Round Trip Distance: 3.2 miles
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 9,896 - 10,483 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 2 hrs.
Trailhead: Upper Clark Lake
Attractions: Forest hike, scenic meadows
The Moonlight Meadow trail is located in the La Sal Mountains near Moab, Utah. The lower end of the trail begins off of the Clark Lake trail about a quarter mile from the Geyser Pass Road. From there the trail makes a gentle climb through open meadows, aspen groves and pine trees to where it comes to an end at a road near the Geyser Pass/Whole Enchilada trailhead.
To get to the upper Clark Lake 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 12 miles and turn right onto the Geyser Pass Road. It is about 5.9 miles along a graveled road to the trailhead. There is only room for about 2 vehicles to park at the trailhead.
The Clark Lake trail starts out following an old jeep road.
The trail travels through a dark forest of pines, passing an old homestead in a small meadow, and then descending a short distance to where it crosses a the stream that feeds Clark Lake.
After crossing the creek the trail comes to a junction where the Moonlight Meadow trail branches off on the right.
The Moonlight Meadow trail starts out with a little bit of climbing as it moves away from the creek.
The trails profile shows that going in this direction it is all uphill but with less than 600 feet of elevation gain spread out over a mile and a half the grade stays pretty gentle all the way.
Large portions of the trail are out in the open as the route courses through the chain of meadows that lead up the small valley.
The gentle sloping trail is crisscrossed by several brooks that are spanned by wooden bridges. The area in this photo has also had a lot of work done to keep the trail on dry ground as it crosses a small marsh.
From time to time the trail retreats from the meadows and travels through the edge of the forest adding a very pleasant variety of scenery to enjoy.
After a little more than a mile and a half from the Clark Lake trail the upper trailhead is reached. From here the Geyser Pass Road and trailhead is a few hundred yards to the right. There is plenty of room to park around the upper Moonlight Meadow trailhead but passenger cars and other low clearance vehicles might not be able to make it all the way after they leave the Geyser Pass Road. The option is to park at the Geyser Pass trailhead, or if there is room, to park down at the Clark Lake trailhead where we began at.