|Award-winning Trek run lively, low-cost, small group adventure tours of USA. West Coast (camping); Deals; Canyons BLT (budget best canyons); Canyon Adventure (activities); Best of the West; Western BLT|
A typical 4WD moment in Moab's Sand Flats Recreational Area, offering not much sand, nor much flat.
The word slickrock was coined by early settlers whose metal-shod horses found the bare rock slick and difficult to travel across. These days of tyred travel, however, find that the slightly coarse surface of the apparently smooth rock creates a perfect friction that permits tyred vehicles - bikes or trucks - to move up and down them at ridiculous gravity defying angles.
Slickrock Bike Trail is marked with white dots. 'Like riding on sandpaper'.
Slickrock Bike Trail is a spectacular 12 mile long loop that mountain bikers should allow 4 hours to ride. There is also a 2.3 mile Practice Loop for newbies and they should definitely try this first as the main trail is tough. You must pay a small fee to enter the Sand Flats Recreation Area, which includes the Slickrock Bike Trail.
Slickrock trail is conveniently marked out with white dots, but with cheat routes available for those who prefer not to toe the line. Aficionados claim that it is the most popular mountain bike trail in the world, hosting over 100,000 visitors a year, even though the trail was originally developed by/for motorcyclists in 1969. It is still useable by motorcyclists.
Sand Flats Recreation Area. Insane 4WD moments.
Sand Flats offers not only the best mountain bike trail in the USA, Slickrock, but also trails for serious 4WD users, and offroad motorcyclists. Hummer Tours are popular, impressive and occasionally extremely scary.
Sand Flats. Insane moments from the other side.
Hummers used here are ex-military with no top speed but geared for astonishing climbing tricks on the abrasive and frictitious (if that word doesn't exist, it should!) rock.
Wandering lonely as a cloud.
Of course hiking Sand Flats is an option but it's not geared for the feet and the baking rock dehydrates people fast so lots of water needs to be carried. That being said, in the cool months you can venture to places you'd never go on a bike and see few other visitors. See below for other hiking trails in the Moab area.
Hell Roaring Canyon, Navajo Pictographs near Moab.
Photo by Michael Grindstaff
• Slickrock mountain biking, as well as Klondike Bluffs Trail, Merrimac trail.
• Slickrock, Hell's Revenge, White Rim Trail and Long Canyon Hummer/Jeep/ATV tours, or even bring your own 4x4/ATV, but travel with at least one other vehicle and consider locked differentials. This will test your 4WD driving skills to the max.
• hiking, especially Negro Bill Canyon Trail.
• white water rafting on the Colorado River.
• Horseback riding from Hauer Ranch or MH Cowboy around the incredible red rock landscapes.
• Scenic drives around Potash Road, La Sal Mountain Loop.
• Golf at Moab Golf Club.
• See the spectacular rock formations in nearby Arches National Park and Canyonlands.
Moab is a comfortable and lively little town unlike most small Utah towns in the Grand Circle region - not overly pretty but Utah's black sheep delivers action with a smile, Sundays no problem.
Photo by Michael Grindstaff
Originally a support centre for uranium mining Moab is now the hub of three superb parks - Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park and Sand Flats Recreational Area, so the streets are awash with Hummers, ATVs, 4WDs pulling rubber rafts and RVs towing Big Foot offroaders while the sidewalks are loaded with bookstores, bike rentals, rude T shirts, crystals, kaleidoscopic rocks, interesting fusion dining and more young people than in the rest of Utah.