By Raetta Holdman

PALISADE, Colo. (CBS4) – The Town of Palisade and its partners recently celebrated the opening of the Palisade Plunge, a singletrack trail that starts at more than 10,700 feet at the top of the Grand Mesa then plunges down 6,000 feet to Palisade, which has an altitude of 4,700 feet.

“The Palisade Plunge Trail is a unique and unforgettable trail experience, providing access to remote public lands while traversing stunning alpine to high desert terrain,” said Scott Winans in a news release.

Winans is the President of the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association and member of the ORC Leadership Council.

The 32 mile trail is open to all recreational, non-motorized users including hiking, biking and trail running. Horses are allowed on miles 1-18 and dogs can join you as long as they are on a leash.

Those 32 miles travel through a variety of terrains from forest to meadows to streams and desert. The area is historically unused and offers up views of rock spires, lava fields and aspen groves.

The Plunge will include landmarks from the Grand Valley, the Bookcliff Range, the Colorado National Monument and Unaweep Canyon. It ends with a mile of paved trail that takes you right into downtown Palisade. It starts at the Mesa Trail Top Trail Head at 10,719 feet.

It took nearly 12 years to complete the trail and its net descent is matched by only a couple of mountain biking trials in the country. It’s expected to contribute a minimum of $5 million annually to the local economy.

Get a closer look at the Palisade Plunge at visitpalisade.com.

Raetta Holdman