5 miles
Distance
950 ft
Climb
-950 ft
Descent
00:53:58
Avg time
Trail Supporters, Builders & Maintainers of Slickrock Trail
  • BLM
    BLM
    Land Manager

Slickrock Details

  • Riding area
  • Difficulty rating
  • Voted Difficulty
    Blue (3 votes)
  • Trail type
    Singletrack
  • Direction
    Both Directions
  • eBike Allowed
  • Global Ranking
    #122

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!

Local Trail Association
More Stats for Slickrock mountain bike trail
  • Altitude min
    4,437 ft
  • Altitude max
    4,799 ft
  • Altitude start
    4,612 ft
  • Altitude end
    4,612 ft
  • Grade max
    -23.171%
  • Grade min
    28.744%
  • Distance climb
    2 miles
  • Distance down
    2 miles
  • Distance flat
    1,343 ft
  • Avg time
    00:53:58
  • Avg reverse time
    00:49:12
  • view trail stats
Status:
on Oct 4, 2018
Variable
Avg: 4.05 (73 votes)

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Layers winter
Trail Style
  • ?
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Directions to slickrock-9016 trailhead (38.591980, -109.536740)
update trails status or condition

Slickrock Trail Reports

datedescription
Oct 4, 2018 @ 9:56am
Oct 4, 2018
Sep 1, 2018 @ 6:41pm
Sep 1, 2018
Jun 26, 2018 @ 6:46am
Jun 26, 2018
Temperatures over 90 F by 10 am and peak in mid-100s. Ride early and bring at least 3L of water.
Apr 7, 2018 @ 9:24am
Apr 7, 2018
Beautiful day, overcast so not too hot. Rain forecast in the afternoon.
Mar 17, 2018 @ 5:21pm
Mar 17, 2018
Great conditions today. Much of the sand washes are firm and rideable. The wind... Holy cow, the wind was blowing people off the trail (the first...
view all reports »

Photos

more »
26 |
Aug 26, 2018 @ 4:00am
Aug 26, 2018
Slickrock, My City
8 |
Aug 26, 2018 @ 4:00am
Aug 26, 2018
Slickrock, My City
211 |
Jan 19, 2018 @ 2:04pm
Jan 19, 2018
Slickrock, Moab
268 |
Jun 15, 2016 @ 10:22am
Jun 15, 2016
Slickrock, Delta

5 Reviews & 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.
[Reply]
  • + 1
flag GTABurnout (Nov 6, 2016 at 8:08)
 Not a very great trail. Its fun the first 2 miles but after that its the same thing over and over. Nothing too technical. Same sandstone trail over and over
[Reply]
  • + 0
flag Zachjackson (Mar 24, 2018 at 20:28)
 Fun and unique trail. Nothing quite like it, if you're in the area I recommend riding the trail.
[Reply]
  • + 1
flag spdorsey (Sep 15, 2018 at 18:24)
 If Animus in Durango is "Easy", then this is by no means a black diamond trail.There are some sketchy sections, sure, but it's not THAT hard to ride.

Slickrock is the world famous trail in Moab that was popularized in movies like Tread. It consists of sandstone formations which roll and undulate across the landscape, making for some compelling and smooth rollercoaster rides.

There is a beginner "practice" loop, and there's the real deal; a 10.5 mile loop that is definitely challenging, but fairly realistic for a mountain biker with moderate skill.

Watch out, it gets HOT in Moab! Bring PLENTY of water and do not hit the trail any later than 10am in the Summer/Fall months. You do not want to be caught out there without proper fluids.
[Reply]
  • + 1
flag XU12XU (3 days ago)
 I think its become cool to say that SlickRock is passe and boring, but I've had a lot of fun both times I've ridden it and its much more entertaining than some descriptions would have you believe. It is quite physically demanding, the punches punch hard. Can be ridden simply as an XC-esque loop, but there are many opportunities to find side hits, natural lips etc. Makes for a good first ride in Moab to open the lungs.
[Reply]

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