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Tags:
Level: Advanced
Length: 10.7 mi (17.2 km)
Surface: Other
Configuration: Lariat
Elevation: +835/689 ft
Total: 963 riders
 

Mountain Biking Slickrock

****   Add a review
#5 of 693 mountain bike trails in Utah
#50 in the world

This trail is probably the most well known mountain bike trail in the country. That being said, it is not necessarily the BEST trail in the country. It is definitely unique due to the tread (rock) and the desolate landscape that surrounds the area. The trail is full of short steep climbs and descents and will really work your legs out. Plan on taking a few hours (3-4) to ride the loop all the way around. If you plan on hitting this trail in the summer (like we foolishly did), be sure to get there real early before it starts getting unbearably hot. Don't even think of trying to do this trail in the evening because it will still be just as hot (due to the enormous heat capacity of the rocks). Again, the trail is unique and is perfect for mountain bikers looking for a trail that is totally different from anywhere else they have ridden.

First added by Jeff Barber on Jan 1, 2003. Last updated May 11, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
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Getting there
From town, take 400 West off of Main Street. Turn right onto Mill Creek Rd. Go straight through the stopsign and follow the signs to Slickrock. There is a pay station as you enter the BLM area. Right now it costs $5 per car or $2 if you're on a bike (although I wouldn't advise riding to the trail - the road is pretty much uphill the whole way out of town).
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Slickrock Trail map

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Local Info

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Trail checkins

Daniella Lugo (on Oct 13, 2019)
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Trail conditions

Good (on Sep 14, 2019)
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Slickrock videos

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Climbing at Slickrock
 
Slickrock Trail May 08
 
SlickRock DownHill
 
 

Mountain Bike Trails Near Moab, Utah

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Rider questions

Q: Is it doable in July, starting super early morning? Thanks a lot for the help
A: Yes. You can enjoy it then as well. If weather doesn't bother you, you'll be fine. I hit this up mid August in the afternoon and the heat wasn't bad to me. Just stay hydrated no matter what. Enjoy! -GT

Q: How long to ride it?

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Reviews

  • Jenny Kukral
    *****

    This trail is great. Awesome views of the Colorado River about half way through the loop. When you add on the practice loop it helps as a warm up. We rode the trail in ~30 mph winds, so definitely check the weather before you hit it up.

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  • ~Mountain Bike Addict~
    ***

    Somebody just painted lines on rocks and called it a trail with 25% grades all over the place and very easy to lose the trail. Not sure why I rode it again.

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  • spoonless
    *****

    Went for a ride in the early spring. It was everything I imagined and more. If you don't think you can handle the main loop try the practice loop. PSA: don't ride straight into the sandy section at speed. I went over the handlebars when I tries this :P

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  • footballfishingfan
    *****

    This trail is a ton of fun! I personally was plagued by mechanical problems on it, but I still had a ton of fun riding it. Here are some things to remember
    1. The best bike for this trail IMO is either a plus sized hardtail, or a 29er with about 130 MM of travel. I was on an XC 26", and did fine, but there were more than a few spots that it would have been nice to have a bit more ability to get rowdy.
    2. Bring several quicklinks. Breaking chains on this trail is common, and I personally broke mine once, but in two spots. I only had one quicklick, but there was another rider who was kind enough to give me one.
    3. Walk up some things. Don't be a hero, yes you can probably climb up a lot of things, but in some sections the consequences of failure are really high.
    4. Go early in the morning. I did this on the Saturday of sping break. We got to the trail at about 8 AM, and we were probably one of 10 people on the trail, on our way back however, there were a lot more people! Like a lot! Many of them had no business being on this trail, so to avoid these people, go early.
    4. Be comfortable descending steep things. This trail gets really steep in places, and you need to be comfortable throwing your weight back and feathering your brake.
    5. This trail is rated as a black diamond, but it's probably an intermediate in terms of technicality. Some say that there is nothing technical about this trail, but this isn't completely true. There are plenty of climbs, steep descents and some small drops. So you definitely need to be comfortable on a bike.
    Get out there and ride this trail! It's a lot of fun!

