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Note:  August 2010. The BLM has marked the Rockville Bench Trail as closed to bikes. 

Rockville Bench
(Slickrock Swamp Trail)

The Rockville Bench Trail, also known as Slickrock Swamp, starts in the town of Springdale (just outside of Zion National Park) and climbs onto the mesa above Rockville. This an advanced technical singletrack that features some great sandstone rock. The trail is a lariat loop, 10.5 miles in length, with a 400-vertical foot climb to the loop section of the trail. Peak altitude is 4080 feet. THIS TRAIL IS NOW CLOSED TO BIKES. DO NOT RIDE.

Mike cruises along the edge of the cliffs on the loop portion of Slickrock Swamp.

This trail is similar to the better-known Gooseberry Mesa Trail (same sandstone formation, same ecosystem, although a little warmer and lower altitude). You'll see plenty of lizards, prickly pear, and barrel cactus as you ride among the junipers and pinions. The riding is a little rougher than Gooseberry -- expect to spend much of the ride off of your seat. You'll find many open slickrock areas where you can practice your stunts.

Cactus blossoms - photos by Bruce.

The trail starts at the Chinle Trail parking area in the Anasazi Plateau Subdivision in Springdale.  Note: the subdivision homeowners association has contacted me to request that you ride the paved streets directly to the BLM trail access, rather than riding the trail through the home area. See the note below the map at the bottom of this page.
From the parking area (on your right just after pulling off Highway 9) go back to the subdivision road and head uphill. The road will veer to the west. After a mile, turn left on Navajo Way. At the T intersection, turn right on Anasazi Way. A bit up the road, you'll find the singletrack trail on the left, marked by a BLM sign.

This is the national park border. At a small coral right here, a singletrack heads west at a right angle from the doubletrack you've been climbing. Here Chad cruises back towards town (you're looking north).

As you reach slickrock, follow the black dots on the rock. 1.3 miles from the trailhead, you'll find yourself dropping into a gully, then climbing up a steep chute. (This is a challenge to ride clean!) About a hundred feet later, you'll reach the junction with the return loop -- keep straight (left).

You won't see this spot on the ride. This is a little "Stay and Play" spot that's now surrounded by subdivision homes. But hey, cool photo.

At mile 2.2, you'll cruise past the swamp in the slickrock. You're heading east across white sandstone.

Here Mike takes some air.

After passing the swamp, the trail heads southeast, then back west. At mile 4.2, the trail splits. The left fork is the continuation of the loop. The right trail is a quick bailout route that takes you back home.

This is Gary, cruising past the water pocket in the rock that gives the Slickrock Swamp its name.

As the trail turns back and heads east, you'll be on an easy dirt singletrack, which dumps you back onto the return trail at mile 5.8. Retrace your path along the mesa top, up the wash (when the wash forks, keep right), and over the open sage to the road.

Matt takes a ledge.

Getting there: From I-15's La Verkin exit, take Highway 9 through Rockville. Just as you're going left around a turn to enter Springdale, spot a small paved road heading steep uphill, with a sign "Anasazi Plateau Subdivision." Turn left up the Anasazi Plateau Subdivision road. As the road turns sharply left 0.1 mile later, there's a steep drop on your right into the "Chinle Trail" parking area. GPS 37 09.673 N 113 01.169 W. THIS TRAIL IS NOW CLOSED TO BIKES.  DO NOT RIDE.
Riding resources for this trail:
One-page printable riding guide
GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
   Garmin    GPX
Lodging, camping, shops:
   Links to St. George area resources

Copyright 2006 Mad Scientist Software Inc

Updated 2010

THIS TRAIL IS NOW CLOSED TO BIKES.  DO NOT RIDE.

IF THE TRAIL OPENS AGAIN: Important note about the map and riding directions above: The Anasazi homeowners association does NOT want you to ride the singletrack trail that passes through the subdivision. This is a conservation easement, but they request you not ride through their back yards. So here's how to get directly to the BLM land: From the parking area, ride up the road until you hit Navajo Way (about a mile). Turn left, then right on Anasazi Way at mile 1.2. About 150 yards later, you'll see the Trail Access sign (see photo) on your left.