Our premier slickrock trail lies northeast of town between the Sand Flats Road and the river. There are long stretches of slickrock where the 4WD trail has recently been marked (a yellow, sometimes white, paint design that resembles a flame). There are other paint marks, too, for mountain bikes and emergency medical services. The most difficult obstacles are out of the stock-vehicle class, but those can be bypassed. There are steep climbs and descents and some edges that are not for the faint of heart. The steep slopes, however, are not technically difficult because of the excellent traction on sandstone. In a few places, the trail crosses the now-famous “Slickrock Bike Trail,” a motorcycle and mountain-bike trail. (Although the Lion’s Back, the Dump Bump, and Potato Salad Hill are nearby, they are not part of this trail.) Approximate mileages: 16 total, 12 off highway.
The large vistas sweep full circle from the La Sal Mountains through Arches National Park to the cliff rims that overlook Moab Valley. The nearby country is an amazing stretch of bare sandstone with clefts and canyons, including the Colorado River canyon.
In addition to the slickrock, there are rock ledges, broken rock, sand, and a little blow sand.
This trail departs from Sand Flats Road just past the entrance station. It immediately climbs up on a narrow fin to demonstrate what the majority of the trip will be like. Descending from this fin it enters a low spot that collects rainwater, when wet it is called “Lake Michigan”. It then climbs out of the low spot via a couple nasty shelves as it passes through a fence. The first clump of slickrock has high mounds and steep descents that lead to a second mound that does the same thing. The major slickrock area includes steep climbs, sharp turns, and a hair-raising descent along a steep ridge with little room for error left or right. “Tip-Over Challenge” is a brief rock hill with a sandy base that requires tight maneuvering, an excellent line of attack, some help in the differentials, or the easy bypass on a slickrock fin. Just above Tip-Over is a shortcut to avoid the final hill, called “Rubble Trouble” because of its large loose rocks and a couple of tough ledges. Rubble Trouble begins to the right just past the top of the Tip-Over climb. Overall the trail is fairly well marked and it recieves enough travel that tire rubber usually points the way.This can be our easiest 6-rated trail if one chooses to utilize the bypasses, but it can be quite difficult if obstacles like Hell’s Gate and the Escalator are attempted. Given all the options, a guide is a good choice for the first trip over this trail.