Rexy Co2uT (Colorado to Utah), aka Queen of the Desert, is designed not just as a race but as a true desert adventure, Rexy sets riders on a journey across stunning terrain, connecting two iconic cycling towns: Moab and Fruita and the challenge can be taken on in four ways: 200 mile solo, 200 miles as a relay team, 100 mile solo, 100 mile as a relay team, or 50 mile solo. While only 500 solo riders can participate, there’s an option for relay teams of up to 4 members. Each relay member must ride one at a time, exchanging only at the designated aid stations.
As Co2uT (Colorado to Utah) implies, the event takes you from Colorado, along the I-70 corridor across the border to Utah, and back covering some very remote and stunning Southwestern landscape. The event is organized by Desert Gravel and the presenting sponsor is Salsa Cycles. Picked as one of our best gravel cycling events in Colorado and the Rockies, this event has become a very popular event with upwards of 1500 participants each year.
A past participant shared, “Co2uT is an instant classic gravel event. Spectacular vistas all around and incredibly challenging riding beneath your tires. The ultimate gravel experience is to end the ride both exhilarated and entirely spent. Full marks on all fronts for CO2UT.”
Event & Course Info
At Strambecco, we profile the 200 mile solo event, but the Rexy Co2uT website provides serious detail for each of the other course options. Unlike loop races, Rexy is a point-to-point gravel ride. The full Rexy stretches 200 miles from Moab, UT to Fruita, CO. For those looking for shorter challenges, ‘Little Moe’ starts in Cisco, Utah, covering 100 miles, while ‘Little T’ spans 52 miles, beginning just over the Utah border.
A rider and bike shuttle to the start line of the 200 and 100 mile courses is provided. The Rexy Solo 200-mile course has been dubbed “A beautiful act of survival,” as it boasts 11,400′ of climbing, exposing riders to mind-blowing roads seldom frequented, offering unparalleled views and diverse terrains. Don’t be fooled by the 10,000’+ elevation gain, the roads are commendable. With a blend of desert hardpack dirt, actual gravel, and occasional sand segments, the route is more gravel than mountain bike technical. Desert Gravel is majorly hardpack dirt with gravel and very fine crush rock, jeep-style roads, primary county maintained roads, and paved stretches. Thankfully, there’s no single-track or rock gardens to navigate. A gravel-specific bike is ideal for this course. Given the variety in terrain, 42’s tires are preferred for better absorption and traction.
Spread approximately 25-45 miles apart, these stations are stocked with hydration essentials and energy nutrition by Skratch Labs. Crew support is allowed in specific locations, ensuring riders receive the morale and nutritional boost they need. However, riders are reminded of the extremities of the desert environment. Safety is paramount, and riders are advised to be well-prepared and accountable for their journey as the race requires self-sufficiency between aid stations, with limited neutral sag support. Yet, participants have up to 23 hours and 59 minutes to complete the challenge
Beyond the physical challenge, Rexy Co2uT is a celebration. The finish line in downtown Fruita welcomes riders with food, beer, music, and a bonfire. Awards await not just the top finishers but all who conquer the course. The Rexy Co2uT event isn’t just about speed; it’s about endurance, mental strength, camaraderie, and the sheer joy of gravel cycling. Whether you’re a solo rider, part of a relay team, or cheering from the sidelines, Rexy promises an unforgettable experience.
Here is a more detailed breakdown of the 200 mile solo course by segment:
SEGMENT 1. START TO AID #1: Covering 54 miles with 3,000′ of gain, this segment starts 11 miles north of Moab near Highways 191 and 313. Riders initially travel 8 miles on asphalt before engaging in a scenic climb leading up to the desert, passing by the Navajo Rocks mtb area. The terrain soon transitions to gravel and descends into the high mesa flats. At mile 15, riders encounter the historic Dubinky Well. A downhill stretch leads to mile 22, transitioning to a county road. Another descent arrives at the I-70 crossing. Riders then journey through the Bookcliffs, culminating in a flat asphalt stretch to aid station #1 in Thompson Springs, where a food truck awaits.
SEGMENT 2. AID #1 THOMPSON SPRINGS – AID STATION #2 CISCO: Spanning 43 miles and presenting 2,100′ of climbing, this segment kicks off at mile 54. Riders tackle challenging terrains, starting with a quick asphalt stretch north from Thompson Springs. This path provides a photo opportunity at the Sego Canyon rock art. A subsequent climb reveals the breathtaking Rexy Overlook. Riders then meander through the Bookcliffs canyons and confront a steep downhill at mile 13. The landscape eventually opens up across a basin, leading riders to the distinctive town of Cisco and aid station #3.
