Saturday was Kokopelli Trail Day, so proclaimed by the Moab City Council and area Chamber of Commerce to honor those responsible for establishing the 130-mile bike route to Colorado.
The proclamations followed on the heels of a request from Rep. Howard Nielson, R-Utah, for a federal appropriation of $152,000 to develop water and rest-room facilities along the trail. Nielson was among numerous elected leaders, government officials, businesses, organizations and individuals who have shown support for the effort.Kokopelli's Trail was also dedicated Saturday, with ceremonies at the historic Dewey Bridge, about 30 miles upriver from Moab.
A delegation of the Hopi Tribe was been invited to commemorate the trail, named after a magical figure associated with the Flute Clan, a humped-back flute player and fertility symbol said to have wandered among villages with a bag of songs on his back.
The trail was named in honor of the legendary figure out of respect for Native American heritage and symbolizes the wandering of trails in the Colorado Plateau system, according to the trail brochure.
As part of the activities, bicyclists were to participate in the "driving of the Golden Spoke," a symbolic ride uniting the sister cities of Moab and Grand Junction, Colo.
Kokopelli's Trail is the first segment of what is envisioned as a network of trails linking communities of the Colorado Plateau and providing cyclists a unique opportunity to explore the canyon country more intimately.
The trail closely parallels the Colorado River along much of the route, mostly following jeep and back-country roads. It was planned and developed over the winter by the Colorado Plateau Mountain-Bike Trail Association with assistance from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, and volunteers and supporters representing both areas.
This spring, volunteers constructed approximately 10 miles of single-track trail segments on the Colorado side, thus limiting use to bicyclists along that portion. Most of the trail within Utah is suitable for vehicle use.
In Colorado, the trail begins at the Loma Launch Site near Fruita. The western trail head is at the Slickrock Bike Trail along the Sand Flats Road east of Moab. Both trail heads are on lands administered by the BLM. Moab resident D.L. Taylor permitted the trail to cross private land near Dewey Bridge.
Trail maps are available from local BLM offices, Moab Chamber of Commerce, and Rim Cyclery.