Round Trip Distance: 5.4 miles
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 8783 - 9347 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 4 hrs. 30 mins.
Trailhead: Lake Oowah
Attractions: Forest hike/bike, deer, elk
To get to the Oowah Campground drive south out of Moab on Highway 191, measuring 7.8 miles from the intersection of Center and Main, and turn left onto the Old Airport Road. The turnoff is marked by a sign for the La Sal Mtn. Loop Road. Follow the loop road for 12.3 miles and turn right at the sign for the Oowah Campground. Follow the now graveled road for about 3 miles to the campground. The Boren Mesa trail begins on the west side of the dam.
The trail starts out a little steep and rocky as it climbs the side of the mountain above Lake Oowah heading toward Boren Mesa. Early in the year there can be a little water running down portions of the trail in which case the rocks make it easier to keep your feet dry.
After only a few hundred yards the climb starts to level off somewhat as it squeezes past a rocky outcrop that is part of a band of cliffs that forms a scenic layer that wraps around the western flanks of the La Sal Mountains just below the 9,000 foot level.
The route becomes much smoother around the quarter mile point where the trail goes through a fence.
Just past the 3/4 mile point the Clark Lake Loop branches off on the left.
This is probably the most pleasant part of the trail as it passes through the tall groves of aspens that adorn this part of Boren Mesa.
The trail leaves the shelter of the trees and crosses the open mesa. At this point it is crossed by an old 4x4 road that according to the sign also leads over to the Geyser Pass Road.
From here the trail makes a big descent into the next basin. The trail is very rocky in places and a bit overgrown at times by the oakbrush that carpets the side of the mountain.
Just under the 2 mile point the trail crosses Horse Creek as it levels off below a cascade.
After a short climb after crossing Horse Creek the trail transitions back to an easier route that is once again dominated by a forest of aspens.
The trail comes to an end at the Geyser Pass Road. The trailhead for the Squaw Springs trail, which is the next segment of the Trans La Sal trail, is just across the road.
While hiking we encountered a few deer and a small herd of elk. We passed a bear that was thrashing away from us through the tall oak brush near a pile of fresh scat that it had left in the middle of the trail. Bees swarmed around a very large hive that was hanging off of a branch near the trail.