When the snow gods deliver on the Western Slope, this mountain bike ride becomes a snowboard park.
The Ribbon is one of the very best mountain bike rides in the West. Just outside of Grand Junction on the border with Colorado National Monument, it’s not so much of a trail as a romp down 1,500 feet of wide-open slickrock with a sweeping view of the surrounding mesas. In January, it became Colorado’s most uniquely scenic backcountry snowboarding run, too, thanks to a winter that has dumped above average white stuff on the desert. “The idea of snowboarding slickrock is certainly nothing new if you live in or around Grand Junction,” says local photographer Devon Balet. “But when the snow god Ullr made his presence known here in the Grand Valley, we had the chance to make a few fluffy turns on one of the of the Southwest’s iconic mountain bike trails.” —Doug Schnitzspahn