The Slickrock Bike Trail is an adventure. Add to our collection of history about the Slickrock Bike Trail. Slickrock is perhaps the most well-known trail in all of Moab. The Slickrock Trail, a challenging and world-famous 18-kilometer-long mountain biking loop, traverses the beautiful, buff-colored Navajo Sandstone, whose sweeping, high-angle cross-beds are the remnants of enormous dunes from a Saharan-sized desert that stretched from Arizona to Wyoming about 190 million years ago. Secret Slick Rock Trail is a 0.7 mile loop trail located near Sedona, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The cover photo (this was the first full color MTB magazine) featured a stunning view of Moab Valley from the Slickrock Trail. Earlier today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced it has removed the Slickrock Trail … And thanks to public pressure, it will now be preserved after facing a threat earlier this week from a planned Trump administration intervention. The Hardest Trail in North Carolina - Slickrock Creek Trail If you're thinking of hiking up Slickrock Creek Trail in the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness, I have some advice for you: don't do it. You'll come to the Slickrock Practice Loop in .25 miles, which is well worth the detour. I logged these local adventures in milepost format, and included maps I drew for your readers orientation. Slickrock Bike Trail is part of the National Trails System, which is a network of scenic, historic, and recreation trails created by the National Trails System Act of 1968. The first issue of “Mountain Bike” came out in_____ and Moab was all over it. Altitude change-11 ft. Altitude min. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking. Over the next several years and into the early '70s, as a part-time, contract journalist, you introduced me to every aspect of publishing a weekly newspaper, from reporting the news, making advertising sales, layout and design, to developing the film and making prints in your dark room. [1][2][3][4][5], This 10.5-mile (16.9 km) trail[6][Note 1] takes riders over a landscape of petrified sand dunes and the eroded remnants of ancient sea beds. I remember riding with Doug Wood for the feature article I did on the BLM's jurisdiction over the Basque sheepherders grazing their animals in the isolated valleys north of the Arches. It has even been said that it has the largest parking lot ever built for a single trail. The name "slickrock" was used by early settlers of the area to describe the sandstone because of the low traction between horses' metal shoes and the rock's sloping surfaces. Working for you, Sam, launched me into my journalism career. Rarely do you leave your easiest gears and "spin" at an easy cadence. It is responsible for putting Moab, Utah on the map as the mountain biking mecca of the world. In geological terms, the Slickrock Trail is not part of the Entrada Sandstone formation, which includes the Slick Rock Member. Make use of the primitive camping at the mouth of Slickrock Creek, just three miles in from the trailhead… The Slickrock Trail opened to the public in 1969, two years before Arches was designated a national park. The Slickrock Creek Trail portion of the hike includes Wildcat Falls, a series of four cascades with crystal-clear plunge pools that are hard to resist on a hot, muggy day. Local Trail Association. I had, in my hand, a proposal for a weekly column, and some photos based on my personal adventures on the rugged trails of Southeast Utah. Permitted trail activities include mountain biking, hiking, and motorcycling. At one point I was surprised to find in the Times that you had named me your "Outdoor Editor.". In my outdoor news coverage of the Bureau of Land Management, for example, I had developed a business and community relationship with Doug Wood, at that time the BLM manager of the Moab office. All Rights Reserved. The practice loop is about as hard as the rest of the trail,[14] but it is shorter and close to the trailhead, serving for new riders as a sample of the rest of the trail or as an alternative return and or departure route. The Slickrock Trail is located off of Highway 4 near Utica Reservoir. Slickrock - think solidified sand - is insanely grippy, it possible to ride steepness and angles on slickrock that defy logic. It was built for the small off-road motorcycles of the time, but that began to change in 1983, when a local bike shop started selling mountain bikes. Slickrock is perhaps the most popular mountain bike trail in the world, boasting over 100,000 visitors per year. Additional fees also apply for camping and vehicle trailers. The