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Event Series Event Series: The Ride Collective Series

Wild Horse Gravel 2024

May 18

gravel cyclist
Last Updated May 7, 2024

The Ride Collective Series gives cyclists access to a secret stash of high desert gravel via Wild Horse Gravel, offering two course options and the opportunity to compete and win significant prize money. Picked as one of Strambecco’s Best Gravel Cycling Race Events in Colorado as well as Best Gravel Cycling Race Events in the Rockies, the event takes place in De Beque, CO,  25 miles East of Grand Junction in Mesa County.

Wild Horse Gravel offers a unique blend of competitive cycling and rustic relaxation, hosted at the exclusive High Lonesome Ranch. This event provides cyclists with a rare opportunity to ride on terrain that is not accessible year-round, adding an element of exclusivity to the experience. Participants can enjoy a country hoedown atmosphere complete with a country cook-out, campfire, various accommodation options ranging from cabins to glamping, and live local music. Cyclists of all seriousness levels are welcome, and while some may race through at top speeds, the communal stops at well-stocked feed stations for local treats and breathtaking views ensure a shared, enjoyable experience for all.

Below you will find information on course details, lodging, dining, and other outdoor activities to do while in town for Wild Horse Gravel.

Event & Course Info

The challenging Wild Horse Gravel long course (65-mile gravel course with ~5500 feet of elevation gain), starts with an easy ride through De Beque before going into the backcountry of all trail conditions.  Expect a little bit of everything, including steep climbs, downhills, and mixed terrain.  Riders will enjoy scenic views of rock formations like Valley of the Goblins, and new as of 2022 is a ride around Horse Mountain Range for further visual inspiration. The long course will include several aid stations. Wild Horse Gravel also offers a shorter ride for those who want to stay on a gravel trail for one big loop 30 miles around the High Lonesome Ranch property. There is a climb at a moderate grade for the first 14 miles, with the last half of the ride as a flowy downhill to the finish line. One aid station will be positioned at the high point of the ride.

The short course covers 30 miles and covers over 2,600 ft. of elevation gain.

Registration includes many perks. There are refreshments and support throughout the ride, including an event t-shirt, bike plate, and race bib. Located at High Lonesome Ranch, the event conveniently takes place in one location the full weekend, kicking off Friday evening with an Expo, packet pick-up, bike tech, food trucks, beer garden, and fire pit. Saturday, race day, offers breakfast, bike tech, and hydration stations before the mass start. The race starts at 8:00 am, but other ranch activities start at 11:00 am with Expo, food truck, and massages, followed by ranch activities available for participants and supporters.  Stationary steer roping, fly casting, and swimming are available alongside country BBQ cookout, beer garden, and live music.

Podium Presentation and Awards begin at 3:30 pm, where long course participants win cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Sunday wraps up the event with breakfast for purchase, and participants are asked to depart the ranch by 10:00 am.

Area Accommodations & Things to Do

Where to Stay in De Beque

De Beque is a quaint and historic community nestled along the Colorado River and Roan Plateau with many area attractions for the whole family to enjoy while in town for Wild Horse Gravel. For those interested in staying close to all the action, be sure to book lodging through event partner Summit Cycle Solutions. The closest hotels are in Parachute CO, approximately a 30 minute drive from the ranch and include options like Candlewood Suites Parachute and Grand Vista Hotel. If you prefer a more home-like experience, there are many vacation rentals in the surrounding area as well as one-of-a-kind camping experiences.

However, free tent and RV camping at the High Lonesome Ranch will be available first come first served, right near the start/finish line.

Dining in De Beque

Nearby Grand Junction boasts a vibrant culinary scene, blending local farm-to-table produce with innovative gastronomy, and is particularly renowned for its wineries and orchards that influence many of its delectable dishes. Local favorites include 626 On RoodKulina Lani Organic Sourdough Bakery, and BIN 707 Foodbar.

Outdoor Activities around De Beque

It’s highly recommended that you make a long weekend out of Wild Horse Gravel. Located in western Colorado, De Beque is a small town that bursts into life in May, with its natural landscapes offering perfect conditions for a variety of outdoor activities. From rugged trails to expansive reservoirs, De Beque provides a playground for athletes and adventurers alike. It is also in close proximity to Grand Junction, nestled between the towering mesas and the confluence of the Colorado and Gunnison rivers, and is a haven for outdoor athletes.

The Colorado National Monument, often referred to as the “heart of the world’s best-kept secret,” offers an expansive trail system that’s perfect for hiking. One of the standout trails is the Monument Canyon Trail, which is a 6-mile trail takes you past towering monoliths and the iconic Independence Monument. It’s a moderately strenuous hike, but the panoramic views of the Grand Valley and the Book Cliffs are absolutely breathtaking.

The area is also often dubbed as a mountain biking paradise, and the Kokopelli Loops affirm that reputation – located a short drive away in nearby Fruita, these trails cater to bikers of all skill levels. From the challenging descents of the Hawkeye Trail to the more moderate Mary’s Loop, the variety ensures there’s something for everyone.

Outdoor athletes who enjoy wine, will be particularly please to be in Grand Junction during this time, as it’s the peak of harvest season, and the vineyards are buzzing with activity. The region is known for producing some of Colorado’s finest wines. Opt for a wine-tasting tour in vineyards like Two Rivers Winery or Colorado Cellars.

Related Events

The Ride Collective, formerly known as the Outside Events Cycling Series, is a portfolio of eight professionally-produced events and races in both Colorado and New Mexico. Host venues and terrain vary from the Front Range to the Rocky Mountains to the High Desert. TRC strives to create an inclusive culture where cyclists of almost all abilities can enjoy the simple pleasures of riding a bicycle. For some, it’s about the challenge, others do it for a cause, but everybody enjoys surfing the energy of the group. The Ride Collective events range from 300 to 3,000 participants, with a portion of event proceeds benefiting local and regional nonprofit organizations.  The full list of events includes the following:

For multi-sport endurance athletes looking for other events in the state of Colorado and broader Rocky Mountain region, be sure to check out our full list of Strambecco Best-rated guides:


Outside Events
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