A fantastic change of pace from the classic Slickrock loop.

Statistics

1 - 2

hrs

433

m

433

m

5

max┬░

Difficulty

FATMAP difficulty grade

Severe

Description

Above Abyss is an alternative route option in Moab's world-famous Slickrock.

The OG [Slickrock](https://fatmap.com/routeid/30776/slickrock/) ride is one of the original internationally-famous mountain bike rides that helped launch one of the most popular destinations into the limelight.

In this unique area, the endless slabs of slickrock sandstone provide an otherworldly ride experience, allowing you to power up near-vertical rock faces and rocket down the other side.

On this ride, you'll follow a string of painted dots around a lunar-esque landscape, enjoying a mountain bike ride experience that you can only find here in Moab! Going straight up and straight down the rock domes does get arduous and grueling after a while, so a trail called "Above Abyss" was added to the area.

This non-motorized addition features a much more modern route design, with long sections of traversing around the domes instead of powering straight up and straight down. The trail gets its name from a canyon that it passes near, known as "Abyss Canyon." This dramatic cleft in the rock is a wondrous sight to behold, and traversing along the rocky rim hundreds of feet above the canyon floor is a surreal experience! In some places, you might wish that the route was actually closer to the rim than it is, so if you want to investigate, feel free to ride closer to the Abyss to take in the view.

However, if you depart from the dotted line, be sure to stay on the rock and not crush any cryptobiotic soil and vegetation, and most importantly: don't fall off the edge! One of the most stunning sections of the trail traverses high above the famous Grandstaff Canyon, providing sweeping views of the La Sals in the background with the canyon down below in the foreground. Finally, before exiting the trail, be sure to take the short dog leg to the viewpoint above Icebox Canyon.

This small canyon is stunningly beautiful, and you might experience a dramatic sense of vertigo as you peek your head over the top of the cliff and realize that it's hundreds of feet straight down! The route rejoins the Slickrock loop and then continues following the classic loop all the way around and back to the trailhead. If you still feel like a glutton for punishment, consider adding two bonus spurs off of the main Slickrock Loop: Panorama Viewpoint and Portal Viewpoint.

Portal Viewpoint is fairly short and easy to follow and reach, but Panorama Viewpoint requires substantial navigational skills to not get cliffed out.

Neither of these trails is shown in this route line, but you can find the trails in the OSM layer in the map.