On my continued quest to find a smoke-free zone, my bestie adventure buddy Joan invited me to Moab. While it’s much too hot to hike for me to hike in red rock country, the La Sal Mountains (to the southeast of Moab) rise up above 12,000 feet. This range is part of the Manti-La Sal National Forest and is not a designated wilderness area.
Shuttle buses bring loads of bikers up to the Burro Pass Trailhead (so they can ride the WE back to Moab). We learned the first group leaves Moab around 7:30am. We started our hike around 8:15 arriving at the pass about an hour later. If we’d left 15 minutes earlier, we would have avoided their traffic.
You can connect many of these peaks (Manns, Pilot, Green, and Waas). We had a loop planned with Pilot Peak at 12,200 feet, the next in line as our upcoming challenge. There is no official/maintained trail, but a well used path is apparent.
To the right is Mt Waas and if you look closely you can see a very tight switchback trail going up the face. But after climbing nearly 3000′ by this point, this gal had enough for this day. The dark clouds helped motivate us to get off the bald summit and spend some time going down, down, down.
Water is fairly scarce and it’s challenging to connect trails, thus car camping and day hiking make a lot more sense. We were rained on for a bit during our hike and received a drencher during the night.
- Date(s) Hiked: September 9, 2017
- Mileage: 8-9 miles
- Elevation Gain/Loss: 4,000′
- Trail Conditions:
- Tree obstacles: few
- Overgrowth: minimal
- Signage: good
- Terrain: mixed (some rocky sections, some loose footing with side hilling)
- Navigation skills: moderate for some sections and for trail reroutes
- Water: Bring your own (water is available in Wet Fork)
- Camping: Dispersed options plentiful
- Solitude: Mixed (we didn’t see anyone while peak bagging, but saw a few on Dry and Wet Forks, and lots of bikes on the Burro Pass section)
- Bugs: minimal
- Wildlife: lots of pikas and we heard elk bugling the previous night
- Precip: Some rain
- Temp: I’d guess in the 70’s
- Jan’s Cherry Picker Delight Scale: 4+ cherries (out of 5) Views were outstanding!
- Stop in at the Moab Ranger Station to find out about road and trail conditions