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Kokopelli Loops: Troy Built Loop to Salt Creek

After Work Adventures | Thursday & Tuesday, November 16 & 21, 2023

After hiking the Lion’s Loop Trail to its junction with the Troy Built Loop on Tuesday, I thought it might be a good idea to return to the Kokopelli Loops after work on Thursday afternoon so I could finish hiking the Troy Built Trail, especially since a storm had just moved through the area earlier in the day and left some nice clouds in the sky. I thought that there had been enough time for the road to the top of Mack Ridge to dry out, but as I started driving up it I quickly found out that it was still muddy and slick in places, so I turned around and decided to hike a shorter section of the Troy Built Trail from its northern end near I-70. Thankfully, this northern portion of the trail had already dried out and wasn’t muddy, since hiking on muddy trails is not looked upon too kindly by the mountain bikers who mostly ride these trails.

I started my hike on the Troy Built Loop from the northern trailhead. If you’ve driven from Colorado to Utah on I-70, that hill in the background might look familiar to you.

Troy Built Trailhead

Looking back across the Grand Valley as the trail climbed higher around the flank of Mack Ridge.

Grand Valley View

Tafoni found along the trail.

Trail Tafoni

Troy Built Trail

Troy Built Trail

I turned around and headed back when I reached the junction with the Kokopelli Trail and had a view of this bridge below, since I had hiked to this spot a couple years ago with Diane.

Kokopelli Trail Bridge

Following the ledge above Salt Creek on my way back.

Along the Ledge

Here’s one last view across the Grand Valley with the I-70 bridges over Salt Creek below.

Bridges View

Since I only had one more short section of the Troy Built Loop left, which is the only single-track section of the Kokopelli Trail east of Salt Creek that I hadn’t hiked yet, I returned after work on Tuesday afternoon so I could finish what I had started on Thursday. By this time the road was completely dry and I had no problems driving up onto Mack Ridge. I parked at an unofficial trailhead at the eastern end of Lion’s Loop and hiked down to the Troy Built Trail which I followed over to the same junction I had stopped at on Thursday and then returned the way I had come.

Following the Kokopelli Trail on Tuesday afternoon.

Trail View

The trail followed this rocky ridge for a little ways.

Rocky Ridge

There was a nice view over Salt Creek as I followed a ledge above it.

Salt Creek View

Troy Built Trail

Troy Built Hike

The trail stayed above Crow Bottom and overlooked the Colorado River to where Horsethief Canyon ends and Ruby Canyon begins.

Crow Bottom & Colorado River

Troy Built View

Following the trail back to my Jeep shortly before sunset.

Troy Built Evening

>> Troy Built Loop to Salt Creek Photo Gallery

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