Laccolith Tour | La Sal Mountains

Saturday & Sunday, August 21-22, 2010

Since Amanda had to work this weekend and I didn’t want to travel too far from home, I headed out to explore the La Sal Mountains as part of my Laccolith Tour this year. I have been to the La Sals a number of times before, so I have driven most of the main trails, so my goal this trip was to explore some new ones. From my house I headed up Unaweep Canyon to Gateway and then took John Brown Canyon up into the foothills of the La Sals.

Before getting started on my first trail, I stopped along the Castleton-Gateway Road and found some dinosaur footprints that I knew were in the area.

The best print
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One filled with some dirt with the other one in the background
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Overlook near the dino prints
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My next destination was to check out the trail on Fisher Mesa. This one had been on my to-do list for a while…..
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Along the trail I stopped and made a short hike to a geocache that was hidden near an old cabin on the rim of Fisher Mesa
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Great view from the old cabin
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An open area of the mesa, looking over Castle Valley in the distance
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A little further along the trail I got to drive under this large overhanging rock
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I wouldn’t want to be under it when it finally comes down….
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View from the end of the trail
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Heading back
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From another overlook along the trail
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Fisher Towers
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Next I took the La Sal Mountains Loop Road around to Warner Lake
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Warner Lake
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Reflection
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Then I headed up to Geyser Pass
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Making my way to the Burro Pass trailhead
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On my way down to the Taylor Flats Road
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Since I was unable to top off my fuel in Gateway earlier that day, I needed to stop in Moab for some gas and I grabbed a bite to eat while I was there, too. Then I followed the Sand Flats Road back up into the La Sals.

View from the Castle Valley overlook along the way
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Driving through the burn area in Pinhook Valley
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Memorial at the end of the Pinhook Battleground Road for those who were massacred by Indians in 1881
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I decided at the last minute that I wanted to hike around the Fisher Towers in the morning, so it might be a good idea to camp there for the night. As I was heading to the towers, I caught a glimpse of the glowing mountain and mesa behind me in my rear-view mirror, so I had to stop and take a few photos.

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Adobe Mesa glowing bright orange
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When I arrived at the Fisher Towers, the moon was shining between them
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After a good nights sleep I did some hiking around the towers before heading out

Hoodoo silhouette
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After completing the hike and making it back to my Jeep, I was going to take the Onion Creek Road back up into the La Sals. Those plans were changed when I reached this…
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Apparently this road was washed out by the recent storm, too.

Instead I took a few short side roads in Castle Valley
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..and then a few more short trails near Willow Basin that all seemed to end at private property before making my way up to Polar Mesa.

There was a large field of sunflowers I passed through right before the climb to Polar Mesa, so I took a few photos.

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Plenty of old mining relics on Polar Mesa
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Nice view from the end of the mesa, too
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Before heading home I did a little exploring on North Beaver Mesa, but the storm clouds started rolling in, so I started heading home after that.

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It was a nice weekend exploring some new trails close to home.


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