Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains

Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains


Mt.Tomasaki (12,239 ft) is a peak in the LaSal Mountains, and one of seven "12ers" in the range. The LaSal Mountains are the 2nd highest mountain range in Utah, behind the Uinta Mountains. Mt.Tomasaki is accessible by a trail half of the way from the Burro Pass TH, and then the second half is off trail but is easy hiking across the high alpine terrain. The trail itself is mostly exposed, with no water source. 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). Call the LaSal Ranger to make sure Geyser Pass is open before planning your hike here.

While there are other routes you could take in the area, I was mainly interested in this route described so I could see Burro Pass. If you wanted a short distance you could hike basically straight up to hit the peak, but I was okay with a longer route to see the whole basin and the pass. What I didn't realize was that the first mile of our route followed the Whole Enchilada bike route, and we saw TONS of bikers. There were so many bikers I kept Charlie on-leash the first mile just so they wouldn't run him over or if we needed to move quickly out of the way. Keep this in mind if you hike here with your dog - I wish we would have started hiking much earlier like 6 or 7am just to beat the bike traffic.

The hardest part about this hike and peak is the last 1/4 mile, which is the steepest and most rocky. The rocks are mostly stable, but keep an eye on your footing at all times. If your dogs isn't used to hiking over boulders, bring dog booties as a backup to protect their paws. 


From Moab, head south on HWY 191, and turn right on Old Airport Road. At the "T" turn left. Follow signs for LaSal Scenic Loop Road. Turn left for Geyser Pass and drive 8 miles, then left at the brown sign for Burro Pass TH. Veer right at the next brown sign and continue following the signs. Park at the end of the dirt road just before the road makes a steep, rutted incline before reaching the official TH. Parking is off to the left in a pull out. A 4WD car is needed, especially the last 1.5 miles of driving. Photo below of the brown signs.

Here's a driving map.

Distance: 5.5 miles RT 
Elevation gain: 2,000 ft
Time: 3-5 hours
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? Ages 10+
Fees/Permits? None


Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains
Turn left at Geyser Pass for Forest Boundary.
Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains
Follow the signs for Burro Pass TH.
Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains
Our destination is in sight!
Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains
One more left turn, then drive up as far as you can. There is a pull out on the left side after these trees that is a good spot to park, as there is no parking right at the TH.
Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains
Ready to go! I didn't realize we would be on the Whole Enchilada bike trail for the first mile.
Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains
Look at those Fall colors - beautiful!
Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains
And then it was bike, after bike, after bike...we probably saw 80 bikes in the first mile up until Burro Pass.
Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains
Made it to the pass. Once here, turn right and follow the trail sign for Mann's Peak.
Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains
Leaving the bikes behind, finally! This was only a small handful of them too.
Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains
Making our way uphill again and through a short forested section.
Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains
Don't pee on anything except rocks.
Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains
There were a few switchbacks as we kept following the trail. Tomasaki was in good sight again!
Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains
Looking back down towards Burro Pass (tucked in below the meadow).
Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains
Once you reach this cairn, if you want to skip Mann's Peak like we did (since we already did it 2 years ago), just aim straight across to the saddle and leave the trail. If you also want to add in Mann's Peak, I would recommend following the trail up to bag that, then follow the ridge down to meet the saddle.
Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains
Cutting across the boulder field. All of these rocks were very unstable.
Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains
Ahh, made it to the saddle and back on dirt. It was pretty windy here so we layered up.
Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains
One more look into the basin before heading up.
Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains
Next we made our way over to the unnamed peak, 11,947 ft. Such a cool view of Mt. Peale & Mt.Tuk from this side! Still on my list is the big rounded one in front, Mt.Mellenthin.
Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains
Dropping down from the unnamed peak almost to the Tomasaki saddle.
Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains
And now for the last climb - the steepest section.
Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains
I actually picked up a faint trail to the summit. A little hard to see, but it's there.
Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains
Looking back - what a view! I love the LaSal's so much! You can see Mann's Peak and Mt.Waas from here.
Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains
Made it to the summit and first things first - serious face as I check in with my ZOLEO to let my partner know we made it safely. Charlie already snuggles in for his usual summit nap.
Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains
Time to explore around the summit!
Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains
Can't forget about lunch! I love these "adult" lunchables.
Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains
Charlie climbs on my lap for more summit snuggles.

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Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains
On the way down we decided to take the short-cut and just aim straight down back to the car. It was pretty steep but we found an okay gulley to follow down most of the way.
Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains
Just before we reached the trail again, there was one super steep section with really loose dirt and rock. I was really glad we didn't go UP that way. I really liked the semi-loop we created.
Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains
Back to the car and the doggos were out! The sign of a good day!

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Hiking to Mt.Tomasaki, LaSal Mountains


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