The Slickrock Trail, located near Moab, Utah is one of the most famous bike trails in the world and a 13-mile loop which twists and rolls through the Navajo sandstone to a breathtaking view over the Colorado River. It is rated rather difficult, yet plenty of novice bikers ride this trail with some short hikes over the tough spots.
Main Sections of the Trail
The trail consists of three main sections and is marked with white dots on the rock, ensuring that nobody gets lost. The first section is the so-called lollipop stick or cherry stem, an out-and-back lead-in; there is also a 7-mile loop, and an optional 2,3-mile practice loop. As the Slickrock Trail is part of the Sand Flats Recreation Area, a minimal fee is required to enter the trail. While there are toilets at the entrance, there is no drinking water available within the area.
The 2,3-mile practice loop is perfect for true beginners to check out. Besides passing by amazing scenery, it is every bit as difficult as the full loop. Feel free to use the practice loop as a playground to get the sense for what riding feels like at Slickrock.
The Slickrock Sandstone
Against all assumptions, the slickrock sandstone is not slick at all, rather it has a surface much like sandpaper, which means that the tires of a mountain bike grip readily to its surface. Anyways, its sandpaper structure is notorious for severe abrasion injuries and Slickrock becomes extremely slick when wet.
Spring and Fall are Best
Although spring and fall are best for biking southern Utah, as it gets pretty hot in summer, and pretty freezing in winter, it is also possible to do Slickrock in July and December. Just make sure to be dressed for the weather and pack plenty of water and snacks. However, the scenery form the Slickrock Trail is always terrific – throughout the year.
- You're traveling a distance of 11 miles on this moderate trail. The bike trail is therefore not too long. Average length of all bike Trails in Utah is 16 miles.
- Elevated between 4429 ft and 4783 ft, the bike trail is the highest elevated bike Trails in the USA. You're facing an uphill climb of 529 vertical meters on this bike trail. This makes the Bike Trail the one with the largest ascent in the USA.
Highlights of the tour
The loop trail over slickrock with some up-close canyon views and distant views to the La Sal Mountains.