close proximity to both Knoxville and Asheville means it’s possible to get out of town on a Friday after work and make a backcountry camp before sundown (at least during the summer months). Originally established in 1969, for motorcycles, the trail has become a popular destination for mountain bikers. Part of the Sand Flats Recreation Area (which is managed through a partnership between Grand County and the Bureau of Land Management), the Slickrock Trail was originally laid out in 1969 by Richard R. Wilson for use by Honda Trail 90s (before the mountain bike was invented), and the area is still open to such recreation today. Slickrock Bike Trail This 10.5-mile loop crosses a scenic and rugged expanse of rolling Navajo Sandstone, the remnant of an ancient desert environment of wind blown sand dunes. Slickrock Trail, a 9.6-mile path in the Sand Flats Recreation Area just outside of Moab, is one of Utah’s most-appreciated natural tourist attractions. [9][10][6][11][5] 4X4 and off-road enthusiasts will find a challenge on the nearby Hell's Revenge 4X4 Trail, which intersects the Slickrock Trail in several places. You had recently taken over as publisher and editor following your dad's 40-plus-years career heading the newspaper. “The Slickrock trail was a testing ground for a lot of the early shocks for mountain bikes,” said Matt Olding, who works at the Sand Flats Recreation Area. The first mention of the Slickrock Trail in Moab's local weekly newspaper of record, The Moab Times-Independent, is a March 27, 1969 article titled "Proposed New Slickrock Trail Would Provide Thrills for Trail Bikers," by Dick Wilson. An intermediate-level trail in an often-overlooked area just outside Moab, … You and your dad liked the idea and accepted my first article. I'm pretty sure that hike was the most miserable hike of my life. The way Sam sent me out on assignments acquainted me with local leaders who were movers and shakers of this small town. The lead-in, main loop, and practice trail are marked out by white, dashed lines on the rock to prevent riders from straying from the trail, becoming lost, or disturbing the fragile cryptobiotic soil near which the trail passes. And here are some never-before-published details of how it came to be. "The Slickrock Trail is a proposed route for trail-adapted motorcycles which provide access to a pure, unspoiled wilderness seldom visited presently, and even though it is within … [13][15][10][Note 3]. Length 8.9 miElevation gain 997 ftRoute type Loop The first portion of the trail winds its way around the south end of Utica Reservoir. Mountain bikers rate the Slickrock Trail as one of the more difficult rides in the Moab area, both technically and cardiovascularly.[8]. Mountain bikers, hikers and OHV drivers from around the world flock to the Sand Flats Recreation Area to explore Slickrock’s unique geology and formations, which have very few analogs anywhere else. 4,497 ft. Altitude max. As of October 2017, the fees to access the Sand Flats Recreation Area are $5.00 per day or $10.00 per week for vehicles and $2.00 per day or $5.00 per week for others (including bicycle, motorcycle, shuttle bus, etc.). Interviewing them resulted not only in newspaper coverage, but also friendship as fellow adventurers in the very unique environment of canyon country. This did not go unnoticed. Later, following my final year as an elementary school teacher, you provided me full-time work, continuing as a contract journalist. I recently came across some of my pay stubs from you, with my pay determined on the length of stories and number of my published photos in the weekly paper. Moab Trail Mix. Rather, most of the outcrop that forms the trail is Navajo Sandstone, and the term "slickrock" has come to mean any expanse of sandstone with a surface level enough for walking or riding. donate to earn trail karma! Slickrock was opened up to mountain biking when the sport was still growing, and it continues to be an iconic image of the More Stats for Slickrock mountain bike trail trail. I covered business and industrial news. You are faced with a steep drop-in and quick climb out, or you can tuck your tail and stay high and to the right and climb the fence. It is definitely unique due to the tread (rock) and the desolate landscape that surrounds the area. The trailhead starts at Utica Reservoir and continues up to Lake Alpine. Slickrock Bike Trail is part of the National Trails System, which is a network of scenic, historic, and recreation trails created by the National Trails System Act of 1968. 