Rustlers LoopDate: 2/6/2012
Miles: Approx. 3.1
Time: 2 Hrs
Trailhead GPS Coordinates: 39° 10.405’N , 108° 49.776’W
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Rustlers Loop trail is a short trail located within the Kokopelli Trail System in McInnis Canyons just outside of Loma Colorado. To access the trailhead from Grand Junction Colorado you need to travel west on I-70 to the Loma exit (exit 15). Once on the exit take a left turn onto 13 Road/CO 139, cross over the highway then turn right onto Hawkeye Road. Follow Hawkeye Road for just under 1 mile then take the first left and follow the road for just over .5 miles as it climbs over the hill and dead ends at private property. The trailhead is located directly across from the small parking area.
The kiosk at the trailhead encourages users to travel the trail in a clockwise fashion but I think that is mainly for the mountain bikers. I went ahead and complied and took the clockwise route as well. Be sure to print a map of the Kokopelli Trail System before you leave.
The trail begins by gently climbing to the top of a small hill. Once at the top turn left and follow the trail as it levels out and makes its way towards the Colorado River to the south. Be sure to check out the house built into the cliff on you left once you reach the top of the hill.
Since the trail was designed with mountain bikers in mind it makes a ton of unnecessary twists and turns as it follows along the edge of the hill. After about a mile or so you will come to the river. Across the river and to the south/east you can see the Pollock Bench trail off in the distance and I believe due south you can see portions of the Rattlesnake Arches area.
The trail continues following along the river for a while as it makes small up and down climbs and a few small turns. Along this area I saw a flock of about twenty or so wild turkeys. The trail eventually turns towards the north and makes its way towards the base of the cliffs of the upper ridge.
Once at the cliffs the trail follows along the base for the remainder of the way back to the trailhead. This would be a fantastic trail for beginner mountain bikers, there are signs along the way that give you instructions on how to manipulate obstacles and the best ways to ride the trail. I’m sure during the summer months the temperatures can exceed 100 degs easy and the gnats can be unbearable at times. The distance scenery is really good but the immediate area along the trail is a little bland. The whole trail reminded me a lot of the Gunnison Bluffs area outside of Whitewater Colorado.