Moab in the spring is a wonderful time of year. When the snow starts melting in the La Sal Mountains it creates a beautiful scene. There are seasonal waterfalls along with lots of little rushing creeks to enjoy. You’ll also find the many hiking trails in the area that have creeks flowing nearby. With the mountains rising up to over 12,000 feet in elevation the snow generally hangs on well into June.
A wonderful day trip can be made by driving north out of Moab. Just before you get to the Colorado River make a right turn toward the east. Follow Highway 128 stopping along the way to enjoy some nice overlooks of the river and the red rock scenery. There are numerous trailheads along the way before you get to the quaint little community of Castle Valley.
A short detour into Castle Valley brings you to some nice scenery and one of the quietest spots around. Even during the busiest times of year this little oasis provides a respite from the crowds at Arches and Canyonlands.
Backtracking to the road that brought you to the entrance of Castle Valley turn right and head south. The road will get narrower but it’s still plenty wide enough to accommodate 2 normal passenger cars going in each direction. You will start a majestic climb upward into the La Sal Mountains.
As you ascend higher and higher there are a handful of turnouts from which to get a bird’s eye view. The temperatures will drop until you eventually reach a nice parking area above 8000 feet. This spot makes a great place for a picnic lunch before you continue to wind your way around the mountain. Bring a windbreaker as you’ll likely need it!
Make sure your car has good brakes because you will need them on the dissent. The snow-covered mountains will be right next to you for a good part of the journey back towards the highway that leads you to Moab.
Take a map because you will not always have cell phone service on this journey. Also, there are a number of short detours you can take that will bring you to other trailheads. In future blog entries we will talk more about many of the great hiking and 4 wheeling opportunities.
The reservation calendar is filling up quickly for the coming months. And Moab in the spring is an awesome time to visit this part of the world.