Hiking to Haystack Mountain, LaSal Mountains

Hiking to Haystack Mountain, LaSal Mountains

Haystack Mountain (11,641 ft) is a prominent peak in the LaSal Mountain range just outside of Moab, UT. The LaSal Mountains are the 2nd highest mountain range in Utah, behind the Uinta Mountains. Haystack Mountain is accessible by a trail most of the way - the last 1.5 miles is off trail. The trail itself is mostly well-shaded, with plenty of water for dogs to drink from, from the creek that flows year-round. As you reach the saddle, you'll hike above tree line and will be fully exposed. Start hiking early in the morning to beat the afternoon thunderstorms that occur almost daily in this mountain range. The best time to summit is Summer and Fall (typically late June to the first snowfall in October).

There are three ways to reach the summit:
1) Geyser Pass - shortest route but makes sure the pass is open before driving all the way there (this is why we didn't take this route)

2) Warner Lake TH - about the same mileage and elevation gain as the way we went, but chose not to take this trail since we did it the prior year to Mann's Peak

3) Oohwah Lake & Clark Lake TH - this was our route and is about 10 miles RT with 2,800 ft gain


To reach Oohwah Lake, drive south from Moab, and turn left at the signed LaSal Scenic Loop Road. Follow all signs for this, and near Horse Canyon there is a tight bend in the road and the signed Oohwah Lake is on the right. Drive to the very end of the road where the lake, campground, and Clark Lake TH is.

Here is a driving map.

Distance: 9.6 miles RT
Elevation gain: 2,800 ft
Time: 5-7 hours RT
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? No
Fees/Permits? None

Hiking to Haystack Mountain, LaSal Mountains
Entering the Rec Area. There is a sign that no RVs are allowed to camp up here because the road has one tight turn, and there is not a big enough turn around for RVs in the campground - it's best for tent campers or rooftop-style tents only. Camping is only $5/night and there are 11 first-serve, first-come sites. Call the Moab Ranger District for current conditions and if they are open at 435-259-7155. This is a popular lake so arrive early or even mid-week to snag a spot.
Hiking to Haystack Mountain, LaSal Mountains
Official TH.
Hiking to Haystack Mountain, LaSal Mountains
Now we begin! Woot woot!
Hiking to Haystack Mountain, LaSal Mountains
You'll hike up a series of small switchbacks and go through a cattle gate. 
Hiking to Haystack Mountain, LaSal Mountains
Around 0.75 miles the view opens up and you'll have your first good look at Haystack from the SW side.
Hiking to Haystack Mountain, LaSal Mountains
At 1.2 miles reach Clark Lake. It was so brown because of the rain storm the day prior.
Hiking to Haystack Mountain, LaSal Mountains
At 1.8 miles cross the stream, and then shortly after a small bridge.
Hiking to Haystack Mountain, LaSal Mountains
At 2.2 miles reach this trail sign, and stay straight for Moonlight Meadows.
Hiking to Haystack Mountain, LaSal Mountains
Moonlight Meadows is a prime spot for nice photos with Mt.Mellenthin in the background.

Loving my Duluth Trading Women Pier Genius Hooded Pullover! UPF 50 sun protections, odor-fighting, and dries 6x faster than normal material.
Hiking to Haystack Mountain, LaSal Mountains
Wow, we will be up there soon!
Hiking to Haystack Mountain, LaSal Mountains
Beautiful trail!
Hiking to Haystack Mountain, LaSal Mountains
One last look at the meadow and Mt.Mellethin.
Hiking to Haystack Mountain, LaSal Mountains
At 3.4 miles the trail takes a sharp right turn and this is where you'll want to leave the trail and start aiming for the saddle straight ahead.
Hiking to Haystack Mountain, LaSal Mountains
You will now be hiking off trail - find what seems like the best route to get past the trees.
Hiking to Haystack Mountain, LaSal Mountains
Looking back at where we've hiked up from.
Hiking to Haystack Mountain, LaSal Mountains
Still aiming for that saddle - from the trail turn off to the saddle is about 1 mile.
Hiking to Haystack Mountain, LaSal Mountains
No bones about it!
Hiking to Haystack Mountain, LaSal Mountains
Finally at the saddle. From here, just aim straight up the ridge to reach the summit.
Hiking to Haystack Mountain, LaSal Mountains
Whoo hoo! One of my favorites - scrambling.
Hiking to Haystack Mountain, LaSal Mountains
Looking back.
Hiking to Haystack Mountain, LaSal Mountains
I was really happy to see the ridge level out with a big snow patch. Much easier to hike across. The wind was really strong through here.
Hiking to Haystack Mountain, LaSal Mountains
The peak above Dan's head is Manns Peak - the one we did in 2019!
Hiking to Haystack Mountain, LaSal Mountains
On the summit of Haystack Mountain - yassss! Great view of Mt.Tukuhnikivatz to the south.
Hiking to Haystack Mountain, LaSal Mountains
Summit snuggles are our thing!
Hiking to Haystack Mountain, LaSal Mountains
The pups take a little nap before heading down. They did such a good job!
Hiking to Haystack Mountain, LaSal Mountains
Time to head down - only half way done!
Hiking to Haystack Mountain, LaSal Mountains
Back at the car we sat by Oohwah Lake and drank out ice cold beer - so refreshing!


Watch the video of our hike!



Trail map via Oohwah Lake


Don't forget to clean your camelbak bladder when you get home!
9 Ways to Clean your Camelbak Bladder


Hiking to Manns Peak, LaSal Mountains
Save me for later!
Hiking to Haystack Mountain, LaSal Mountains

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