September 9, 2011
Butterknife is a great trail, this gem was created for both motorcycles and mountainbikes and is a new local favorite.  Within minutes from Grand Junction, the rider is treated to primitive remoteness and sublime single track. It's a high desert ribbon that twists through juniper and perches atop sandstone cliffs overlooking the Gunnison River. Parts of the trail appear to be stapled to the side of the slopes, barely clinging to the earth as it climbs up rock ledges and steep faces. Other sections of the trail take the rider on a roller coaster, bombing down steep, rocky terrain and swooping around the corners.
The best times to ride this trail are spring and fall. In the spring, the trail is decorated with claret cup, desert four o’clock and prickly pear cactus blossoms; and, for a short while, the desert is green. The following summer time heat not only Quick read more or view full article dries out the colors, but also gives the rider no relief during the 12 miles.  When fall arrives, the colors return and the temperatures are far friendlier to the human body. Winter time makes the trail rather treacherous after our rare snowstorms, especially in areas that receive too little sun to melt the ice and snow.
When ridden as a loop from Twist and Shout and then back up Billings Canyon Road, the recommended route, Butterknife offers 12.2 miles of pedaling, 2,650 ft. of climbing, and 2,650 smile inducing feet of descent. Special considerations are the remoteness of the trail, the technical difficulty and the endurance factor.
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Posted by Sarah Mah Withers of Desert Rat Tours
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