25 of North America's Best Slickrock Slab MTB Rides

Slickrock riding isn't reserved solely for Moab—discover the best slab riding across North America in this guidebook!

Greg Heil

Images

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View of the Colorado River. Photo: Greg Heil

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View of the La Sal Mountains. Photo: Greg Heil

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Classic spray painted dots show the route on Slickrock. Photo: Greg Heil

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Riding the Slickrock Trail. Photo: Trailsource.com via Flickr Creative Commons

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Riding the Slickrock Trail. Photo: Trailsource.com via Flickr Creative Commons

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Top of the Cedar Rock Trail. Photo: Greg He

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Top of slickrock bald. Photo: Greg Heil

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Riding along the rim of Gooseberry Mesa. Photo by Leslie Kehmeier, Mapping Manager, International Mountain Bicycling Association. Photo courtesy BLM via Flickr Creative Commons.

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Riding at Gooseberry Mesa. Photo by Leslie Kehmeier, Mapping Manager, International Mountain Bicycling Association. Photo courtesy BLM via Flickr Creative Commons.

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Gooseberry Mesa slickrock. Photo by Leslie Kehmeier, Mapping Manager, International Mountain Bicycling Association. Photo courtesy BLM via Flickr Creative Commons.

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Sunset on Gooseberry Mesa. Photo by Leslie Kehmeier, Mapping Manager, International Mountain Bicycling Association. Photo courtesy BLM via Flickr Creative Commons.

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Riding along the rim of Gooseberry Mesa. Photo by Leslie Kehmeier, Mapping Manager, International Mountain Bicycling Association. Photo courtesy BLM via Flickr Creative Commons.

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Little Creek Rock Roller John Fisch

by John Fisch

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Little Creek Rock Step John Fisch

by John Fisch

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Little Creek Bridge

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Little Creek Long View

by John Fisch

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Guacamole Rocks

by John Fisch

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by John Fisch

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by John Fisch

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Views of Zion from Guacamole Mesa

by Greg Heil

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by Greg Heil

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Rider: Greg Heil

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Dropping into the famous In-n-Out Burger. Rider: Alex

by Greg Heil

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Scoping the line down In-N-Out Burger

by Greg Heil

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Multiple line options down most of the slabs. Riders: Andy and Jas

by Greg Heil

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Beautiful views from Squamish's slabs. Rider: Jas

by Greg Heil

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Red rock on the Hangover Trail. Photo: Trailsource.com via Flickr Creative Commons

by TRAILSOURCE.com

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Junction with Mund's Wagon Trail

by Coconino National Forest

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Mund's Wagon Trail segment

by Coconino National Forest

Licence Free

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Be careful to make the turn off the Ribbon before you reach this point, because it’s a long way down! Photo: Greg Heil

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View from the top of Free Lunch. Photo: Greg Heil

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View from the rim of the upper rock slab. Photo: Greg Heil

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The rock slab at the top of the trail. Photo: Greg Heil

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Your choice is between really hard and insane on the Free Lunch Trail. Photo: Greg Heil

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Slickrock section heading toward Pothole Arch. Photo: Greg Heil.

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Pothole Arch. Photo: Greg Heil.

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Amasa Back road. Photo: Greg Heil.

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Amasa Back road. Photo: Greg Heil.

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Rockstacker. Rider: Greg Heil

by Marcel Slootheer

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Freeriding on slickrock near the Pothole Arch. Rider: Greg Heil

by Marcel Slootheer

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Pothole Arch. Rider: Greg Heil

by Marcel Slootheer

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Enjoying one of many slickrock slabs on Navajo Rocks. Rider: Greg Heil

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Expansive views of the entire region. Photo: Greg Heil

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Slickrock Riding. Photo: Greg Heil

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Some of the cliffside traverses are very exposed! Photo: Greg Heil

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Navajo Rocks runs past many impressive rock formations. Photo: Greg Heil

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Rocks upon rocks. Photo: Greg Heil

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Interesting route choices through the desert. Rider: Greg Heil

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Rider: Greg Heil

by Marcel Slootheer

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This gives you a sense of the exposure on the iconic Portal Trail. Photo: Robert Tadlock via Flickr Creative Commons

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Gold Bar Rim is just a litttttle bit exposed. Rider: Greg Heil

by Nick Orticelle

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by Greg Heil

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by Greg Heil

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Rider: Marcel Slootheer

by Greg Heil

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Rider: Greg Heil

by Marcel Slootheer

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Rider: Greg Heil

by Marcel Slootheer

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Rider: Greg Heil

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Rider: Greg Heil

by Marcel Slootheer

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by Greg Heil

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by Greg Heil

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Sunset view from the Vitamin B Trail. Photo: Greg Heil

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Rider: Marcel Slootheer

by Greg Heil

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Rider: Marcel Slootheer

by Greg Heil

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Rider: Marcel Slootheer

by Greg Heil

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by Greg Heil

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Gorgeous view from the top of the trail. Photo: Greg Heil

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The rock faces in this valley are simply stunning! Photo: Greg Heil

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Tight squeeze. Rider: Greg Heil

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Climbing Hymasa. Photo: Greg Heil

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Rock rolls abound. Rider: Greg Heil

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Gorgeous view from the top of the trail. Photo: Greg Heil

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Rider: Greg Heil

by Marcel Slootheer

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Start of the Flat Pass Route

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Cresting the first leg of the climb.

