Monday, February 15, 2016

Slickrock Trail, Moab

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Slickrock Trail Guide, Slickrock Trail Maps, Slickrock Moab, Sand Flats Recreation Area, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Slickrock Trail, the world famous mountain biking trail, is located in Moab, Utah. Most people bike this 10.5 mile loop, but we hiked it! Slickrock Trail is located at the Sand Flats Recreation Area, about 10 minutes outside of Moab, where we also camped for two nights. This trail is popular for its scenic, rugged expanse of Navajo Sandstone, the remnant of wind blown sand dunes. Slickrock Trail was established in 1969 for motorcycles, but the trail is now popular for both mountain bikes and motorcycles - it is closed to all four-wheeled vehicles.


The best times to ride or hike here are Spring and Fall, when daytime temperatures aren't as hot. We hiked here in February, and found several patches of snow and ice, especially on the north facing slopes. This weekend the weather was perfect in Moab, with daytime highs around 50-55F degrees, and the trail wasn't super popular as it normally is a month from now in March/April. 

The inversion in SLC has been so bad the past few weeks, we just had to get out of the nasty air. The state had even declared the air quality as extremely poor. It just also happened to be Valentine's Day weekend, so Charlie, my boyfriend, and I make a quick trip down to Moab in search of clean air and warm sun.

 From SLC head south on I-15, and take exit 257 for Spanish Fork Canyon. Drive past Price, UT, then take I-70 East towards Green River. Take exit 182 for Moab. Drive south on HWY 191 for 31 miles. Once you are in Moab, turn left onto 100 North, then right at the stop sign for 400 East. Turn left on Mill Creek Drive, where Dave's Corner Market is. Drive straight past the first stop sign, and weave your way to the entrance of Sand Flats Rec Area. Drive 2.3 miles and look for the Slickrock Trail on the left. The parking lot is huge, has several restrooms, and two picnic tables.

Distance: 10.5 miles (loop)
Elevation gain: roughly 750 ft
Time: 2-4 hours for bikers, 4-8 hours for hikers
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash. Be courteous and always lets bikers have the right of way.
Kid friendly? Yes
Slickrock Trail Guide, Slickrock Trail Maps, Slickrock Moab, Sand Flats Recreation Area, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Entrance to the parking area.
Slickrock Trail Guide, Slickrock Trail Maps, Slickrock Moab, Sand Flats Recreation Area, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Official trailhead!
Slickrock Trail Guide, Slickrock Trail Maps, Slickrock Moab, Sand Flats Recreation Area, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Start by walking about 5 minutes, then cross over the small cattle guard.
Slickrock Trail Guide, Slickrock Trail Maps, Slickrock Moab, Sand Flats Recreation Area, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 The entire trail is well marked with white rectangles.
Slickrock Trail Guide, Slickrock Trail Maps, Slickrock Moab, Sand Flats Recreation Area, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
(Photo by @iboyer)
 Abyss Point - a nice overlook of all the slickrock.
Slickrock Trail Guide, Slickrock Trail Maps, Slickrock Moab, Sand Flats Recreation Area, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 If you hike this trail, always let bikers have right of way.
Slickrock Trail Guide, Slickrock Trail Maps, Slickrock Moab, Sand Flats Recreation Area, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 The trail also marks mileage! How nice of them :)
Slickrock Trail Guide, Slickrock Trail Maps, Slickrock Moab, Sand Flats Recreation Area, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Looking into one of the small canyons.
Slickrock Trail Guide, Slickrock Trail Maps, Slickrock Moab, Sand Flats Recreation Area, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
(Photo by @iboyer)
The LaSal Mountains looked amazing with snow and the red rock below. The contrast was very beautiful!

The peaks in the distance to the left are Mt. Tukuhnikivatz & Mt. Peale.
Slickrock Trail Guide, Slickrock Trail Maps, Slickrock Moab, Sand Flats Recreation Area, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 When we got to the main loop split, we accidentally went right, instead of the recommended left. It doesn't matter which way you go if you go, it still makes a loop, but for bikers it's recommended to travel in a clockwise way. We ended up reaching Shrimp Rock and the Colorado Overlook much quicker than we expected due to our quick turn. 
Slickrock Trail Guide, Slickrock Trail Maps, Slickrock Moab, Sand Flats Recreation Area, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 We took our only real break after hiking about 5 miles. For lunch we had bagels with apples and cheese. The bridge you see is the bridge that crosses into Moab on HWY 191. Hard to believe we were so close to town!
Slickrock Trail Guide, Slickrock Trail Maps, Slickrock Moab, Sand Flats Recreation Area, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Beautiful old tree with the LaSals in the distance.
Slickrock Trail Guide, Slickrock Trail Maps, Slickrock Moab, Sand Flats Recreation Area, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
(Photo by @iboyer)
Charlie leads the way.
Slickrock Trail Guide, Slickrock Trail Maps, Slickrock Moab, Sand Flats Recreation Area, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
As we worked our way back, we came across the zipline obstacle course by Raven's Rim Zipline Tours. They are closed during Winter, so we didn't see anyone flying by.
Slickrock Trail Guide, Slickrock Trail Maps, Slickrock Moab, Sand Flats Recreation Area, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Lone rider in the clouds.
Slickrock Trail Guide, Slickrock Trail Maps, Slickrock Moab, Sand Flats Recreation Area, La Sal Mountains
The beautiful LaSal Mountains.
Slickrock Trail Map, Slickrock Moab
 Route looking Northeast.
Slickrock Trail Map, Slickrock Moab
Route looking Northwest.


3 comments:

  1. We will be in Moab for the month of April and I am always looking for new trails. Thanks for this tip:) I am hoping all that snow will be gone by April. This will be our third April in Moab...do you think we enjoy it there:)

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    Replies
    1. John & Pam - you guys would love this trail! The overlooks have amazing views, the hike itself is not hard, however in April there will be TONS of bikers on the trail. Hikers are allowed year round, but just be careful with bikers flying by. A hike I have been wanting to do in Moab is called Mill Creek Canyon. I wanted to do it this weekend, but the description said there's lots of stream crossings, which may feel perfect in April. Another good trail is Mary Jane Slot Canyon, which I wrote an article on here: http://www.ksl.com/?nid=1288&sid=34126312. Have fun, let me know how it goes! -Alicia

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