One-way Distance: 3 miles
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 8367 - 9486 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: Hazard County
Attractions: Scenic views
The Hazard County trail is located in the La Sal Mountains near Moab, Utah. The trail begins on Wilcox Mesa near the Warner Campground. After an initial uphill climb the trail begins a long descent to where it ends at the La Sal Mountain Loop Road. The Hazard County trail is one leg of the longer Whole Enchilada trail that begins higher up in the La Sal's off of the Geyser Pass Road and ends down below in Moab. Almost all of the activity on the Hazard County trail comes from mountain bikers that are doing the Whole Enchilada trail. Scenic views and easy access make the trail appealing also to hikers.
To get to the trailhead from Moab drive south on Highway 191, measuring from Center and Main, for 7.8 miles and turn left onto the Old Airport Road. Follow the signs for the La Sal Mtn. Loop Road for another 15 miles and turn right onto Forest Road 0063, the Warner Lake Road. It is about 5 miles along a graveled road to the Warner Campground after turning off of the La Sal Mtn. Loop Road. The sign for the Hazard County trailhead comes up before reaching the campground.
After turning off of the Warner Lake Road it is only about a hundred yards or so to the parking area.
The trail starts out crossing an irrigation ditch on a wooden bridge and passing through the edge of a grove of aspens along the base of the mountain.
From there it begins a moderate climb up the southern slope of the hillside where it gains about 150 feet of elevation overall.
The Hazard County trail seems to take advantage of any grove of trees that it passes close to by routing its course through the foliage rather than out in the open.
By the time the trail has reached the half mile point it is crossing the open expanse of the mesa and heading generally downhill.
Mountain bikers can keep a lookout for one of several optional jumps that are built into the sides of the trail.
As the trail rolls over the crest of the hill there are outstanding views of Castle Valley that immediately draw your attention their way. This is where hikers have the advantage by not having to keep their eyes on the trail as much as mountain bikers do.
Whether it is a cloudy day, sunny day, morning or afternoon the way the light highlights the red rocks of Castle Valley can provide the opportunity for taking a pretty picture. Pictures, of course, never seem to come out as good as you might hope they would so it is always nicer to see it in person.
There are a few rocky stretches to watch out for as the trail descends off of the mesa. Hikers that don't want to go all the way down to the La Sal Mountain Loop road and have to climb back up the mountain from there might want to turn around near the one mile point.
The brush is high enough that it is hard to see very far down the trail at any one point. We came around one corner to find a mountain biker laying flat on her back in the middle of the trail after taking a spill.
The last stretch of the trail is mostly dirt track that courses through an abundance of oakbrush.