Daily Archives: December 6, 2008

Life: Slickrock

The steedThere’s mountain biking. And then there’s mountain biking in Moab. I haven’t been anywhere that comes close. A sense of infinite openness comes with being in this part of Utah, and mountain biking on slickrock, sandy trails is an experience in itself. Moab is an outdoor adventurer’s delight—with rock climbing, river running, canyoneering, and mountain biking all right there (okay…there’s also the motor-engine off-road enthusiasts swarming around…but I try to ignore the fact that Moab is a nesting spot for them, too).

Moab’s Slickrock Trail is a 10-mile loop that rolls up and down over smooth, red sandstone. My pal Dermot and I decided to ride to the trailhead directly from Moab, so we had to climb up a few switchbacks on pavement, but for some reason riding in this way made me anticipate what we found when we got there:


The trail goes from being cruisy to being outright gnarly, with a few power climbs that require more than a bit of balance to keep rubber-sides down. Here’s Dermot about to hop off his bike on a long masher, with gray clouds looming in the background:

Climbing uphill at slickrock

The reward for all the effort? Canyon country, of course. From the top, you’ll be catching sight of these stunning Colorado River views. It cuts through the canyons, shimmering in the sun.

Colorado River from Slickrock

Traci and gray skies at slickrock

I kept looking over my shoulder on this trip—the gray clouds finally caught up with us, and we got drizzled on a bit. No lightening, though. It was dark by the time we got back to town (without headlamps). Perfect time to recover—and hydrate—at the Moab Brewery.