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Mary's Slickrock Trail

Mary's 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."

The 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 track. 

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 arrow.

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 views.

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 see.

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 3.9.

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 page.

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
Getting there:
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.

Water: No
Toilets: No
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.
Riding resources:
Single-page, printable riding guide
GPS track file (right-click and select "Save Target as..."):
     Multi-track GPX file of area    Mary's only
     Mary's Loop     6-mile loop, bailout on Brian's
Maps for printing:    Satellite view as above  
     Links to Moab area resources
     Links to Price area resources

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