Taking the Plunge: Construction proceeds on trail

Construction continues on a trail that will take mountain bike riders and other users 34 miles between the top of the Grand Mesa and downtown Palisade.

The Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association (COPMOBA)  and nearly a dozen other organizations and government entities joined in a media event to offer an update on the Palisade Plunge.

Scott Winans, president of COPMOBA, called the singletrack trail a jewel for Western Colorado. By one estimate, the trail will attract users that in turn will contribute $5 million annually to the local economy.

“The Palisade Plunge Trail will challenge users through a truly unique and unforgettable trail experience, providing access to remote public lands while traversing stunning alpine to high desert terrain as it connects the top elevations of the Grand Mesa to the Town of Palisade 6,000 feet below,” Winans said.

The first phase of the trail will soon open on the lower half of the route from the Lands End Road crossing on the western flank of the Grand Mesa to the Palisade Rim Trailhead. The second phase of the trail connecting the Mesa Top Trailhead to the first phase section is scheduled for completion in December. The third phase involves a paved portion connecting the Palisade Plunge Trail to the Colorado Riverfront Trail in Palisade.

COPMOBA has worked for nearly 10 years to spearhead the project. Other partners have included the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Colorado Tourism Office, Mesa County, the cities of Fruita and Grand Junction, the town of Palisade, the Outdoor Recreation Coalition of the Grand Valley and Grand Junction Economic Partnership.