Moab | 50 Years of the Slickrock Trail

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It’s 50 years since the Moab Slickrock Bike Trail was established and this documentary has been produced to mark the occasion.

Tracing its history back to the late 1960s, when motorbikes and early jeeps first started venturing out into the petrified sand dunes around Moab and Arches National Park, the film contains a mixture of archive footage and modern day interviews with those that were there. The early jeeps are worth a look – the sight of what are now classic cars making their way over the trails is quite something.

Issue 123 Moab slickrock trail
Chipps in Moab, some time ago.

The Slickrock trail is credited with bringing tourism to Moab, and shifting the economy from one of mining to leisure. It hasn’t all been a smooth change however, and the film also looks at some of the environmental impact that the boom in visitor numbers brought, and how the Moab community set about tackling that.

Mountain biking makes its entrance in the 1980s, and rather than the community and environmental difficulties, most of the film is about the joy that can be had riding the slickrock, and how the Slickrock trail remains such a draw for riders the world over. Even now that there are more technical routes, the original trail is still on the ‘must do’ lists of many riders, and the unique lure of the geology around Moab keeps the visitors coming in.

Hannah Moab slickrock trail
Hannah dropping in to ‘Dolly Parton’.

Team Singletrack is not immune to the call of the red rock. Chipps says Moab is his favourite place in the world and lived there for 6 weeks (he wishes it was longer), Wil got his first taste of this mountain biking Mecca last year, and Hannah has a piece about her experiences there in issue 126 of Singletrack Magazine.

Whether you’ve ridden the trail, experienced the extraordinary grip of slickrock, or it’s still on your bucket list, this film is worth a watch.

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