Haystack Mountain (11,641 ft) is a prominent peak in the LaSal Mountain range just outside of Moab, UT. The LaSal Mountains are the 2nd highest mountain range in Utah, behind the Uinta Mountains.
Haystack Mountain is accessible by a trail most of the way – the last 1.5 miles is off trail. The trail itself is mostly well-shaded, with plenty of water for dogs to drink from, from the creek that flows year-round. As you reach the saddle, you’ll hike above tree line and will be fully exposed. Start hiking early in the morning to beat the afternoon thunderstorms that occur almost daily in this mountain range. The best time to summit is Summer and Fall (typically late June to the first snowfall in October).
There are three ways to reach the summit
To reach Oohwah Lake, drive south from Moab, and turn left at the signed LaSal Scenic Loop Road. Follow all signs for this, and near Horse Canyon there is a tight bend in the road and the signed Oohwah Lake is on the right. Drive to the very end of the road where the lake, campground, and Clark Lake TH is.
Here is a driving map.
Distance: 9.6 miles RT
Elevation gain: 2,800 ft
Time: 5-7 hours RT
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? No
Entering the Rec Area. There is a sign that no RVs are allowed to camp up here because the road has one tight turn, and there is not a big enough turn around for RVs in the campground – it’s best for tent campers or rooftop-style tents only. Camping is only $5/night and there are 11 first-serve, first-come sites. Call the Moab Ranger District for current conditions and if they are open at 435-259-7155. This is a popular lake so arrive early or even mid-week to snag a spot.
Now we begin! Woot woot!
You’ll hike up a series of small switchbacks and go through a cattle gate.
Around 0.75 miles the view opens up and you’ll have your first good look at Haystack from the SW side.
At 1.2 miles reach Clark Lake. It was so brown because of the rain storm the day prior.
At 1.8 miles cross the stream, and then shortly after a small bridge.
At 2.2 miles reach this trail sign, and stay straight for Moonlight Meadows.
Moonlight Meadows is a prime spot for nice photos with Mt.Mellenthin in the background.
Loving my Duluth Trading Women Pier Genius Hooded Pullover! UPF 50 sun protections, odor-fighting, and dries 6x faster than normal material.
Wow, we will be up there soon!
One last look at the meadow and Mt.Mellethin.
At 3.4 miles the trail takes a sharp right turn and this is where you’ll want to leave the trail and start aiming for the saddle straight ahead.
You will now be hiking off trail – find what seems like the best route to get past the trees.
Looking back at where we’ve hiked up from.
Still aiming for that saddle – from the trail turn off to the saddle is about 1 mile.
No bones about it!
Finally at the saddle. From here, just aim straight up the ridge to reach the summit.
Whoohoo! One of my favorites – scrambling.
I was really happy to see the ridge level out with a big snow patch. Much easier to hike across. The wind was really strong through here.
The peak above Dan’s head is Manns Peak – the one we did in 2019!
On the summit of Haystack Mountain – yassss! Great view of Mt.Tukuhnikivatz to the south.
Summit snuggles are our thing!
The pups take a little nap before heading down. They did such a good job!
Time to head down – only half way done!
Back at the car we sat by Oohwah Lake and drank out ice cold beer – so refreshing!