Outdoor sports in the Grand Valley

February 10, 2020

Although a desertous and seemingly barren location, Fruita has many outdoors opportunities that many who live here don’t even know about. Balancing school and other extracurriculars, most students don’t take advantage of what the valley has to offer. From skiing up on the Mesa to mountain biking right here in Fruita, where we live is a gold mine for experiences in the outdoors. 

Fruita has gained attention from nature-loving people across the country and has gained a reputation for countless mountain biking opportunities. People from all over come here to mountain bike on the hundreds of miles of diverse trails Fruita has to offer. The mountain bike trails in Fruita can be ridden all twelve months of the year (most years at least) due to the low annual precipitation. Not only can you ride the trails almost all year long, but there are a wide variety of trails for every level. The Kokopelli trail loop system in Loma offers a range of skill levels and beautiful trails that overlook the Colorado River. If you are looking for trails right in Fruita, 18 road is a good option because they have a ton of trails ranging from downhill terrain, to technical climbs. Anywhere you decide to bike in Fruita, there are options for beginners, and there is no shame in having to hike-a-bike. 

Mountain biking is an excellent way to get outside and exercise. Even if you have never tried it before, it is a great way to appreciate all that our town has to offer. Not only does mountain biking give you a chance to appreciate Fruita’s natural beauty, but it also is a great form of exercise, especially if you don’t do any sports and are looking for a way to occupy your time. Mountain biking is a great workout, and is also a low impact sport, meaning there is less tension and buildup on your knees. 

If mountain biking is something you decide you love, and want to do competitively, the Grand Valley youth cycling mountain biking team trains ppand races competitively all through the fall. Because the team isn’t through each individual high school in the valley, you get to train with other students from teams from schools all around the valley. FMHS student Bryson Locke races with GVYC, as well as the USA cycling team, and feels like mountain biking has become a part of who he is. “It’s like a lifestyle,” he says, and recommends that every person try mountain biking because it is “an experience like no other.” Bryson loves mountain biking because of how it pushes him both mentally and physically, and has big plans for his future in cycling. 

Another GVYC rider who races for GJHS, Jacob Thomas, gives new riders advice on starting to ride. “Mountain biking doesn’t have to be hard, you can start at your level and work up from there,” he says. “Whatever you’re comfortable with riding is worth the work.” If you are looking for a challenge, a burst of adrenaline, or beautiful scenery, you may just find your own passion of mountain biking, just as these riders have.

If biking isn’t for you, or you just want to try something new, the Powderhorn ski resort is less than an hour away from Fruita. Powderhorn is a family friendly resort with a variety of terrain and opportunities for all levels, offering 20% beginner trails, 50% intermediate, and 30% advanced/expert skiing. Powderhorn is perfect for beginning skiers, or anyone looking to have a good time in the mountains. Powderhorn is relatively small compared to other resorts, and while it may not be the most diverse ski resort, it still offers plenty of opportunities for skiers and snowboarders looking to send it. Amanda Mcgill, a sophomore at FMHS, spends a lot of time in the winter skiing, and has tried out skiing at many resorts in Colorado, but enjoys skiing at Powderhorn because, “It’s small enough that you know where everything is and it’s hard to get lost, but also big enough that you don’t get bored. And it’s closer than other resorts.” Powderhorn definitely does compare with other resorts in Colorado, and is a great place to learn if you’ve never tried it before. 

Even if you don’t normally do sports, the Grand Valley is a great place to try out new things and appreciate our surrounding landscape. Getting out and exercising is not only fun, but is beneficial mentally and physically. Doing activities such as mountain biking and skiing will help get you in shape, and make you a happier, healthier person.

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