As a Moab local, these are some of my all time favorite hikes. All of them are in the surrounding Moab area, but the first three are located in the La Sal Mountains about 40 minutes south. Funny, but those three are my absolute favorite and it’s because the weather gets so hot that it’s nice to cool down in the higher elevation.
La Sal Mountains
Trans-LaSal – Three Miles from the Geyer Pass turnoff, this trail heads North or South. Going North (Boren Mesa) will take towards Oowah and Clark Lake and eventually connect you with Moonlight Meadows if you choose. South (Squaw Springs) will take you through canopies of trees and meadows, of which I prefer. Squaw springs is 4.1 miles one way. I usually go maybe two miles before turning around and heading back.
Moonlight Meadows – Also a bike ride! Drive about 1-2 miles past the Gold Basin turn off, you’ll see a parking lot and sign off to the left. It’s best to do it as an out and back. My favorite is to hike down to Clark’s lake and back up. Wear bug spray! This path mostly follows a creek, before ending at the lake. About 3.2 miles roundtrip. It’s advisable to have a higher clearance vehicle to get to the upper parking lot.
Gold Basin – Another trail found in the La Sal mountains off of Geyser Pass Road. Once you turn right on Geyser, its 5.5 miles until the turn off on the right. Park at the top and descend slightly down to a creek bed, then wind your way back through the forest. The sound of nature is addicting here, spend some time enjoying it. The trails runs about two miles each way. Once you step over a fallen aspen tree take the trail that veers left, it’ll open up the high peaks.
Closer to Town
The Culvert/Goldbar Canyon – Located off the Potash road on the right side right .3 miles after you see the Corona Arch trailhead. You’ll see a large drainage pipe that you walk through to begin the trail. This canyon boasts gorgeous views while weaving your way through a solitary echo chamber. Steer clear of this trail if there is ANY chance of rain. It’s a wash and you won’t make it. The trail is 1.9 miles each way (roughly 4 miles RT) but after the first mile, the trail becomes a bit difficult and requires more time than you might think. At 1.9 miles, the trail ends with a beautiful overlook and Jeep Arch. I rarely hike all the way, but rather about a mile in and then enjoy the quiet.
Hidden Valley – The closest trail to town. You’ll head vertical up the side of the rim before tipping over into a hidden field. Follow the trail across the meadow until you come to a valley overlook (hidden valley) continue to the left to connect this to the Moab Rim or head right to get up close and personal with ancient hieroglyphics. Admire, don’t touch. Out and back this trail is :
Negro Bill Canyon (now Grandstaff trailhead) – If you can believe it, our high school soccer coach made us run this canyon for conditioning. You’ll cross a few creeks (the same creek) before ending at Morning Glory Arch, where water is continuously flowing down to a pond. Wear tons of bug spray. The mosquitos are rude. 4 Miles RT, take river road (Scenic Byway 128) for 3 miles before seeing the parking lot on the right.
Corona Arch – This may be a popular hike, but it’s still one of my favorites. Hike through a bit of the desert before popping out to see a magnificent arch. Take some time, lay underneath and gaze upon its grandeur. 3 miles roundtrip, turn left on Potash road and drive about 10 miles before seeing the parking lot on the right.
After all that hiking, you’ll be starved! Check out Moab Restaurant Tips for dinner ideas!