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Flat Pass Step Up

by John Fisch

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Flat Pass Huck

by John Fisch

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Flat Pass Choices

by John Fisch

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Hanging Valley View

by John Fisch

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Zen Trail Overhang

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Zen Trail Climb

by John Fisch

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Rattlesnake Trail. Rider: Greg Heil

by Neil Beltchenko

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Rattlesnake Trail. Rider: Greg Heil

by Neil Beltchenko

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Rattlesnake Trail. Rider: Greg Heil

by Neil Beltchenko

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Rattlesnake Trail. Rider: Greg Heil

by Neil Beltchenko

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Rattlesnake Trail. Rider: Greg Heil

by Neil Beltchenko

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Rattlesnake Trail. Rider: Greg Heil

by Neil Beltchenko

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Rattlesnake Trail. Rider: Greg Heil

by Neil Beltchenko

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by Greg Heil

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by Greg Heil

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by Greg Heil

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by Greg Heil

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by Greg Heil

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by Marcel Slootheer

Creative Commons: Attribution
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Holy Cross. Rider: Greg Heil

by Joel Lipovetsky

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Holy Cross. Rider: Greg Heil

by Marcel Slootheer

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by Brendon Voelker

Description

When sticky rubber tires meet gritty slabs of rock, magical traction casts a spell on your mountain bike, allowing it to traverse unbelievable terrain! Whether it’s pedaling straight up impossibly-steep climbs, ripping into skatepark-like bowls, traversing off-camber side slopes, or dropping down near-vertical slabs between towering tree trunks, slickrock slab riding is a much-coveted version of the mountain bike experience.

But you can’t find superb slickrock just anywhere, and thus the lust for rock ripping beats strongly in the hearts of mountain bikers around the globe. While Moab and the eponymous Slickrock trail reign supreme, it’s still possible to find slabs of rock to skid down all across North America.

In this guidebook, I attempted to uncover the best slab rock riding across the continent. While undoubtedly a few delightful gems are still flying under the radar, if you journey to any of these haunts you’re guaranteed a fabulous rip on challenging slabs of bedrock!

Adventures

Slickrock

One of the original world-famous mountain bike trails, the unique slickrock slabs provide an otherworldly ride experience

Guacamole Mesa: Full Outer Loop

This ride links together the outer loop Guacamole trails into a great 11-mile ride—perfect for upper intermediates—with plenty of advanced options as well.

Classic Squamish Slab Ride

Squamish is renowned for its slab riding, and this route connects many of the best-known slabs into one big ride.

Hangover

Extreme exposure coupled with brutally-technical rock moves make Hangover one of the most technical--and dangerous--trails in the nation.

The Ribbon -> Free Lunch -> Holy Cross

One of the fastest, rowdiest, point-to-point shuttles anywhere, with wide-open rock slab riding, uber-technical rock gardens, and big jump and drop options--experts only!

Rockstacker to Jackson's

If death-defying ledge drops, massive boulders, narrow singletrack on top of a thousand-foot cliff, and jaw-dropping views constitute your idea of fun, then Rockstacker to Jackson's is for you!

Bartlett Wash

Prepare to have a blast playing on Bartlett's undulating slickrock terrain.

Navajo Rocks

Navajo Rocks embodies new school Moab mountain biking at its finest!

Magnificent 7

Ride some of the most technical and dangerous mountain bike trails in the world in one massive shuttle route!

Hiline

Hiline offers stunning views of the Red Rocks region from exposed mountainside singletrack. Finish it off with a raucous descent down a black-diamond plunge!

Vitamin B

One of the most brutally-technical and high-consequence mountain bike trails in Central Colorado.

Captain Ahab

Captain Ahab combines the best new-school singletrack trail building techniques with Moab's famous views and challenging rocks for a classic mountain bike experience.

Flat Pass Shuttle

Flat Pass is an outstanding, genuine Moab mountain biking experience without Moab crowds.

Barrel and Zen Double Loop

The Barrel/Zen route combines two popular loops to give technically-oriented riders a full smorgasbord of rocky, stunt-laden fun.

The Razor's Edge

Shred technical, exposed rock slabs on the razor's edge of the mountain range!

Red Mesa

Technical rock slab riding in the desert that can sometimes be tricky to navigate.

Original Sin

A varied tech trail with eroded fall line singletrack and massive rock rolls.

Bishop's Rock

A wide-open slickrock slab playground with endless technical line opportunities!