There is a ton of good trails in and around the Fruita area. We wondered into a few bike shops before setting off (we had no clue where the trails were). Over The Edge is the famous Fruita bike shop and is responsible for much of the trail development in the area. Here the super friendly staff, all keen bikers were eager to help out. We brought a trail guide and headed out to 18 Road trails - home to Snakes and Ladders and Zippedy Do Dah and many other great singletack gems.
The whole trail area is on a slight incline with a lower car park and an upper car park. We parked at the lower one - up hill to start, downhill finish. Once you're at the car park the network of trails is clearly marked out. The direction you ride the trails in is up to you but as you can imagine most ride better in the downhill direction.
In comparison to typical UK trails they are less technical but much faster, the surface is smooth (and dry when we where there) and very fast rolling, when the trail does get tricky you are usually carrying a ton of speed. The trails are totally engaging and flow amazingly. There are loads of sections where you are neither braking or pedalling, just hammering turns for what seems like ages. Fast flowing singletrack is my favorite type of riding and Fruita is the best place I have ever been for it.
This is a section of Zippedy Do Dah - super fast super buff singletrack rollercoaster!
Most of the trails in the 18 Road area are in a similar vein and there is a lot to choose from. They take between half an hour to an hour and a half to complete. You can join a few up to mix it up a bit but your never far from the car park if anything goes wrong. The car park is about 8km up a dirt road though so it still feels like your right out in the sticks.
We went in September but it was still really hot in the midday sun and there isn't a lot of shade. Pretty exhausting for two jet lagged brits.
On day two we hit it up before breakfast and it was really cold and clear, lots of desert animals hide away in the heat of the day. In the morning before the sun was up there were lots of deer and rabbits running around and the light is amazing. So amazing I didn't take my camera. The trade off for getting up early is forgetting important stuff because your not fully awake when getting ready. ho-hum.
After a long day in the saddle we headed back to the motel, shower, change and into town looking for food. We ended up at the Hot Tomato for pizza and beer. Its a busy little place with lots of locals in, there were not that many other options for food or drink in Fruita, its not a big place and it ain't the UK but no bother because the pizza was good and the beer was cold.