Moab Happenings Archive
Return to home

Trail Happenings September 2009

Saddle Up for Gold Basin
By Christoph Schork

Equestrian Outing in the Mountains: During the summer and early fall months, horses do enjoy the high meadows and trails in the La Sal Mountains. We have ridden over many trails in the local mountains and find the following trail to be easy and short enough for beginning and intermediate riders, yet providing great views of the La Sal Mountains and an unsurpassed variety for horse and rider.

Gold Basin is named after gold discoveries were made in the late 1800s. The trail ride begins at 8600 ft. and ends in the basin at 9700ft.

Getting There: From Moab: Drive 7.9 miles south on U.S. 191 from the intersection of Main and Center streets to the La Sal Mountain Loop Road. Take a left onto the Loop Road and make a right at the ‘T’ in half a mile. At mile 20 from Moab, take a right onto Geyser Pass Road and you can find good parking for your rig on the side of the road. You may also elect to continue another 3 miles to the Squaw Spring (Trans La Sal) Trailhead and park your rig there. From this point the mileage to Gold Basin is about 10.0 miles out and back. You can add more mileage by combining your ride with Moonlight Meadows or go to the top of Geyser Pass.

Route Description: The route starts on the gravel road then drops from a parking area on a tight and steep single track into the basin.

From the intersection with Squaw Spring (Trans La Sal) Trailhead, go about 2.5 miles up Geyser Pass road (gravel). Turn right onto the Gold Basin Road #141. The road ends at a log fence. To the left of the fence is a small single track that leads down the hill. The trail crosses a small clearing and a small stream. Before reaching the second larger stream, go left on a single track. You may continue on that single track as far as you like. Be aware, the further you continue, the fainter the single track becomes. There you will encounter more and more talus and logs, so turn around if the going gets too difficult for your horse. Follow the same trail back to your horse trailer.

Difficulty: The footing is generally good on the dirt road sections. The single track portion has some logs, shale and some sand. Your total elevation gain is 2450 ft. Plan about 4 hours for the approximate 10 mile round trip ride. Extend your time if you want to explore more routes in the Basin.

Concerns: This route is also used by mountain bikers, hikers and motorists. You’ll want to make sure your horse is comfortable when encountering mountain bikers, 4 wheelers and perhaps cattle.

For further information on this trail or other outings contact: Christoph Schork at the Global Endurance Training Center 435- 719- 4033.

Group Mission: South Eastern Utah Chapter (SEUBCH) of the Back Country Horsemen of America and Utah’s (BCHU) mission is: “to work to insure that public lands remain open to recreational and saddle stock use, to assist the agencies responsible for the management of public lands, and to educate, encourage and solicit active participation in wise and sustaining use of back country resources by horsemen and the general public commensurate with our heritage.”

Service Projects: Corrals at Onion Creek (built with the BLM), Pack Creek Park cleanup, establishing the Red Rock Trail to Ken’s Lake, and helping with maintenance at the Old Spanish Trail Arena (trail head of our monthly rides).

Monthly Trail Rides: All are welcome to join in our monthly trail ride the last Saturday of each month. SEUBCH newsletter and calendar of events are at www.BCHU and link to South Eastern Utah Chapter or call 435-259-7239.

UPCOMING EQUESTRIAN EVENT: Moab Canyons Endurance Ride Oct. 29-31. Contact Sheri Griffith at 435-259-6162 Website is

The Trail Mix Committee: (The Grand County Non Motorized Trails advisory group) includes an equestrian representative on their executive board as a key element of the “mix” of non motorized trail users. Trail Mix works with equestrians and land managers to develop, build and sign trails for use by horse and rider. To get involved in this effort, contact Sandy Freethey at 259-0253. Trail Mix meets the second Tues. of every month at the Grand Center, Noon-2:00.
Return to home

© 2002-2009 Moab Happenings. All rights reserved.
Reproduction of information contained in this site is expressly prohibited.