Bartlett Wash

Moab, Utah 84532

Bartlett Wash

Bartlett Wash Professional Review and Guide

"Once known as the private slickrock haunt of in-the-know locals, word has leaked about the playground known as Barlett Wash—and, to its northwest, the adjoining and equally entertaining Hidden Canyon. Still, owing to a less convenient location and more limited scope, you’ll avoid the crazy hordes that often crowd the Slickrock Bike Trail.

Neophyte to world-class slickrockers can enjoy hours of free-form riding amid a mind-numbing universe of elephant toes, monster piles of petrified pre-historic cow dung, dips and twirls of swirling bedrock, chutes and gulleys... and intermittent sand traps. General location: 17 miles north of Moab."

More Bartlett Wash Professional Reviews and Guides

"Rock and roll! For those who aren’t compelled to stay within the lines, this may be the best slickrock riding around. The orange rock offers bowls and climbs as well as breathtaking cliff sides."

"Bartlett Wash Trail is a pleasant alternative to Southeast #10: Hidden Canyon Wash Trail for those not wanting to tackle the deep sand along Hidden Canyon. The trail is graded at the start and for much of its length, but it does have some moderately sandy sections, and toward the end where it joins Dubinky Well Road, there are some rocky ledges and slickrock sections.

Special Attractions: Easy to moderate trail along wide, sandy valley; Access to the mountain bike slickrock play area; Shady picnicking under large cottonwoods alongside the wash. High-clearance 4WDs are preferred, but any high-clearance vehicle is acceptable. Expect a rough road surface; mud and sand are possible but will be easily passable. You may encounter rocks up to 6 inches in diameter, a loose road surface, and shelf roads, though these will be wide enough for passing or will have adequate pull-offs."

"There is a generally accepted, but scientifically unproven, theorem that states, “The more time spent mountain biking in Moab, the farther from town your explorations will lead.” Ride the big-name trails near town first, by all means, then pursue lesser-known and infrequently visited areas to round out your Moab portfolio. Bartlett Wash supports a second corollary: “Not all slickrock is created equally.” Bartlett Wash lies on the northern fringe of Canyon Country, beyond which the colorful sandstones dissipate to bleak and hopelessly unproductive sagebrush plains and shallow, charcoal-colored washes.

The slickrock along this route is a member (or subdivision) of the Entrada Sandstone, which on the whole forms the wonderful creations that give Arches National Park its name. Here, the gray, tan, and salmon-hued Entrada delights the eye with both soft color and smooth form. Compared to the Slickrock Bike Trail, which rolls over ecologically older and stratigraphically lower Navajo Sandstone, Bartlett Wash might be likened to riding on fine sandpaper rather than coarse sandpaper. Still, Bartlett’s abbreviated, but wavelike, expanse of barren sandstone provides hours of mountain bike gymnastics. Tread: Slickrock with one short sandbox."

Bartlett Wash Reviews

5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars
icon2 Total
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
Welcome to Moab, beyond the magazine photographers and glitz of commercialized mountain biking glory. Welcome to real adventure, challenge and the way mountain biking should be, the kind of in-your-face riding you think of when you hear the almost reverent utterance, "Moab." Drive north out of Moab; away from civilization and any usable refuge from the laser-hot sun in the peak of the Utah desert's summers and find this bumpy, 4-5 mile road through sandy wasteland. Here someone has actually gone through the trouble of posting signs directing you to THE COOLEST slickrock riding I have seen, out in the middle of heat-stroke-induced-coma central. If you dont ride in, have fun with your rig on the rollercoaster ride to the parking lot, a few hundred feet from the first "Stairway to Slickrock Heaven." I both rode and drove in and, personally, it was so hot out there that the drive allowed me to reserve some energy to enjoy playing on the rocks longer. That said, I enjoy the challenge of riding through 120 degree direct sunlight with sketchy directions and not much water, so either way could be a winner depending on your personality and need for flirting with doom. The Bartletts slickrock area speaks for itself. Get there and find out, my words wont do it justice. The rocks extend for as far as you want to ride, and there are a zillion levels of difficulty and gymnastics available. One word of advice that NO ONE had given me: on the way back out to your car watch out for the water that is trickling across the bottom of the trail you rode in on. As the afternoon bakes on, the Mud-Dauber Wasps (mean and nasty stingers) are out by the thousands along this pool and when you go blazing through there like a semi-truck a few of these winged terrors grow somewhat uncomfortable and pissed-off by getting trapped inside your clothing. They sting like crazy as you fall off your bike and flail like a little girl. But its so worth it.
5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars
One of a kind playground for mountain bikers! The trail is 4 miles total round trip in and out, but we've managed to do 11 miles of fun messing around! It's like a skate board rink for mountain bikers. It's a little tough to find because it's still a secret of Moab. But once you find it, you'll want to keep it a secret also!

Bartlett Wash Photos

Help others discover amazing sights!

Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Easy to Difficult
Technical Difficulty
Easy to Difficult
Physical Difficulty
March through mid-May; September through November
Moab Multi-Agency Information Center, 435-259-8825
Local Contacts
Moab Map
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018