Nestled among Moab's myriad trails, there lies a secret that might not possess the fame of Slickrock or Porcupine but is every bit as enchanting – the Courthouse Slickrock Trail. With its expansive 13-mile stretch, this trail promises a riveting introduction to the world of slickrock, interspersed with glimpses of Moab's rich history and geology.
Embarking from a trailhead located 15 miles north of Moab city, past the road leading to Canyonlands, this route welcomes riders with a blend of sandy and hard-packed jeep roads. The initial phase might feel tedious due to its sandy terrain, but patience pays off. About half a mile in, riders are faced with a crucial junction – the advice here? Go straight.Further on, there's the Halfway Stage station, a nod to the area's historical significance. This was once a rest point for the pioneering passenger trains journeying from Thompson to Salt Lake City.Then, the magic begins. Nearly 3/4 mile later, the expansive stretch of smooth slickrock unravels, opening up opportunities for boundless riding experiences. This slickrock terrain leads adventurers to the Courthouse – a colossal rock structure resembling an amphitheater.For those who wish to extend their journey, unmarked trails beckon, leading to the iconic Merrimac and Monitor Buttes. Named in honor of Civil War ships, these formations stand as testament to nature's whimsical artistry.
The Courthouse Slickrock Trail, with its amalgamation of history, geology, and slickrock riding, is Moab's underrated gem. Whether to refine slickrock skills or simply to bask in Moab's scenic vistas, this trail should feature on every cyclist's list. Remember, it might begin with a bit of sand, but what follows is nothing short of spectacular.