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La Sal Mountains: Warner Lake to Gold Knob

Juneteenth | Tuesday – Wednesday, June 18-19, 2024

Surprisingly, it’s been almost three years since my last visit to the La Sal Mountains near Moab and I’ve definitely been overdue for a return since I still have a couple of peaks left in the range to hike. Since I had Wednesday off for Juneteenth, I left from work on Tuesday afternoon and headed up to the Warner Lake Campground so I could start getting my lungs and legs ready for the mountain hiking season with an easier hike up to the summit of Gold Knob in the morning. After arriving at the campground I went for a short loop hike nearby and then returned to watch the sunset from Warner Lake before getting to bed early.

Passing by a ridge of red sandstone as I made my way from Castle Valley to the La Sal Mountain Loop Road on Tuesdy afternoon.

Rock Castle Ridge

I stopped near Mason Draw to check out the view of Gold Knob from this side

Mason Draw Road

Gold Knob

Gold Knob View

After making it to my campsite, I went for a hike on the Warner Lake Loop Trail which includes a section of The Whole Enchilada.

Haystack Mountain

Warner Lake Trail

Warner Lake Trail

Looking back to Gold Knob over Warner Lake.

Gold Knob Reflection

Much of the loop trail was in the trees with limited views.

Trail in the Trees

Warner Lake Reflection

Warner Lake Reflection

After reading at camp for a little while, I returned to Warner Lake to watch the sunset.

Warner Lake at Sunset

On Wednesday morning I was up before sunrise and then started hiking up the Miners Basin Trail to Gold Knob at dawn.

Until I neared the top of the ridge, this was the only opening in the trees that offered any view of the surrounding terrain.

Opening In the Trees

Once I neared the pass, I turned off onto the Gold Knob Trail and finally had a good view of Gold Knob ahead.

Gold Knob

Following the trail toward the summit.

Gold Knob Trail

There were good views to the south to Mount Tukuhnikivatz.

Mount Tuk

The surrounding views seemed to be a bit hazy and possibly smoky this morning.

La Sals View

Following the trail to the top…

Trail To the Top

There was a nice view over Castle Valley from the top.

Hazy View from the Top

Porcupine Rim & Castle Valley

Porcupine Rim & Castle Valley

Castle Valley

Looking down to Warner Lake.

Warner Lake

Mountains of Light

Mountains of Light

Mount Mellenthin

Mount Mellenthin

Gold Knob Summit

Gold Knob Summit View

After leaving the summit I followed the Miners Basin Trail to the pass, and then turned around at this sign right before the trail started to steeply descend into Miners Basin.

Trail Sign

Before returning to the trailhead, I followed the Mountain View Trail to a rocky overlook.

Mountain View Trail

Mountain View Ridge

Mountain View Overlook

Mountain View Overlook

Instead of driving home the way I had come, I returned through Gateway and Unaweap Canyon so I could explore a couple side roads and stop at Cairn Point along the way.

Cairn Point

>> Warner Lake to Gold Knob Photo Gallery

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