||Mary's Slickrock Trail
Trail is found about 20 miles southeast of Green River, just east of the White
Wash sand dunes. This trail is 4.6 miles in length, with about 3.5
miles of Entrada sandstone slickrock. A loop ride of the entire trail is
10 miles, a shorter and less technical version is 6 miles. Mary's Trail
offers rewarding riding for experienced riders who are willing to go
"off the grid."
sandstone of Mary's Trail is as good as slickrock can get! Photos and ride
review by Bruce on November 14, 2013.
|You won't find a lot of mountain bikers on Mary's Trail. This area is predominantly used by the moto crowd, who ride
in from White Wash. On my weekday ride in mid-November, I encountered zero
people -- no cars or motorcycles in the entire area. But if you hit this
area on Easter weekend, plan for a noisy exhaust-sucking day.
View north from Red Wash Road. Behind
us is the Red Rim Trail. We'll be riding on the shoulder in the middle of
the cliff line.
The moto riders come into this trail from White Wash
to the west. You won't want to do that. There's a mile of life-sucking
sand in the way. Instead, you'll want to go east then come up to the trail
from the south. If you MUST pedal in from the west, I'll tell you how to
do that in a way that minimizes the sand hike-a-bike distances. But
instead, even if you're camped west of White Wash, I'd consider driving
around to the east side.
Junction of Mary's with the No Name
Mesa trail. About half of the trails will have signs that contain a name.
A good BLM map is very helpful if you're not following our GPS
|There's no real dedicated parking in my recommended
trailhead area. You'll need to stash the SUV at a wide spot along the road.
There's a slickrock area that will fit multiple cars about two miles
before the singletrack forks off Red Wash Road. (When you go across a huge
area of white slickrock and see a cattle guard, that's the spot. On my map
below, it's where the west end of Red Slot hits Red Wash Road.)
We've pulled away from the red dirt
onto Entrada sandstone. We'll climb up to the shoulder of the stone at the
||Because there are some steep spots with injury potential,
I'm rating this ride for experts only. But the spookiest spots are east of
the intersection with Brian's Trail. Upper-intermediate riders can start Mary's from the west
end, then drop to the south on Brian's Trail. (On the south, Brian's trail hits Red Wash
Road just west of the cattleguard near the slickrock.)
Looking west. Plenty of spectacular
|The ride begins on Red Wash Road, 14 miles from I-70, at the
same spot as the Red Rim Trail. The official Mary's trailhead is actually on the No Name Mesa trail about 0.8 miles
from the dirt road. You'll do just over a mile of undulating dirt before
you hit the Entrada sandstone. The initial ramp (to your right as you hit
the open rock) is a hint about what's coming up.
Rolling slickrock as far as you can
||The Entrada sandstone is smoother than the Navajo of the
Slickrock Trail, but the overall feel is similar. You'll be constantly
rolling and swooping. It's absolutely beautiful. The trail is marked with
white stripes on the sandstone.
In some spots, the white markings are
a bit far apart. If you don't see the way forward, go back 100 feet, turn
around, and scan for the paint stripes.
|After you cross Brian's Trail (mile 3.2, assuming you're
doing the full loop), there are two steeps. The first is uphill; the
second is downhill. I decided not to chance riding, but my bike shoes
wouldn't hold. I clung to the slope with bare feet and hards, with my bike
scraping the wall dangling from an emergency rope below me. But I'm sure
you braver souls will have no problem.
Looking back at the plunge at mile
||The trail passes the end of the Red Rock trail at mile 4.0. From here, it's easy
pedaling for another half-mile as the rock gets flatter and flatter. Then
comes the sand.
At the east end you could consider a couple of variations: At the Red
Rock intersection, you can fork onto the Red Rock Trail and take the Red
Butte trail for more sandstone challenges. Whether you take Red Butte or
not, you can turn off Red Wash Road to hit Red Slot on the way back. See
the map, and see the Red Butte - Red Slot trail
Looking south at the meeting of Red
Rock with Mary's.
|The last mile of Mary's Trail is dirt and sand. But
because it's aiming downhill as you go east, you can fly along without bogging down. But you
wouldn't want to ride it the other direction. So if you plan to do
Mary's out-and-back, turn around when you hit the end of the slickrock.
Bottom line: If you're an expert rider who's looking for new
territory, this trail is certainly worthy of your attention.
Almost finished with the slickrock as
we approach the last sandy mile of Mary's.
|Riding notes, clockwise loop:
0.0 From Red Rim trail on Red Wash Road
N38 45.866 W110 02.345
North on Kids Loop East
0.6 L on No Name Mesa trail
N38 46.358 W110 02.256
0.8 R on Mary's (dirt singletrack)
N38 46.418 W110 02.361
1.2 R uphill on sandstone
N38 46.706 W110 02.128
3.2 Cross Brian's Trail N38 46.146 W110 00.763
Option: R for easier ride
|3.7 Steep climb N38 46.044 W110 00.485
3.9 Steep descent N38 45.967 W110 00.327
4.0 L to stay on Mary's N38 45.948 W110 00.254
4.4 Duma Rim joins somewhere here
5.4 R on road N38 45.950 W109 58.840
6.4 Keep straight N38 45.225 W109 59.464
7.3 R on Red Wash Road N38 44.963 W110 00.147
7.4 Red Slot trail on R N38 44.949 W110 00.287
9.0 Cattleguard (Red Slot before, Brian's after)
N38 45.211 W110 01.648
10.2 Back at start
On I-70, drive about 13 miles east of Green River. Take the Floy (175)
exit. Turn right (south). The pavement rapidly turns to dirt. This is the
Ruby Ranch Road At mile 4.2, turn left to Blue Hills Road (note: may be
impassable when muddy). Go 3.7 miles,
then turn right (south) toward Ten Mile Point. The Enduro Loop will cross
a bit later, then will cross again. Drive past the sandy east entry to
Mary's trail at mile 8.5 from the highway. At mile 14.1, you pass the
entry to Red Butte. Just after that, keep right to Red Wash Road. At mile
17.1 The Red Rim trail crosses the road N38 45.866 W110 02.345. Your ride
will start by taking the singletrack to your right (north). This trail is unsigned
(as of 2013) but becomes Kid's Loop East.
Camping: Primitive, White Wash area.
Nearest bike services: Moab
|From the west: If you're camping in the White
Wash sand dunes area (reached via Ruby Ranch Road), you may wonder if
you can bike directly to this trail. Well, yes. But even by the most
rock-and-dirt intensive path, you'll push your bike through about 1/10
mile of sand as you cross White Wash. I do NOT recommend trying to drive
down and through the wash. I've done it; it's not pretty.
Take Ruby Ranch Road. Keep right at mile 4.2. Stay left at mile 11. At
mile 11.8, stay straight on the main road as a spur goes left to the
dunes. At the next fork (just past a parking zone), go left off Ruby Ranch
Road. Pass three parking zones and stop at the top of the hill overlooking
the valley. Park here. Bike down the connector as it drops from the bluff after the last
parking zone. When you reach sand, hoof straight across bearing straight
south. You'll encounter a (still sandy-sloppy but sometimes rideable) road
along the fence. Continue on Red Wash Road until 3.1 miles since you
dropped off the bluff. The trail to your right is signed Red Rim. Go to
the left toward the slickrock butte on the north.