SEGMENT 3 – (MOE SEGMENT 1). AID STATION #2 CISCO – AID STATION #3: This segment covers 45 miles and features 2,600′ of gain. It commences at race day mile 100, marking the starting point for those participating in the 100-mile race.
SEGMENT 4. (MOE SEGMENT 2) AID STATION #3 – AID STATION #4, HWY 139: This segment, 43 miles in length with 2,000′ of gain, was not detailed in the provided information.
SEGMENT 5. AID STATION #4 – THE FINISH!: This final 21-mile stretch, with 900′ of gain, embodies the culmination of the riders’ journey. Entering a brief highway section, they then ascend a formidable 5-mile hill, followed by an enjoyable roller segment. Approaching the finish, riders grapple with two steep climbs. A technical portion then ushers them into a tranquil 7-mile finish, where celebration, warmth, and refreshments greet them.
All segments consistently stress the importance of safety, as riders navigate public roads with potential traffic and unexpected challenges, such as ATVs, motorcycles, or wandering cows.
Area Accommodations & Things to Do
The Rexy Co2uT events begin and conclude in premier cycling locations. We wholeheartedly suggest turning this into a destination experience for your entire family or cycling group. The plethora of road, mountain, and gravel cycling options is vast. And that doesn’t even touch on the myriad of hiking, climbing, sightseeing, dining, camping, and exploration opportunities available. Depending on what you are looking for there are accommodations to suit a variety of needs in both Fruita and Grand Junction (20 min drive).
Hotel recommendations include La Quinta, the Hotel Maverick or Camp Eddy both in GJ. There are also many great vacation rentals in Fruita for those looking for convenience and a more home-like experience from quaint homes to guest houses.
Fruita, CO, and the surrounding area boast a burgeoning culinary scene, offering a blend of traditional American fare, local delicacies, and eclectic dining options influenced by the region’s rich outdoor and cultural activities. The close proximity to the Colorado River and renowned outdoor trails brings a fresh, adventurous flavor to local eateries, catering to both locals and outdoor enthusiasts. Local favorites include Fiesta Guadalajara, Rib City Grill and Bestslope Coffee Co.
Fruita is a small town in the Colorado River’s Grand Valley, surrounded by the Book Cliffs to the north and the Colorado National Monument to the south. The city has an elevation of around 4,500 feet and covers an area of approximately 8 square miles. Fruita is known for its rugged and beautiful landscape, which offers various outdoor sports activities. In addition to mountain biking, Fruita offers many other outdoor sports activities, such as hiking, rock climbing, and river rafting. The Colorado River flows through Fruita, providing whitewater rafting, kayaking, and fishing opportunities. Naturally, one of the most popular activities in Fruita is mountain biking, with trails that cater to riders of all skill levels. The Kokopelli Trail System covers over 140 miles of terrain and is a favorite among riders. Other popular mountain biking trails include the 18 Road Trail System, the Horsethief Bench Trail System, and the North Fruita Desert Trail System. The surrounding area of The Grand Junction and Palisade area or “Grand Valley” also has many activities to enjoy from local vineyards and breweries & distilleries to outdoor activities within Colorado National Monument.
In regards to the finish town, Moab, if you have not visited, you are in for a treat. It’s an absolute outdoor paradise offering iconic Southwest scenery and a wide array of sports options in addition to cycling. From hiking to kayaking, rafting, rock climbing, off road adventuring, and exploring national parks, there is something for everyone. A recommended hotel is Field Station Moab which also offers spots for van lifers. Other lodging options include one of a kind locations for camping as well as unique vacation rentals. For Rexy Co2uT participants that want to be in Moab on their own, 7 mile RV park is excellent camping less than 1 mile, and if anyone would like to camp in Cisco for the 100 start the organizer can make arrangements for you.
There is also a Spring iteration of the Rexy Co2uT event with a similar name, Desert Gravel Co2uT (Colorado to Utah). In the past, the event was produced in partnership with Team Evergreen Cycling who produces some of the best cycling events in the Rocky Mountain region, including Mt Evans Hill Climb, Triple Pass Gran Fondo; The Hundo & Hundito; The Beti Bike Bash.
Other events that take place in Fruita include the Desert RATS Trail Running Festival which is part of the UTMB World Series, Fruita Trail Half Marathon, Dirty Edge Gravel and Sarlacc Attack MTB which are all part of Adventure Fest and produced by Gemini Adventures. Our team considers these to be some of the best in class trail running, mountain biking, and gravel cycling events in Colorado and the Rockies.
For the multi-sport athletes out thee, the Tour of the Moon, which is part of The Ride Collective takes place in nearby Grand Junction and is considered one of the best road cycling events in Colorado and the Rocky Mountains.