Pronunciation: /ˌkōkəˈpeli /
A fertility god of the southwestern Native American culture. Depicted as a hunchbacked flute player, he is known as a playful prankster and storyteller.
Kokopelli’s Trail is a 140 mile mountain bike and 4×4 trail that winds its way from Loma, Colorado through the desert to Moab, Utah. It is best traveled with a group of like minded friends and strangers. Our adventure began at Rabbit Valley just off of Interstate 70. The trail for the day required little technical skill, but provided a good warm up for the following two days of wheeling. We meandered along a cliff road with amazing canyon scenery and enjoyed the drive over the sandy trail. Day 1 was our shortest day with camp and a potluck planned at Fish Ford along the Colorado River. There was plenty of daylight to set up our Taj Mahal, hang out with friends, and grill brats for the potluck festivities.
Kokopelli impatiently called for us as we had a late morning start on Day 2. The hunchbacked flute player decided to play a couple of tricks on us during the day, leading our group on 2 wrong turns off of the 4×4 trail and on to mountain biking portions of the trail. Even though we had to back track and burn a few extra miles of fuel, the wrong turns led us on a river side drive and proved our Land Cruiser’s technical capability with a handful of difficult trail obstacles. Sometimes wrong turns aren’t so wrong.
The afternoon section of the trail was spent driving through the desert, along slabs of red rock, and stopping for lunch in the shadow of a large sandstone formation. After our lunch break, it was a short drive to the end of the day’s trail near the historic Dewey Bridge. With plenty of daylight to spare, we took a side trip and headed to the Top of the World. Top of the World is rated as a difficult trail with numerous ledges to climb and steep loose rocks. Every mile of the grueling climb is worth it when you reach the highpoint of the trail. This is definitely one the best trails in Moab for dramatic photos. The scenery is second to none as you look out over the ledge to view the wide expanse of Onion Creek and Fisher Valley, with Professor Valley in the distance. We enjoyed views of the La Sal Mountains, numerous rock formations scattered throughout the canyon, and Arches National Park. When it comes to heights, J is a little more adventurous than I and can easily take in the views while sitting along the edge of the ledge. For me, I stayed a safe distance from the massive dropoff. After making our way down from Top of the World, we drove to the nearby area of Roberts Bottom and set up camp for the night. Buffalo chili was the chef’s choice for the evening meal.
The final day of the trail was considered the most difficult as we would be descending Rose Garden Hill. The Hill is a long steep and rocky descent, which requires a spotter on the top portion of the trail due to high dropoffs and shifting rocks (good test for your sliders). Furry B and I walked down the Hill to take photos of J driving down. Pictures do not do Rose Garden Hill justice, as it much steeper and complicated to drive than it appears in photos. After everyone made it down the Hill, we all stopped for a quick break and then continued our drive to Onion Creek. We finished up our Kokopelli adventure with a scenic drive into the La Sal Mountains, where snow still lay in patches on the ground. It was a great way to end our wheeling adventure as we found asphalt and headed into Moab.
Kokopelli’s Trail lives true to its name, being a beautiful storyteller and sharing his scenic music.
140+ miles and 3 days in the desert = The time of your life!