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Trail Information

Last day for commercial shuttles is October 8th!

  • Drop off: Mesa Top & Shirttail Point!
  • Afternoon thunderstorms are likely this time of year!
Make your reservations now if you want them for beautiful Fall riding on the Plunge.


Want to ride 32 miles of world-class singletrack?  The whole Palisade Plunge is open.   An epic point-to-point challenge, from the alpine aspen groves of the Grand Mesa to the desert shores of the Colorado River, the Palisade Plunge is a dynamic ride through unique scenery. The Palisade Plunge is an adventure ride – it is not a beginner, nor intermediate ride. Even seasoned cyclists will find it quite difficult. This is not a downhill ride, it is an advanced adventure trail with close to 2000 feet of climbing as you traverse the top and then follow the contour of the Mesa Slopes down to Palisade.  All who choose to drop-in will be rewarded with an incredible purpose-built singletrack and amazing views of the San Juans, Uncompahgre Plateau, Colorado Monument, and the omnipresent Book Cliffs. Come experience the thrill of descending over 6000′ in 32 miles.

Palisade Plunge History:  

For more than a decade, a small band of outdoor recreation advocates in Mesa County has worked on an audacious plan for a 33.6-mile trail plummeting 6,000 vertical feet from the top of Grand Mesa to the Colorado River in Palisade. The Palisade Plunge trail project corrals three federal agencies, three municipalities, private landowners, passionate business owners, and several non-profits led by COPMOBA  under a single banner, marking a coalition of Western Slope residents about as diverse as can be assembled.  “At any point, if any one of the partners had really held back or come out against this, it would have killed everything,” Scott Winans of COPMOBA said. “Even a lack of enthusiasm would have done it. There has been so much partnership and interaction that led us to this point. We are stronger as a community across this whole valley because of this project.”This trail helps make Palisade, Grand Junction, Powderhorn, and Fruita an amazing riding destination.

Palisade Plunge Shuttle Information:

Palisade Cycle & Shuttle offers daily shuttles and bike rental for Palisade Plunge riders. We rent KONA, IBIS and REVEL bikes. We can do custom shuttle times, call for pricing and time options.

Ready To Take The Plunge?

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Things To Know Before Taking The Plunge

Be Prepared

  • This trail is for experienced riders with excellent judgement, we recommend the 21 or 17 mile ride if this is your first time on the Plunge. This is a cross country trail with 1,300 feet of elevation gain.
  • Heed trail warnings and be prepared to walk your bike when necessary
  • Take food and water with you, we strongly recommend a water filter if your do the 33 mile ride so you can refill at Whitewater Creek – no other water is available on your shuttle route or on the trail
  • Be aware of personal ability, mileage, weather, time of day, appropriate clothing, heat, food, water, and bike condition
  • If assistance is needed, call 911 (not local bike shops, shuttle companies, etc)
  • Know the locations of the emergency exit double track road to Palisade via Cottonwood Canyon.

Trailhead Locations

  • Full Route, -32 miles, starts at Mesa Top Trailhead
  • Partial Route, ~20 miles, starts at Shirttail Point Trailhead
  • Partial Route, ~19 miles (includes 2.3 mi climb), drop-off at Wild Rose Picnic Area, trail starts at Lands End Rd


  • When self-shuttling, recommended route is 1-70/Hwy 65 and approximate time is 1.5 hours each way
  • Pending USFS approval, paid shuttles are available and highly encouraged from May 1-September 30 each year (weather permitting)
  • Book here to get shuttle to the Palisade Plunge

Seasonal Closures

  • The Plunge is under seasonal closure every year from Dec 1-May 1
  • Winter closures are a CRITICAL tool to mitigate the impacts of recreation on wintering wildlife, and this means no tires on trails during this period!

Open To

  • Open to non-motorized users, including mountain biking, hiking, trail running, and other non-motorized users
  • The trail is open to equestrians only on USFS managed land (parts of Phase II) OPEN
  • The Plunge is not open to eBikes


  • There is no food or water available anywhere on the trail, at any trailheads, or along the shuttle route
  • You MUST bring plenty of water, at least 5 liters, there is one creek crossing at Whitewater Creek (mile point 16) where you can filter water. We highly recommend your refill with filtered water at this point. There is no other water on the trail.
  • Restrooms- available at Shirttail Point and Mesa Top trailheads


  • Please leave all canine companions at home
  • The length, heat, exposure, and tread combine to make unsafe conditions for your dog to accompany you on your ride

Palisade Plunge Maps