Slickrock Mountain Bike Trail in Moab, Utah
Moab, Utah’s Slickrock Mountain Bike Trail is perhaps the most famous mountain bike trail in the world, attracting about 100,000 visitors per year, according to Utah tourism sites. In addition to gorgeous views of the Colorado River and the La Sal Mountains, bikers get the opportunity to ride on petrified sand dunes that are the remnants of ancient sea beds, which differs from the forest trails most bikers frequent. The trail is 13 miles, and it’s a strenuous ride–advanced riders can take upwards of four hours to complete it. It’s worth the journey, though, so if you’re in the mood for an epic mountain bike trip, put the Slickrock trail on your bucket list.
A man-made white trail lines the petrified dunes so as to keep riders aware of where they’re headed.
The Slickrock trail isn’t actually slick–its surface feels more like sandpaper, which can be an unwelcome surprise to riders who fall, and locals will tell you that if you get through the trail without any cuts and bruises, you’ve accomplished quite the feat. While the texture can lead to big raspberries, it also allows riders to go up and down inclines they normally wouldn’t be able to navigate.
The name “Slickrock” came about when the horses of early settles had difficulty gaining purchase on the sandstone.
The trail also features several spots with deep sand, making the journey all the more strenuous.
Some parts of the trail are so steep that even advanced riders will have to get off the saddle and walk.
While motorcycle enthusiasts originally created the trail, it is now mostly used by bikers.