Slickrock Practice Loop

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 3 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 4508 - 4683 feet
Cellphone: 1-4 bars
Time: 1 hr. 45 mins.
Trailhead: Slickrock
Fee: $5/vehicle
Attractions: Scenic trail




The Slickrock Practice Loop is located in the Sand Flats Recreation Area near Moab, Utah. The trail follows a course that is intended to give riders that are contemplating doing the main Slickrock Bike trail a feel for what it demands. The trails close proximity to the trailhead and the areas natural beauty make the Practice Loop a popular destination for hikers. It is listed in at least one book of hikes in the Moab area.


The best way to get to the trailhead is probably to turn east on Center Street in Moab and follow the signs for Slickrock and the Sand Flats Recreation Area. Maps are available at the Moab Visitor Center on Center Street and the fee station at Sand Flats.


From the parking area begin by heading east on the main Slickrock Bike trail.


It doesn't take long for hikers and bikers to get a feel for all of the ups and downs of the slickrock domes of sandstone.


The Practice Loop begins at the 0.32 mile point from the trailhead.


The first part of the loop works its way around the higher cliffs and hills.


We were actually hiking the trail for this post but there appeared to be about an even split of hikers and mountain bikers.


The La Sal Mountains provide a scenic backdrop to the eastern horizon while distant views of Arches National Park attract the gaze looking northward.


At the 0.85 mile point a short spur trail leads down to a view area.


A scenic canyon overlook is the reward for hiking down to the view area.


As the loop turns west toward the main trail a few sandtraps get thrown into the mix.


Around the 2.25 mile point the undulating loop rejoins the main trail. This point is about 3/4 of a mile from the trailhead.


From here the trail pretty much makes a beeline back to the start of the loop.


The Practice Loop is a great venue for what it is billed as. It gives you a good feel for what it is like riding up steep sections of slickrock and the seemingly never ending ups and downs of riding over the  fins and domes. The main trail is a lot more intense but this is a good place to start. And the Practice Loop is also a very nice short hike. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is grab your bike or 'Take a hike'.