4X4 and off-road enthusiasts will find a challenge on the nearby Hell's Revenge 4X4 Trail, which intersects the Slickrock Trail in several places. The so-called "slickrock" sandstone, which forms the majority of the trail's surface has a surface much like sandpaper, making it really grippable by the rubber tires of a mountain bike or off-road motorcycle. You continued to give me more assignments on issues involving the city and surrounding counties, and you nurtured me in the daily tasks of producing the newspaper. That day in 1967, for example, when I walked into the Times-Independent and met you and your dad for the first time. Actual length of the trail may vary as there are several alternate routes for the trail. Length 0.7 miElevation gain 78 ftRoute type Loop Hiking Walking Views Wildflowers Wildlife Celebrating the Slickrock Bike Trail in Moab, Utah 50 Years of Slickrock ~ Filmed and edited in 4K. It was there also in Moab that I made my mark(s) on the world, marks that endure to this day, in the form of the Moab Slickrock Bike Trail. The Slickrock Trail in Moab, Utah, one of the most iconic trails in mountain bike history, was recently threatened by oil and gas development through a lease that could include two thirds of the trail. Week after week I traced and featured in the paper the area's four-wheel-drive trails, including almost invisible, abandoned, and forgotten uranium trails. The creation of the trail was almost a recreational first for the BLM and it … Slickrock Trail was originally created for motorcycles, specifically the then new breed of ultra-lightweight Honda 90 trail bikes. [Note 2] Pit-toilets are available at the trailhead, but there is no drinking water available within the area. And in another column I featured some unusual creatures I found in the slickrock puddles above Moab. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Slickrock Mountain Bike Trail Moab Slickrock Trail History Slickrock is still one of the most premiere mountain biking trails in Moab. Articles and photos inside were all about riding in canyon country. Coordinates: .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}38°34′53″N 109°31′10″W / 38.581365°N 109.51947°W / 38.581365; -109.51947, The Slickrock Trail, is a popular mountain biking destination with worldwide fame that is located in Grand County, Utah, United States, a few miles northeast of the city of Moab. However, it was not always a mountain biking trail. 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". “If it could handle the Slickrock trail, it … It … The Slickrock Trail was originally created by dirt bikers in 1969. This bit of trail climbs onto the first slickrock outcrop. This required an over-the-slickrock trip with Doug Wood and Bill Taylor of the National Park Service to get their analysis of a desert form of shrimp which emerged only in wet weather. Utica Reservoir is accessed from Spicer Road about 10 miles up from the Ramsey turnoff. Trail History; JustRuns Logo Stickers; Slickrock Trail. S L I C K R O C K T R A I L MOAB, UTAH The trails are challenging uphill as well as down. As the incident was observed by a person fishing below, it apparently occurred on a drop-off near, Slickrock MTB Trail - The Most Famous Bike Trail, GoPro HD Mountain Biking Moab Slickrock Trail, "Slickrock Trail of the Sand Flats Recreation Area", "The little known history of Moab's Slickrock Trail", "The Slickrock Bike Trail & Sand Flats Recreation Area", "Slickrock Complete Ride Mountain Bike Trail, Moab, Utah", "The Slickrock Bike Trail - To the Abyss And Beyond", "Faith in friction: On Slickrock Trail, trust your tires and bring plenty of water", "Slickrock Trail Guide: the Slickrock Trail", "Above Abyss Mountain Bike Trail, Moab, Utah", Slickrock Trail on UtahMountainBiking.com, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Slickrock_Trail&oldid=994158457, Mountain biking venues in the United States, Geologic formations with imbedded sand dunes, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 14 December 2020, at 10:45. The Slickrock Trail is the longest of the four short self-guided trails in The Needles district as the cairned loop trail traverses slickrock for 2.4 miles (4.0k) by four short spur tails, each one taking you to an impressive viewpoint; while the spur trials are short, they do Part of the Sand Flats Recreation Area (which is managed through a partnership between Grand County and the Bureau of Land Management),[6] [Note 2] the Slickrock Trail was originally laid out in 1969 by Richard R. Wilson for use by Honda Trail 90s (before the mountain bike was invented), and the area is still open to such recreation today. There is a 1.7-mile practice loop, which you should do before committing to the 9.5-mile ride. Slickrock