Popular Mountain Bike Trail Opens in Colorado | The low

Colorado mountain bikers have been discovering the state’s most anticipated trail in years.

The first section of Palisade Plunge has opened – a 17 mile stretch of single track crossing the wooded slopes of the Grand Mesa to the town of Palisade. The last works are continuing on the upper part of the trail; a press release from the Bureau of Land Management said the work should be completed by July 31.

Once opened in its entirety, the Plunge will stretch for 32 miles, twisting and turning approximately 6,000 feet from the top of the world’s tallest flat-topped mountain, through classic desert canyons and down to the famous town. for its fruit and its wine. It will be the culmination of years of planning between local, state and federal agencies.

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The journey “illustrates how a community can come together and create something special,” said Greg Wolfgang, BLM Grand Junction field director, in a press release.

Based on studies of Salida’s Monarch Crest Trail and Moab’s Whole Enchilada Trail – two Plunge-grade mountain biking destinations – the new route plans to attract 5,000 cyclists each year to Mesa County.

That’s a “modest estimate,” said Scott Winans, president of the group that led the project, the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association.

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In a previous interview with The Gazette, Winans said the Plunge tests had garnered rave reviews. “Everyone that’s been on the trail shook their heads and said, ‘Wow. This is another thing. “”

Cyclists on the first phase of the trail are encouraged to park at the Wild Rose recreation site below Lands End Road. Riders will have to pedal approximately 2 miles on the road to reach the start of the Plunge.

The section “navigates remote backcountry terrain with some extreme exposure sections only for experienced riders,” the BLM warns.

The agency advises riders to “take into account their experience, skills and preparation” and bring food, water and bicycle repair supplies.

For more information and the latest trail updates, visit palissadeplunge.com.

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