This Colorado and Utah gravel route is a small portion of the Co2uT desert gravel grinder. It is perfect if you are looking for a training route or want to preview part of their 125 mile course. The ride was delayed in 2020 due to Covid, and it unfortunately had to be cancelled due to weather in 2022.
We did a shorter (20-mile) version of this last year, which you can check out here.
This remote border-crossing route is really remarkable with big desert scenery and landscape that is unique to this area.
Car traffic was minimal. We saw only two or three vehicles and many more cows, mule deer and antelope than humans.
We did this ride in the spring and desert flowers were blooming all along the roadside!
The elevation gain is quite approachable, and over-all, the ride felt fast and fun. Beside some sandy sections, minimal technical skills are required.
While the large majority of the routes are hard packed and smooth, we encountered several sandy sections and unexpected sand traps (especially in the first 20 miles). It kept us from really letting loose on the down hills and caused us to constantly have to keep our speed in check which was a bummer since there was no one else out there and you could see for miles.
The remoteness is lovely for the lack of car traffic and animal sitings, but both of us have said we would not want to do this route alone.
Do this ride if you are looking for a perfect remote training route that goes across the Utah border from Colorado and will give you amazing desert landscapes to enjoy while you bike.
There are absolutely no services of any type on these roads, NONE. Be prepared with everything you might need- water, food and bike mechanic supplies.
This ride is best in either the spring or fall because of the exposure and lack of shade. It would be unmanageable and dangerous in the summer heat.
The course is generally fast, but there are a few sections of newly-laid chunky gravel, sand and short and steep inclines that can feel a little sketchy.
Book Cliff Ridge Road is essentially a badly paved road rather than gravel. It starts at approximately mile 23 and goes for about 3 miles.
We began this ride from the corner of 4 Rd and U-1 5/10 Rd where there is a “parking lot” of sorts.
If you are looking for pre or post-ride food or beverages you will need to drive into the town of Fruita (which is about a 25 min drive.)