This is the much vaunted, legendary, near mythological slickrock trail.
Though the trail was pioneered by motorcyclists in 1969, the Slickrock
has become dominated by mountain bikes. About a 150 million years ago
these were all dune fields, but as climates changed and seas advanced
and receded the sand dunes and sea beds lithified into the sandstone
playground that we see today.
In 1859 an exploring party led by Captain John Macomb passed through
this area and deemed it worthless. Later pioneers dubbed the fossilized
sand dunes slickrock because their metal rimmed wagon wheels gained no
purchase on the rock faces. Quite the opposite situation is enjoyed by
mountain bikers as rubber tires provide unending traction.
Arguably the world's most popular trail, The Slickrock draws over
100,000 people every year. And Grand County does more search and rescue
here than any place else. Because of this popularity, there has been
some slickrock backlash going on in recent years. Some folks claim that
the trail is overrated and crowded, both of which may be true. But if
you've never ridden Slickrock, I highly recommend it.