Slickrock Practice Loop

The Moab Slickrock practice loop is a trail that needs to be on everyone’s bucket list. Being from the Rocky mountains in the pacific northwest, the desert red rock is a whole different world!

The trailhead starts from the main Slickrock parking lot just outside of Moab UT. Both the full loop (10.5 miles) and the practice loop (2.2 miles) begin at the same trailhead. Have not attempted the full loop yet.

I have been told that the full loop will require a lot of assistance and possibly the use of ropes as a precaution. This is a trail for expert level handcycle riders and a support team only!

The trails are clearly marked with painted markings on the rock and are all solid sandstone with the exception of a few small sand traps. There are very few flat sections in this trail and you are pretty much either climbing or descending over the full distance. Some of the climbs/descents are fairly intense but, are short, giving a rider a chance to regroup after clearing the section. I have been able to ride the loop unassisted with the exception one uphill with a stair step. I have yet to clear this one with out a little help (next time it will fall). Trail width isn’t an issue here but, there are other conditions to be careful of. Steep pitches, ledges and there are some sections with off-camber side hills that will test your counterbalance skills. Loosing control and riding off into the Abyss canyon wouldn’t be a pleasant experience!

Not sure how to rate this one, nine seem a little high for some of it but, it’s definitely a trail to be respected!

The trails are open to motorized traffic (motorcycles). The cyclists I have encountered in the past have always be very polite/respectful.

Be sure to stop and take in the scenery on occasion!

More Information

Trail Name: Slickrock Practice Loop

Location: Moab, Utah  |  Map

Type: Slickrock, Start and end at the same point (Loop)

Rating: Adaptive Level 09

Length: 2.2 Miles

Steepest Section: Difficult – over 30º

Most Off-Camber Section: Moderate – between 10-30º

Terrain: Mostly hardpack, minimal loose sections

Obstacles: Deep ruts and erosion, Ravines, drop-ins, Drops, ledges, jumps, Sand traps

Help Needed? Yes, a little

Even more info: discover moab

Directions to Trailhead

Basically right in the middle of Moab. From any of the downtown streets, head East one block, go more South and look for the signs up to Slickrock and/or Sand Flats Recreation Area (and the recycling center). Drive or ride up. Pay your fee (U$5 as of Oct’08) and go about 1km further to the well marked Slickrock trailhead.



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