Miners Basin

Round Trip Distance: 6.5 miles
Difficulty: Strenuous
Elevation: 9,395 - 10,689 feet
Elevation gain: 2,645 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 4 hrs.
Trailhead: Warner Campground
Fee: none
Attractions: Forest hike

The Miners Basin trail is located in the Manti-La Sal National Forest near Moab, Utah. The trail begins at the Warner Campground where it climbs the upper section of Shuman Gulch to a saddle below Gold Knob. From there it descends into an area known as Miners Basin eventually coming to an end at an old mining/forest road. The Mountain View trail branches off near the 0.7 mile point and the Gold Knob trail branches off near the top of the ridge above Shuman Gulch. As the trail descends the north side of the mountain it passes the ruins of a former mining operation.

To get to the Warner Campground 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 driving 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. Road.

There is a registration box just before the trail passes through the fence that surrounds the Warner Lake and campground area. Be sure and close the gate to help keep the cows out.

After passing the the gate the trail travels through an aspen grove and then meets up with an old road. From there it goes to the right and follows the road as it bends toward the north and passes through another gate. As the road gets rocky and heads into the gulch watch for a trail sign on the right where the Miners Basin trail leaves the road. We saw several hikers that either missed the sign or didn't know whether it pertained to them and had to backtrack to find it.

The trail immediately begins climbing as it heads up the gulch.

There are a couple of spots that get a little rocky.

At the 0.7 mile point the Mountain View trail branches off on the right.

After passing the Mountain View intersection the trail goes by an old miners cabin and continues climbing up the basin. Here the forest is mostly tall stands of aspen trees.

There are a few switchbacks to ease the way. Several of them are followed by very long stretches where the trails climbs at a moderate rate up the otherwise steep mountain side.

The trail breaks out onto a grassy slope as it nears the ridge. From here you can look over and see Gold Knob.

Just a little further up the mountain and the Gold Knob trail branches off on the left.

The trail crosses a saddle in the ridge a little past the Gold Knob trail where it begins an easy descent into Miners Basin. On this side of the mountain a thick growth of conifers creates a dark forest to hike through.

Occassionaly the trees will open up and allow a glimpse of portions of Miners Basin and the surrounding peaks.

Around the 2.5 mile point the trail meets up with an old mining road and begins following it down the mountain. After a while it passes by an abandoned mine site.

The trail continues following the road down into the valley and somewhere around the 3 mile point it reaches a red gate.

The trail continues past the red gate and after a little more than a quarter mile it crosses a creek and then comes to an intersection with another road. We turned around at this point but we could have continued to the left and gone a little further and reached another trailhead.

The climb back up the ridge went much easier than expected and this is coming from someone that had already hiked up to Burro Pass that morning.

The views from the top of the ridge are pretty decent but the views from Gold Knob are absolutely incredible. You can see out over Castle Valley, Canyonlands National Park and all spots in between. The excursion will add a little over 1 mile to the round trip distance.

We had purchased a map with a few trail descriptions for the area at the Moab Information Center that had the distance for this trail at 2 miles. Assuming that they were meaning 2 miles one-way they were still off by over 2.5 miles and we didn't hike as far as they had indicated. They were also far enough off on several of their other trails that we began wondering if they made the map from information they had gleaned from other sources and may have never stepped foot on the La Sals. We were also carrying a Forest Service map of the Manti-La Sal NF that made the discrepancies obvious. The Miners Basin trail is a nice hike that gets you out of the summer heat around Moab and it is especially a nice something to do if you are staying at the Warner Campground. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.