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Monitor Merrimac

 45 votes

Length

5.5 Miles 8.9 Kilometers


85%

Singletrack

Elevation

628' 191 m

Ascent

-627' -191 m

Descent

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

27%

Max Grade (15°)

5,005' 1,525 m

High

4,496' 1,370 m

Low

Conditions


All Clear 8 days ago
Dry History

Getting forecast...

A great beginner/intermediate introduction to Moab slickrock.

Nick Wilder

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.

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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Apr 18, 2018
Jason Gruss
Apr 8, 2018
Dru Martin
Apr 7, 2018
Chad Barksdale
Apr 7, 2018
Victor Gonzalez
Apr 6, 2018
nate woodward
Apr 4, 2018
Jay Holsten
The slickrock is fun, but the trail is too sandy in other parts.
Mar 29, 2018
Tom Dailey
Sus Jeremy austin kenna will; sandy hike; dinosaur trail 5.5mi
Mar 21, 2018
Brad Osborn
Fun screaming slickrock halfway through

Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 45 votes

#237

Overall
  3.7 from 45 votes
5 Star
24%
4 Star
38%
3 Star
24%
2 Star
7%
1 Star
7%
Rankings

#23

in Utah

#237

Overall
794 Views Last Month
10,850 Since May 1, 2013
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate

8%
76%
16%
0%
0%
0%
There is a LOT of sand on this trail. Unless you have a fat bike, I would recommend taking the trail clockwise until you hit gate on the way back and then turning around and doing the loop again counter clockwise making it an out-n-back. Also, watch carefully for the trail. It is really easy, in the first part, to get of course by going down a dry creek bed instead of the trail. Oct 21, 2017
I don't know how this trail gets rated so highly. As the other commentor stated, there is a LOT of sand. I wish I had ridden up the slickrock, down the fun side of the clockwise loop until hitting sand, then turning around and riding back down the slickrock going counter-clockwise. The sand pits were extraordinarily deep and there was a LOT of walking through them--without a fatbike they're unridable and unpelasant. Dec 4, 2017

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