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South Mountain Loop

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 4.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Great 9 mile loop around South Mountain in the La Sals.


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Map Key

9.1

Miles

14.6

KM

82%

Runnable

10,660' 3,249 m

High

9,503' 2,897 m

Low

1,976' 602 m

Up

1,968' 600 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (5°)

37%

Max Grade (20°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Geological Significance · Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

This is a really nice run at high elevation (+/- 10k feet) that circles South Mountain in the La Sals. You could begin at either Medicine Lake or La Sal Pass and run either direction. There is a nice view all around and a few minor hills. The Terraces Trail #080 is not on most (any?) maps now but it connects La Sal Pass with "South Mountain Trail" making this a nice loop just over 9 miles. Singletrack nearly the whole way except for about 1 mile around La Sal Pass, and for the most part in great condition thanks to the USFS. Definitely a nice tour of the western-most group in the La Sals.

Need to Know

Toilet at Medicine Lake Trailhead.

Runner Notes

I ran clockwise, but either direction would be good. Could also easily park right at La Sal Pass and begin/finish run there.

Description

Nice half day run around South Mountain, a little over 9 miles. A couple of big hills but nothing that lasts too long. Awesome view in all directions -- would be especially nice with late September fall colors or during peak wildflower season. The cut off to the Terraces Trailhead makes this a very nice loop from a car park at Medicine Lake.

I started at Medicine Lake, run the Medicine Lakes Trail south to the South Mountain Trail and took a right (west) and followed that around South Mountain. When I got to the shoulder (NW side of S Mt group on top of the hill above Pack Creek and at the junction with Terraces Trail #080) I took a right (east) there and it was a nice quick traverse over to La Sal pass and back down the hill to the car park at Medicine Lake.

Car park at Medicine Lake: 38°24'57.58"N, 109°14'50.75"W

Flora & Fauna

Lots of wildflowers in July and into August. Spectacular fall colors wit the Aspens in late September/early October. Birds, deer and probably some elk up there.

History & Background

Not sure but would love to know what all the terraces are about near the Terraces Trail TH.

Contacts

Shared By:

JMK Keith

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#3553

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#172

in Utah

#3,553

Overall
49 Views Last Month
1,262 Since Aug 12, 2019
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Photos

Late afternoon reflection of Mt Tuk on Medicine Lakes
Aug 6, 2019 near Moab, UT
Aspen singletrack
Aug 12, 2019 near Moab, UT
S Mt meadow
Aug 12, 2019 near Moab, UT
Wildflowers
Aug 12, 2019 near Moab, UT
Views from south side of S. Mt
Aug 12, 2019 near Moab, UT
Avalanche debris
Aug 12, 2019 near Moab, UT

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