7.0 miles
1,174 ft
-1,221 ft
Avg time

Slickrock Details

  • Riding area
  • Difficulty rating
    Black Diamond
  • Trail type
  • Direction
    Both Directions
  • Global Ranking

Why is it called Slickrock? Though incredibly tacky for bike tires, horses with metal shoes do not have the same experience, so settlers in the 1800's named the sand stone "slick rock".

Starting from the largest parking lot ever dedicated to a single trail, head north on easy terrain. You'll come to the Slickrock Practice Loop in .25 miles, which is well worth the detour. It's a good introduction to the main Slickrock loop, slightly easier and adds another fun mile to your ride. It reconnects to this trail half a mile later.

The trail is a never-ending series of short but incredibly steep climbs and descents. The rock provides incredible traction, and after a while, you'll realize that everything here is rideable, even if it appears to be way to steep to ride at first. If this is your first time, walk the steeper ones and work up the difficulties slowly - falling on rock hurts more than dirt.

From the intersection with the Practice Loop, you'll ride a short connection to the main loop. Along this section, you come to a cool view down Abyss Canyon, then wade through a sandy pit, and then intersect with the 4x4 trail called Hell's Revenge (don't follow that trail by accident).

At 2 miles you'll come to the loop part of this lollipop, and the preferred direction is clockwise (though either way is fine), so take a left and ascend along 'swiss cheese ridge' high above Moab. This is a long, generally straight in direction, section of trail. The ups and downs are steep for sure. Along the flatter sections of slickrock, be on the lookout for potholes that cradle prickly pear cactus or want to swallow your tires.

At 3.5 and 5 miles, there are optional spurs (each a couple tenths of a mile) that go to the edge of the cliff for great views and are well worth it. The trail turns to parallel the Colorado River here and begins to descend towards a vast, flatter expanse of slickrock. It's wise to roll up to edges slowly.

The Natural Selection viewpoint at 7 miles is really cool, and a great place for a rest before you head back to the west and south to complete the loop. On the return you'll find more punchy climbs and steep descents with some sand traps mixed in for good measure. This part of the route will pass a couple of different canyons and you'll get some spine tingling views across the red rock landscape.

There's one big climb and descent to tackle before reaching the intersection to head back to the trailhead. Your legs will be tired but keep riding, you're about the complete the world famous Slickrock!

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More Stats for Slickrock mountain bike trail
  • Altitude change
    -47 ft
  • Altitude min
    4,444 ft
  • Altitude max
    4,801 ft
  • Altitude start
    4,621 ft
  • Altitude end
    4,574 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    3.3 miles
  • Distance down
    3.2 miles
  • Distance flat
    2,464 ft
  • Avg time
  • view trail stats
on Aug 17, 2016
Avg: 3.9 (44 votes)

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Slickrock Trail Reports

Aug 17, 2016 @ 8:01am
Aug 17, 2016
Aug 17, 2016 @ 8:00am
Aug 17, 2016
Jul 1, 2016 @ 11:44am
Jul 1, 2016
Minor Water drainage issue, standing water on trail surface
Mar 13, 2016 @ 4:24pm
Mar 13, 2016
Good condition
Nov 30, 2014 @ 5:43pm
Nov 30, 2014
view all reports »


more »
9 |
Oct 21, 2016 @ 11:02am
Oct 21, 2016
Slickrock, Salt Lake City
4 |
Oct 21, 2016 @ 11:02am
Oct 21, 2016
Slickrock, Salt Lake City
3 |
Oct 21, 2016 @ 11:01am
Oct 21, 2016
Slickrock, Salt Lake City
42 |
Aug 17, 2016 @ 8:03am
Aug 17, 2016
Slickrock, My City

Routes with this trail

Jerdon Mountain Challenge race
26.2 miles

1 Review & Comments

  • + 1
flag JakeAndersonShred (Dec 17, 2014 at 13:55)
 Slickrock is a fun trail that gets a ton of hype and is probably the most well known trail in Moab. It is not very technical on the downhills but some of the uphills can be difficult. It took me just under three hours.Have fun, charge hard, and be safe. Also take a lot of water because it gets very hot out there.

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Slickrock (Moab, Utah)
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