off road driving
Geyser Pass is accesed via the La Sal Loop Road, about 12 miles from Moab. We have Jeeped the pass either as a stop when we climbed Mt Mellenthin, or when Jeeping a loop onto Dark Canyon Trail to La Sal Pass Trail back to town. The trip to Geyser Pass is easy, except once it was still blocked by snow in early June on one of our many trips to Moab.
Miner's Basin is a short spur trail off the La Sal Mountain Loop Road, just outside Moab. While Jeeping the loop road, me and my sons Ron and Bob, decided to do a little "panning for gold". The actual trail was fairly easy riding, then a short 0.5 mile hike down to the basin. The mountain glen was scenic, the mountain stream was ice cold. After about an hour of panning we had maybe $2 worth of gold. Not enough to pay for our trip, but memories to last a lifetime.
We horseback rode this trail in Sept of 2011. It was suggested as a "must do" by forest service recreation ranger, Brian Murdoch. The ride down to the floor was very challaging in some places with areas of slick rock to cross. Probably not as bad for hikers as for horseback riders. But I think it botherd the riders more then it did the stock. That trail is probably best left for more experienced riders. Once down in the bottom the grass was stirrup high or higher. The cabin was a real treat as was the other buildings and old fencing around the ranchstead. We headed NW up Dark Canyon and had an easy but beautiful ride. We eventually came to an Anasazi ruin. To get to that ruin was an all day ride so we made a primitive camp in a site that looked like it has been used many times before. There was even some pots and pans there and even a wood saw. On the ride back the next day we came across a cowboy who was rounding up some cattle horseback. He was very friendly and polite. The water in the canyon was plentiful when we were there. Be sure and take your camera for this trip as you will want to take plenty of pictures. You will also get a stiff neck from looking up constantly at the great rock formations and to keep searching for those indian ruins.
This is a beautiful trail. We horseback rode it September 2011. The ride down from the little notch trail head was challenging in places. There are alot of switchbacks, great views of the canyon and even a small waterfall. Once down in the bottom water was plentiful at least when we were there. We followed bear tracks most of the way in the canyon but never saw the bear. We eventually took trail 005 up to cream pots. That trail becomes more of a desert type terrain and at the top is somewhat barren. Next time we will take the posey trail, 166. On the ride back we saw an Anasazi ruin that we missed coming in. We only saw one person and he was there to scope things out for a group he had coming in the next day to do some archelogical work. The ride back up out of the canyon was a chore for the horses but we just stopped often and let them catch their breath. Good thing we had them in shape. I would suggest any man or beast that hikes this be in pretty good shape as that climb out of the canyon will test you. Trails very well maintained. To do some prepareation I talked to the forest service ranger who is in charge of maintaining the trails. I need to mention him as he was very accomedating, friendly and informative. Brian Murdoch thank you very much.
This is a beautiful canyon with (in May 2010) plenty of water in the cool stream. There are several side trips to take to old Puebloan (sp?)/ Anasazi ruins. The BB Ruins are some of the most pristine in the area and it's worth it just to check them out. The trail is in great shape and easy to follow - with the exception of a lone marshy area. That could get overgrown quickly. We saw evidence of cats, coyotes and other animals, but no snakes (not that I'm complaining). It's lush and green, not what you'd expect in canyon country. I only saw one other person (outside of our group) in the week we were down there. Make sure to check out the Posey Trail for some amazing vistas!