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  • Nathan Nieman
    ***

    Serious mountain bikers from around the globe have at least heard of Moab's Slickrock trail. Moab is known for being a mountain biking mecca and the Slickrock trail is what put Moab on the map. Named for the smooth sandstone rock surface it is composed of, Slickrock is unlike any other trail, it is truly a unique ride.
    It is a trail of many small ascents and descents that leaves you exhausted, only the strongest climbers will avoid getting off the bike occasionally to walk the insane inclines. This ride doesn't require much skill but, again, prepare to get off your bike a lot. If you visit Slickrock in the summer, expect an extremely hot and miserable experience. Average summer temperatures of 100 degrees. Bring plenty of water.
    With beautiful scenery and views, it also has very dangerous parts that aren't for beginners. Living in the area allows me to visit many trails that are similar, and I don't see why people would make this the holy trail other than for its history as one of the first hardcore dedicated mountain bike trails. For most, Slickrock is likely a trophy ride that they won't want to ride too often. It took me about 2 hours to ride the 10 mile distance with my water supply nearing scarce. The trail is well marked with white arrows painted directly on the sandstone surface. For someone who is out of shape, I do not recommend this trail.

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  • selmtron
    *****

    Unlike anything else I've ridden. Reminds me of snowboarding- if you like mogul runs, you will flourish here. Clockwise circuit took me 56 minutes parking lot to parking lot. Sick workout, I assume. The only part I didn't clean is one of the sand pits. If you absolutely -have- to clean it nonstop, I would ride a fat bike for the sandy parts. If you like extra spicy trails, look up "Dave's trail" to take back to town

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  • NDavis77
    ****

    Practice loop... reviews weren't kidding about not taking this lightly! Lots of climbing, need Lance Armstrong legs.... hike-n-bike... great views though!

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  • Mugochap
    *****

    Very enjoyable trail. Challenging both up and down. The steepest climbs I've ever ridden. It's incredible how much traction your tires have on the slickrock. Highly recommend the trail, but make sure you bring your spinniest gears and your climbing legs!!

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  • Karen Kawsh Jackson
    ****

    Super steep in some sections. Was very challenging but a very humbling trail. A must ride, but be prepared to walk some.

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  • ducklover3
    *****

    Best trail in Moab by far so epic you will never ride anything else like this

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  • jmumford
    ****

    Moab is amazing. Hands down. I'm going back! But who puts a straight up climb after a sand trap. Apparently Maob does. All I can say is why? There is a lot of fun to be had on this trail. It's super steep. Climbing or descending. And for me there were some hike a bike sections. Mostly the climbs. But yeah ride it. And as I'm not local. For me this trail said welcome to Moab. Mountain biking at it's best.

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  • timborocksloud
    ***

    This one just wasn't for me. It was fun to check the box and say "yeah, I done that" but there was no real flow. Some of the ups are super duper steep. I had a pretty bad crash going up one of them, and it kind of tempered my attitude for the rest of the trail. I much preferred Mag7. So much more flow and not nearly the short steep climbs.

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  • heckmanlloyd
    ****

    This trail is very unique. I enjoyed the terrain and the endless traction. However, I did not have much fun. I can't really explain why either. I am giving a 4 star because on a different day I might have a different view.

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  • Daniel Sapp
    ***

    Slickrock is a classic, if not iconic trail. I would give it 5 stars if the rating was based solely on uniqueness. I think the trail is one that absolutely everyone should experience and is fun but it's not endless amounts of flow. Punchy and steep ups are cool with the endless amount of traction on the rock and downs that one may wish went two or more times as long are very repetitive. Nevertheless a must do at least once for anyone who travels to Moab. If you're limited on time, just ride the practice loop and get on out to some other trails such as LPS, Ahab, Amasa, or Navajo Rocks. Don't take the full trail lightly, it's not easy or quick.

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  • Fernierocks
    *****

    Really different and fun for a guy from the east. I read a lot of the reviews that say it is crowded. I went late in the day and was pretty much by myself for the entire loop. Saw very few other riders which was great. For an aerobic warm up, ride up from town vs driving.

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  • Chris Daniels
    *****

    Nearly 100 reviews... What else can be said? We rode it under a full moon (no bike lights). What I like the best is that you can explore sections off the painted trail and find some cool lines less traveled.

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  • tarheelmountainbiker
    *****

    The most surreal visual experience. Everywhere you go you can see sky and awesome terrain for miles. There is nothing like Slickrock. This is extremely difficult aerobically. Prepare to walk up hills unless you are an elite cyclist. Yet this trail will bring out the best out you. Even though the pre-loop and main loop are about 12 miles. Plan at least 3 hours. This has to be on a serious mountain biker's resume. It is is advisable to do a trail (e.g. Klondike Bluffs) before doing Slickrock unless you are familiar with the southwest.

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