The beauty of the state of Utah is unsurpassed with its red rock canyons and towering mountain peaks. Every turn in the bend offers another breathtaking scene. The La Sal Mountains of southeastern Utah offers some of the most extraordinary scenery you will see anywhere. Seeing this country from the back of your horse, will be an experience you will never forget.
East of the small town of La Sal you will find access into the Manti La Sal National Forest. Straddling the Utah-Colorado border, the La Sal Mountains rise 12,721 feet (Mt. Peale) above sea level and towers over 7,000 feet above the surrounding red rock canyons and mesas below. The La Sal’s provide a cool oasis to the desert of the Colorado River Plateau during the hot summer months, making this area a favorite of the local trail riders.
From the town of Moab, Utah drive 22 miles south on Hwy 191 to La Sal Junction. Turn east (left) onto Utah Highway 46 and continue through the small town of La Sal. Drive east 13 miles and turn north onto Two Mile Road. Drive 3 miles and turn west at a signed junction onto La Sal Pass road. Go about 1 mile to a “Y” in the road and stay right. The gravel road is well maintained and easy to maneuver.
As you follow the La Sal loop road you will find many great places to camp. There are no developed campgrounds in the forest; however there are plenty of places for dispersed camping. The advantage of camping, with out the benefit of a campground, is that it will let you enjoy the solitude and beauty that the area has to offer. Camping spots very from open meadows beside a bubbling mountain stream to having a canopy of aspen to cover your outdoor home. The choice is yours.
As you travel the region you will discover lots of trails and old mining roads for your riding pleasure. You can ride through thick lush meadows, ride over mountain passes, and past beautiful mountain lakes. Mountain streams offer a refreshing drink for your horse while on the trail. The mountains are filled with mule deer, elk, mountain lion, black bear, coyote, and golden eagles which are among the larger forest animals. Smaller animals and birds include beaver, jack rabbit, the red tail hawk, and grouse.
The trails in the lower elevations are dominated by Gamble oak, chokecherry, serviceberry, pinion pine and juniper. The forest transitions into quaking aspen, ponderosa pine, Engelmann spruce, Douglas, white and sub-alpine fir as you increase your altitude. Needless to say, you get quite a variety on your trail ride.
As you traverse the mountains during the wet spring weather you will see an explosion of lupine, flax, primrose, milkvetch, wild onion, columbine, and paintbrush. Riding through the open meadows of wild Iris and other wild flowers is actually breathtaking. You will also be refreshed by the fragrant blossoming shrubs, including the wild rose, elderberry, choke cherry, serviceberry, and curl-leaf mahogany. All of these beautiful plants give the mountains some of its awe-inspiring appeal.
Fall is a colorful time of year with the autumn leaves of gold aspen and bright red maple interspersed with the dark evergreens. There is something magical about the golden aspen (quaky) leaves as they shimmer like gold coins in the wind.
On one of our unforgettable trail rides through the colorful autumn forest, the golden aspen leaves would float down gently too and fro on a gently breeze, and several would land on the green fir branches. How spectacular the colors! It was like riding through an enchanted forest.
In addition to the mountains themselves and their beauty, it is hard to match the spectacular views of the red rock canyons below. This scenery can be found in very few places in the entire country. For a very special adventure you may want to ride in the La Sal Mountains.
For more information contact:
MANTI-LA SAL NATIONAL FOREST
599 West Price River Drive
Price, Utah 84501
Moab/Monticello Ranger District
2290 S. Resource Blvd
PO Box 386
Moab, Utah 84532
Fax (435) 259-7737
Moab/Monticello Ranger District
496 East Central
P.O Box 820
Monticello, Utah 84535
Fax (435) 587-2637