Before we left Moab, we had to bike the world famous Slickrock Bike Trail. All I can say is, wow! It really is a lot of fun – riding on solid rock like that is a treat. The views are amazing. You can look across the Colorado River into Arch National Park. Other viewpoints give you views of the town of Moab, the La Sal Mountains, and, well really, you can see 360 degrees in all directions.
The trail is “only” 10.5 miles, but that number is very misleading because it isn’t like any 10 mile ride I have ever done. The guide books say to allow 4 to 5 hours – this is probably a good number if you want time to take breaks for snacks, and to admire the views. We started later in the afternoon and had to push through the course much quicker – next time we will allow more time.
The reason the trail is difficult and takes so long to ride, is because it seems like you are constantly climbing and descending. The climbs are much steeper then you find on a typical mountain biking trail – because it is on solid rock, tire traction is rarely an issue – if you can tolerate the burning legs and lungs, you can keep peddling! Then you are riding the brakes hard on the downhills, so you hardly get a break – then you repeat, and repeat, and…
As you can see in the bottom photo, the actual trail is marked by a series of white dashes painted onto the rock. There is a small practice loop near the beginning of the trail – this is a good place to start if you haven’t riden on slickrock before. It will give you a good feel for what you will encounter, but beware, the actual trail has much steeper hills.
If I can offer one bit of additional advice – carry lots of water!
Check out more of our mountain biking pictures.