also becomes slick when wet. The Slickrock Trail consists of three main sections: An out-and-back lead-in (akin to the stick of a lollipop or stem of a cherry), the main 6.8-mile (10.9 km) loop (akin to the fruit of a cherry or the candy part of a lollipop), and an optional 2.3-mile (3.7 km) practice trail (also called the practice loop, although it is not literally a loop) that begins and ends at separate points on the lead-in. In the fall and winter, prepare for cooler mountain temperatures, which could be down 10-15 degrees compared with the surrounding valleys. The Slickrock Bike Trail is only 12 miles long and can prove absolutely exasperating. Your weekly column, “The Way Sam Remembers It” brings back some memories of my own. I became the Times-Independent representative for the Chamber of Commerce and other groups, at your request, such as the Rodeo Committee, and continued my outdoor columns and news about the nearby national parks and monuments. The first mention of the Slickrock Trail in Moab’s local weekly newspaper, The Moab Times-Independent , is a March 27, 1969, article titled “Proposed New Slickrock Trail Would Provide Thrills for Trail Bikers,” by Dick Wilson. That being said, it is not necessarily the BEST trail in the country. This is part of the classic Slickrock Trail. It is super fun riding, but it is extremely technical and falls are unforgiving. Trail maintainers also use yellow markings near blind drop-offs, narrow ledges, and other features to indicate to riders where to be particularly careful. Located just minutes outside of Moab, the Slickrock Mountain Bike Trail is the one-and-only, epic, classic, and possibly best known trail in all of mountain biking. You'll stay on this terrace level until the entire blob of stone dives into the desert floor at the western edge of the ride. Though incredibly tacky for bike tires, horses with metal shoes do not have the same experience, so settlers in the 1800's named it "slick rock". It could be said, and as the founder of the Slickrock Trail, I will say it, that among the roots of the trail was the influence Sam Taylor had on my two wheels. About a half-mile upstream from Wildcat Falls, the Slickrock Creek Trail portion of the hike comes to an end. All four-wheeled vehicles are prohibited on the all of the Slickrock Trail, except those sections which intersect with the Hell's Revenge 4X4 Trail (which occurs about six times).[13][6]. While annual passes are also available, federal and state recreation passes are not accepted. Slickrock Moab Bike Trails. [1][12][9] The same is true today for cyclists who use shoes with metal cleats while riding the Slickrock Trail. The trail's first recorded fatality was in May 1975, when a motorcyclist went off a cliff near the trail, falling 600 feet (180 m) to his death. “They would come over here and test out their front forks quite a bit,” Olding said. This trail is probably the most well known mountain bike trail in the country. The Slickrock Trail - since 1969 - Moab, Utah. A small fee is required to enter the Sand Flats Recreation Area. Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness, created in 1975, covers 17,394 acres (70 km 2) in the Nantahala National Forest in western North Carolina and the Cherokee National Forest in eastern Tennessee, in the watersheds of the Slickrock and Little Santeetlah Creeks. Since 1969. I'm also pretty sure I'm going to have scars from that hike. The Slickrock Trail is one of the most unique rides anywhere and has helped make Moab the mountain biking Mecca that it is. A series of petrified sand dunes has formed the trail into an 11 mile long roller coaster ride. We were exhausted just after the practice loop. Starting from the largest parking lot ever dedicated to a single trail, head north on easy terrain. Our family enjoyed the Slickrock bike trail, even though some of us had to walk quite a bit. Fallen Peace Officer Trail. These outdoor articles and maps were the beginning of columns you still publish occasionally from other local adventurers. Slick Rock Trail: This is a fun trail that connects Utica Reservoir and Lake Alpine. The texture is notorious for inflicting severe abrasion injuries. Please consider joining or donating to the local trail association to support trail development & maintenance. There are some nice wilderness campsites through this section, although they fill up fast on a busy weekend. The trail is open to both motorcycles and mountain bikes. Copyright © 2020 Slickrock Foundation. From that experience came the naming of Shrimp Rock, now a feature of the Slickrock Trail. 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