Trail builders at Fruita’s 18 Road created some of the most unique mountain biking experiences anywhere, and none are so surreal as the infamous Zippity Doo Da.
Locals visualized trails in the mid 1990s on ridge lines and spines that melt off the endless Book Cliffs formation, a badlands perfect for mountain biking. Today, ribbons of singletrack curl and sweep over all of it.
“I think it was the first of a trail system of what is now called flow,” said Over the Edge Sports general manager Landon Monholland, who’s been riding west desert trails for 10 years. “That’s what sets 18 road apart.
Zippity and surrounding trails are meant to be carved up. Tires slide around corners into rolling sections of smooth singletrack as they find their own rhythms and people love it.
“We have people from all over the world coming to ride here,” Monholland said. “It’s on their bucket list.”
To send Zippity as its own 7.5 mile clockwise loop, begin your ride at the main parking for the trail system. The route finding is simple. Heading southwest from the southern end of the parking lot, you’ll soon pass the exits for Kessel Run, Mo’ Joe’s and Zippity.
Pick up Zip Off and ride two miles to Western Zip where the trail wends beautifully through grasslands and under giant dunes.
You’ll cross over a cattle guard and then a road before you take a right at the Frontside Trail. Here, things will pick up and you’ll soon be climbing a gnarly series of switchbacks. Topping that out you’ll continue to intersect with the Frontside/ Edge Trails. Follow the sign to Zippity and you’ll be freaking out in no time. There’s nothing quite like what lies ahead.
Once you adjust to hovering over crests and along spines at mile six, you begin to feel like everything is going to be OK, then, things take a turn. You’ll recognize “the corner” even having never been there, as you wrap around a shockingly exposed tight turn. Now Zippity’s flow comes into full effect – it’s a two mile two wheel roller coaster – and you’ll want to keep you hands on the bars at all times. These are some of the steepest grades anywhere in mountain biking. The ride is unforgettable.
Finishing at a junction with the trail where you started, you just negotiated some of the wildest and creative singletrack in the world. What a wonderful day. Retrace your ride back to the parking lot and figure out what to ride next.