Gunny Loop (Upper Section)Date: 11/5/2012
Time: 2 hrs
Trail head GPS Coordinates: 39° 1.531’N , 108° 36.334’W
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The Gunny Loop Trail is part of the “Lunch Loop” trails located within the Tabeguache Trail system. The total miles for the entire loop is about 10.5 miles, I chose to only do the upper section of the trail that starts just off of Little Park Road.
To reach the trail head from 1st and Grand in Grand Junction you need to travel west on Grand Ave. also known as highway 340 for just under 1 mile until you come to Monument Road. From here you will need to turn left onto Monument Road and travel about ¼ miles until you come to Rosevale Road which will be on your left. Follow Rosevale road for about 1.2 miles until you reach Little Park Road. Once on Little Park Road, follow it for about 2.4 miles until you come to a pull off located on your left. The trail head is just north of the parking area.
The trail begins by dropping down and following a small canyon for a short distance then climbs out the other side where it levels out a little and actually travels north which is the opposite direction you want to go. You will soon find out that this trail was definitely designed by mountain bikers. There is actually less than a half a mile “as the crow flies” from the start point to the end point but with all the twists, turns, ups and downs that add excitement for the mountain bikers, the trail ends up being just under 3.5 miles.
Once on top of the first ridge you will come to the first trail marker. This hike makes use of the “Gunnector” trail which is indicated towards the left. At this point the trail begins to go downhill slightly as you head towards town and into a colorful ravine that reminds me of a Martian landscape. The trail continues to follow this ravine for a short distance then gently climbs out and begins a slight ascent towards the next ridge. As you round a corner you will come to a large flat set of rocks that almost looks like a wall, immediately after these rocks is the second trail marker indicating the Actual Gunny Loop trail. If you go left you will end up crossing Little Park road and come out on Monument road. I obviously turned right or actually just headed straight which takes you to the top of the next ridge.
This short but steep climb is probably the hardest part of the trail, there are some ledges you have to step up on and as I said it is pretty steep. I can’t imagine anyone riding a bike up this portion of the trail.
Once on top of the ridge you will come to an old 4-wd road. You can turn towards the right here and follow this road to the end or cross the road and continue on the trail. If you take the road you can shave a little distance off, I of course crossed the road and continued on the trail. From this point the trail maintains a steady climb as is follows along the rim of a canyon and winds its way through the trees.
After a short distance you will come to the third and last trail marker. This marker indicates that if you continue heading straight it will take you to Little Park road and if you turn left like I did you will end up at the trail head. From this point on the trail turns into a wide well graveled path. Continue following this path until you reach the large parking area where you can either be picked up or do as I did and walk the short half mile down Little Park road and back to where I began.
Overall this is a pretty good trail. The route is well defined and the views are great as well.