La Sal Mountains -- Warner Lake

Fall is here!  It's still toasty down in the desert, but when we drove up to the La Sal Mountains this weekend it was a yellow aspen extravaganza.  I'm the world's biggest sucker for aspens -- everything was crisp and golden and perfect.

Warner Lake aspen grove

The Loop Road up to the LaSals has been closed for a couple months (construction?) so we drove up through the Sand Flats Recreation Area.  We'd never taken this route before, but I think it's going to be the new standard!  As you climb 5,000 feet up into the mountains, the terrain changes from red slickrock to lush pines.  It's a gravel road, but it's only about 36 miles from Moab, so the trip didn't take much longer than going past Ken's Lake. 

Warner Lake + Haystack Mountain

We set up the teardrop at Warner Lake campground (9,200.')  I love seeing Haystack Mountain reflected in the little reed-lined lake.  There's loads of hiking trails, aspen groves, and a perfect little white cabin that makes my heart skip a beat.  Can I live here one day?

We didn't really have a specific trail in mind -- we just tooled around on our mountain bikes and hiked wherever it looked pretty.  We found a couple sections of trail that were fun on the bikes, but I think the real draw is the Whole Enchilada Trail.  I can't wait until I'm pro enough to tackle this monster.  A shuttle vehicle takes you to the top of Burro Pass (11,200',) then you bomb down 26.5 miles and 7,000 vertical feet to the Colorado River!  One day.  Patience, grasshopper.

Instead, we opted for a hike towards Beaver Basin.  It was one of those hikes that was supposed to be short and quick, but the scenery kept pulling us in.  Eventually, we made it to the saddle between Mount Waas and Manns Peak.  Jordan scurried up to the top of one of the mini-summits, then we hobbled back down.  Great weekend.  Fall is definitely my favorite season!

Beaver Basin Trail