August 28, 2005
This trailhead is about 15 miles north of town, past the road that takes you to Canyonlands. It's easy to miss the trailhead entrance, but just keep looking to the left.
Riding out from the trailhead, you'll be on a jeep road that is alternatively sandy and hard packed. About a half mile or so, you come to a junction where the jeep road goes straight or left. Go straight. A little bit further and you get to the Halfway Stage station, which is an old stopping point for the first passenger trains that went through Thompson to Salt Lake City.
Contining on for about another 3/4 mile and ylou finally get to the slickrock. You could stay on slickrock all day here. The trail cuts across some smooth slickrock out to Courthouse (something), which is a massive rock feature that looks a bit like an amphitheatre. You can continue on the unmarked trail out to the Merrimac and Monitor Buttes, which were named after Civil War ships and look like them too.
This is a fun easy ride and really shows you how much fun riding on slickrock can be. It's not very crowded because people usually go for the more famous Moab trails, like Slickrock and Porcupine, but this is a fun trail with many opportunities to hone your slickrock skills. Getting to the slickrock is rather tedious, with the deep sand on the boring jeep road, but once there, it's a blast. Riding out to Monitor and Merrimac can also be an all-day affair, so bring LOTS of water and some food. The views are spectacular of course, but what else would you expect from a Moab trail? * Review edited 4/20/2007