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Monitor Merrimac

Intermediate
 3.6 (72) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A great beginner/intermediate introduction to Moab slickrock.


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Map Key

5.5

Miles

8.9

KM

85%

Singletrack

5,005' 1,525 m

High

4,496' 1,370 m

Low

628' 191 m

Up

627' 191 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

27%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Allowed

Overview

Don't confuse this with the old jeep road that goes by the same name. This trail is mostly singletrack and slickrock and designed for intermediate mountain bikers.

This is a great introduction to Moab riding: the climbs are very gentle, the copious slickrock is smooth and not as ledgy as most areas, and the sand traps are short and easy to walk.

Description

Start at the enormous parking lot ringed with red boulders (there is camping here, but there are better spots on the nearby roads). Follow the main dirt road south (the same one you used to get here) just a short ways and you will come to an intersection with signs indicating "Mill Road" and "Dino Trail" to the right. You will exit this way, so for now, stay left on the main road.

In another tenth of a mile, you'll come to a sign saying "Halfway Stage Station" to the right. Take this right turn on a very sandy, smaller road. You might have to walk it 50 yards. You are now at the historic Halfway Stage House, and the beginning of the singletrack, through a gate straight ahead.

The singletrack starts with a few short sandy spots but quickly changes to slickrock. You climb very gently up remarkably smooth slickrock following white painted markers. Once you reach the end of the enormous bluff you have been hugging to the right, there is a shortcut trail branching to the right. This cuts off the most fun slickrock, so the shortcut not recommended.

Continue riding an enormous expanse of easy slickrock around another huge bluff, and eventually turn back north. You now begin a gradual descent of the mellow slickrock and you can go quite fast. It's very smooth with no surprises, but rock is harder than dirt, so watch it.

The slickrock ends where you intersect with an old jeep road that is also called Monitor Merrimac. Go right and you're soon back on singletrack following a stream bed wash. After a mile or so, you pop out at the end of a road and parking area.

Put down your bike for a minute and take the 150 yard, signposted Dinosaur trail. There really are purple-ish dinosaur fossils and petrified wood (including a cool 2 foot diameter tree trunk!) that you can even touch.

Hop back on your bike for the dirt road ride back to the parking lot, a couple tenths of a mile away.

Contacts

Shared By:

Nick Wilder with improvements by Ty Sway and 2 others

Trail Ratings

  3.6 from 72 votes

#226

Overall
  3.6 from 72 votes
5 Star
24%
4 Star
36%
3 Star
25%
2 Star
8%
1 Star
7%
Recommended Route Rankings

#23

in Utah

#226

Overall
390 Views Last Month
18,902 Since May 1, 2013
Intermediate

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Photos

Beginning of the slickrock section
May 1, 2013 near Moab, UT
And this is the LESS scenic direction...
May 1, 2013 near Moab, UT
Surprisingly green in May
May 1, 2013 near Moab, UT
smooooth slickrock!
May 1, 2013 near Moab, UT
riding counter clockwise
Nov 13, 2017 near Moab, UT
Take a right here, and probably walk the short sandy bit.
May 1, 2013 near Moab, UT

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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All Clear 17 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Apr 26, 2021
B Porter
Apr 21, 2021
Chanse Beinke
Dec 16, 2020
Lost Justpastnowhere
Nov 27, 2020
Lisa Munsch
rode this when kids were little
Nov 5, 2020
Justin Sen
Some mud and deep sand on the northwest part of the trail. Great views 5.5mi — 1h 00m
Oct 15, 2020
Chris Gallegos
Oct 3, 2020
malcolm alexander
Sep 30, 2020
Ryan Hogan