“This short loop lets you test your skills before you go on to the real deal.”
— Curtis Tripp
Follow the blazes! Avoid vegetation, potholes, and biological soil crust. Only cross the sandy patches between slickrock along the designated trail.
This trail makes a good introduction to the type of terrain you'll find on the main loop, but at a more moderate level for those who want to ease into it. Still, it presents some significant obstacles and should not be taken lightly. True beginners probably won't enjoy a ride here.
Just a quarter mile into the main Slickrock
Trail, fork right at the painted junction to start the Practice Loop. Follow the white dashes along a series of sandstone domes, followed by a quick descent toward the Echo Canyon viewpoint. It's worth getting off your bike and hiking to the edge of the cliffs for a closer look at this box canyon.
Continue along the dashed line as it winds up and over more low fins and across sandy washes back towards the main trail, with a number of short but steep climbs and drops. You'll rejoin the Slickrock
Trail around the 3/4 mile mark. If you're up for 10 more miles of slickrock, turn right for the full loop. If not, turn left for a quick return to the trailhead.