There is no question about where Grand Valley mountain bikers will be spending a good portion of the upcoming holiday weekend.

According to the Bureau of Land Management, phase one of the 32-mile Palisade Plunge opens to the public on Saturday, May 29. It's been a long time coming and local mountain bikers are anxious to experience the much-anticipated trial.

Mountain Biking Heaven

Western Colorado has long been a popular destination for mountain bike enthusiasts and the Palisade Plunge will solidify the Grand Valley as one of Colorado's premier mountain biking playgrounds. It's a super-exciting development for local mountain bikers as well as the Grand Junction tourism industry.

Ultimately, the mountain bike trail will connect the top of the Grand Mesa to Palisade, with phase two expected to be finished by the end of July.

Taking the Plunge

The Palisade Plunge starts on Lands End Road, about three miles below the Lands End Observatory. This 17-mile section of the trail "navigates remote, backcountry terrain with some sections of extreme exposure recommended only for experienced riders." The Palisade Plunge website says the trail is "guaranteed to offer a fast, fun, and challenging ride."

Trail users should use the U.S. Forest Service's Wild Rose recreation site for parking. That means you'll have a two-mile uphill ride on Lands End Road to get to the Plunge trail. To get to the Wild Rose site you'll need to drive up from the bottom of Lands End Road at U.S. Highway 50.

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Be Prepared

If you are up for the challenge of the Palisade Plunge, be sure and go prepared. It's recommended to bring plenty of food and water - as there is no water available at the start point or on the trail. Obviously, mountain bikers should have appropriate clothing and bike repair supplies.

I'm not a mountain biker, but at times like this, I wish I was. The Palisade Plunge sounds like a fantastic experience and it's going to be providing thrills for mountain bikers in the Grand Valley for years to come.

WORTH THE TRIP: Hiking Liberty Cap Trail in Grand Junction


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