larger map
The Clunker trail is located within the Lunch Loop trail system. As with the majority of the trails in the Lunch Loop trail system, to access one particular trail you have to traverse any number of other trails to reach the one you want. There are multiple access points to get on many of the trails along with a nearly infinite number of routes you can take. This post describes accessing the Clunker trail via the Tabeguache trail head located just off of Monument Road.
To access the trailhead from 1st and Grand in Grand Junction travel West on Broadway for approximately .87 miles until you reach Monument Road. Turn left and travel approximately 1.6 miles until you come to the Tabeguache Bike Park located on your left. The trail head is on the Monument Road side of the bike park next to the large kiosk. You can download a nice map of the Lunch Loop Trail System here, courtesy of the BLM.
Once at the Kiosk, you want to take an immediate left just through the gate. The trail begins by circling around the parking lot as it passes the bike park on your right. After a short distance you will pass through a small wash and travel along a short flat section then begin climbing the first hill. The trail winds and twists its way up tp the top of the ridge.
Once at the top you will go another short distance until you come to a trail marker labeled “Left Over Lane”. At this point you want to take a left and follow the trail as it travels along the rim of the small canyon. Continue following the trail until it drops down into the bottom of the canyon. Once at the bottom you will come to another marker indicating the junction with the Miramonte trail. At this point you want to cross the small wash and continue on the Left Over Lane trail as it begins climbing up the side of the next hill. If you turn left and follow the Miramonte trail you will eventually come to another junction that will connect to the Miramionte Rim trail which is where you want to go.
Once at the top of the hill you will connect to the Miramonte Rim trail. I turned left here and followed the trail as it wrapped around the hill until I came to the marker pointing towards the Clunker trail. At this point I turned left again and followed the trail as it dropped down into the next canyon.
You will pass a few more trail markers along the way but you want to remain on the Clunker trail which follows along the base of the hill towards the west. Continue following this trail until you come to the Gunny Loop trail.
At this point you want to turn right and begin climbing back up to the top of the hill. Once at the top you will come to yet another trail marker labeled Miramonte along with a TH symbol. At this marker you want to turn left and follow this trail which is called Coyote Ridge until you come to the Ali-Alley trail. This marker has a TH symbol on it as well. Turn right here and follow it until you reach the Curts Lane trail. Remain on Curts Lane basically the remainder of the way back to the trail head.
This is a nice area that offers a fine selection of either short or long hikes. You can mix and match various trails to suit your needs. I labeled this trail as strenuous because by the time I was back at the trail head I was totally wiped out. I’m not sure if it was the multiple climbs to the ridge tops, the snow or the fact that I haven’t been quite as active as I’ve been in the past, but I figured I’d label it that way just to be on the safe side. Just be sure to only hike or ride this trail if the ground is still frozen or dry. A lot of work goes into maintaining these trails. Luckily for me, things were still either frozen or snow packed and I made it back to the car before the sun came out & started warming things up.