Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Faux Falls, Moab

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Faux Falls, Moab
Faux Falls in Moab is a very short walk, that the whole family will enjoy. "Faux" is French for "false" or "fake", hence the name. Faux Falls was built in 1981 along with Ken's Lake, when a drought in the early 1970s pressed for the need of more water for Moab and surrounding areas. Ken's Lake is named for the then District Chairman, Ken McDonald, and the lake was dedicated for irrigation purposes in the upper Spanish Valley - long known as "Poverty Flats" because of its lack of water. It cost $4 million dollars to build the 96 ft high dam to hold an esitmated 2,750 acres of water that allows for the culivation of roughly 900 acres of land.


Though this "faux falls" isn't natural, it sure feels like a real waterfall. The 2-3 foot deep pool at the bottom makes for a great shallow swimming area for kids and dogs. The water was too cold for me to get in all the way, but the mist flying all around the falls felt very refreshing, especially since we had been camping for the past two nights, and hiked The Fisher Towers trail & Mill Creek. A few years ago you could drive up with within 100 yards of the falls; now, the road has been washed out and you need to hike the easy 0.5 mile dirt road to the "official" trail head.

From Moab, head south on HWY 191 for about 7.5 miles (mile marker 117.9). Turn left at the brown sign for Ken's Lake and the La Sal Scenic Drive. At the first stop sign, turn Right. At the "Y" in the road, veer left. At the next intersection, turn left again for Ken's Lake. This paved road will turn into a dirt road. Once it turns to a dirt road, drive down for 0.5 miles, then turn left into the campground. Park at the first small parking area on your right, across from two campsites. There are no signs, except for a small sign in the dirt road where the "trail" starts saying the road has been washed out.

Distance: 1 mile RT
Elevation gain: 85 ft
Time: 1-3 hours, depending on how long you swim
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? Yes
Fees/Permits? None

Faux Falls, Moab
 Driving to Faux Falls, you will have beautiful views of the La Sal mountains.
Faux Falls, Moab
 You will know you are at the right place, when you see this small sign. There is parking just before, and to the right of this sign. There is space for only 4-5 cars.
Faux Falls, Moab
 Follow the dirt road.
Faux Falls, Moab
 Be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen on this walk, since there is no shade. There are also no restrooms, water, or any other services.
Faux Falls, Moab
 "Official" Trailhead. There is a little bit of information here, and you can see Faux Falls ahead.
Faux Falls, Moab
 Walk down the sandy trail for 100 yards until you reach the falls. 
Faux Falls, Moab
 Soaking up the sun! The water was fun to play in up to my legs, but I couldn't build up enough confidence to stand under the falls. Two of the others in our group did though. Plus, the dogs had fun taking a dip. Be sure to wear water shoes on this hike, so you don't slip on the rocks and can wade.
Faux Falls, Moab
 Charlie had fun playing in the water. 
Faux Falls, Moab

Faux Falls trail map, Moab
Route looking East.

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Hiking to Faux Falls, Moab

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for the info! I hope I'll have time to go there when I'm down that way in a few days.

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  2. How bad is the road? ie, what happens if you just drive around the sign?

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    1. The BLM actually updated that tiny sign to a much larger sign and the road is now completely blocked off. -Alicia

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    2. We finally got around to hiking to Faux Falls this evening. The only info sign is down by the parking area at the campground.

      The drive to the upper parking lot/trailhead is open. There's one spot that might not be car friendly. The real challenge is the sand on the way up- it seemed like it could cause traction issues at times. We saw a Jeep Cherokee drive up and people leaving the trail said a Subaru did it.

      The water is still shockingly cold!

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    3. Interesting, guess they changed it up for a 3rd time! I still don't think I would drive up the road - I liked walking to it. Thanks for the update! -Alicia

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