Wednesday, June 5, 2013

La Sal Mountain Loop Road

Moab, UT
June 2,2013

Sunday morning Joe and I were up early. Morning is our favorite time of day...nothing quite like watching the sunrise, the feel of the cool morning air, that first sip of coffee and a few doggie kisses to get the day started!

We weren't sure what the plans for the day would be, then we heard it...the La Sal Mountains were calling us!

Scenic Byway 128
We headed north on Hwy 191 and turned right onto Scenic Byway 128. We followed the Colorado River...passed by Negro Bill Canyon, and Big Bend Recreation Site...before making a right turn on Castle Valley Road.

After about 4 miles we passed the Priest and Nuns and Castle Rock on our left. These famous landmarks have been in many western movies.
Priest and Nuns

 Castle Valley is a very small community of farms...population 319.

Castle Valley Road

We continued on for 7 or so miles and made a right turn on La Sal Mountain Loop Road.

La Sal Mountain Loop Road

There were several pull-outs to stop and enjoy spectacular views of Castle Valley.

As we entered the Manti-La Sal National Forest, the plants and trees began to change as we gained elevation. 
 The Pinyon pines and Junipers trees...

                      ...gave way to oaks...

...and then, those beautiful aspens among tall pines.

 The flowers were so pretty...a lot of stop and take photographs.



The most common wild iris is the blue flag. This wild iris is native to deciduous woodlands and has  thick, blade like foliage. Also, it reseeds itself if left undisturbed. 

 We made a left turn onto a dirt road that leads to Oowah Lake. High clearance, 4-wheel vehicles are advised. The road winds up for about 3 miles to the lake and campground.

It was 3 miles filled with absolute beauty! As Pam would say...the "green stuff" was thick and very green with wildflowers scattered throughout.

We drove right through a colony of aspens.


So many wonderful shades of green!

A stream led the we wound our way up and around the switchbacks.

At the end of the road is Oowah Lake. This is one of two popular lakes with primitive camping sites off  the Loop Road. Oowah Lake elevation is 8,800 feet. Its a small lake...only 4 acres. If you look closely, you will see people fishing on the right shoreline.

The loop drive is a approximately 60 miles. Our guide said to plan on 3 hours. It took us a wee bit longer( 4 hours)...we really took our time and enjoyed every minute!

The La Sal Mountain range rises above and southeast of Moab. The range is part of the Manti-La Sal National Forest and the southern Rocky Mountains.

The maximum elevation is at Mt. Peale which reaches 12,721 feet. It is Utah's second highest mountain range.

 We think this is a must-do ride for anyone visiting the Moab area.

It is such a contrast to the beautiful red rocks and desert around Arches NP and the Moab area.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing our Sunday drive!
I can't believe it is already how time flies! Hope you are having a great week.
Y'all come back!


  1. Beautiful drive! It looks just like Colorado. The aspens are bright green here with their new leaves, too! All the flowers look very similar. I can't believe how much snow has melted on the La Sal Mts. With the way it snowed on them while we were there, I figured they would have more snow.

    We didn't get to this drive. Next time for sure.

    Stay cool!!! I don't miss the heat.

  2. Next time we are in the Moab area, we are going to take that drive too. This is sure the time of year to do it, and I am sure the fall time period when the Aspens turn would be nice too. Seen Aspens in the fall in Utah and Colorado before, that is such a site.
    Thanks for the great pictures.

    Dave (Marcia and Bubba and Skruffy)

  3. We did part of the drive but then had to go home and take care of pups so we turned around. Next time - all the way around cause we'll plan our time better. Beautiful.

  4. Excellent tour again today.
    Like you guys we love the early morning hours, best time of the day!

  5. I'm a morning person too. I love getting up early, listening to the birds and watching the critters. Love all the wildflowers this time of year. There are so many places to go and so much to see.

  6. I've done that ride in September and the Aspens changing color and shimmering in the sun is just lovely. :-)

  7. Enjoying my morning coffee and LOVING the beautiful pictures! Thank you so much for sharing!!