Nestled in the southeastern corner of Utah, the La Sal Mountains offer a unique and relatively undiscovered skiing experience. While Utah is renowned for its world-class ski resorts, the La Sal Mountains provide a more serene and off-the-beaten-path skiing adventure. In this ski guide, we'll delve into everything you need to know to embark on an exceptional skiing journey in the La Sal Mountains.
La Sal Mountains
The La Sal Mountains, part of the Manti-La Sal National Forest, rise dramatically from the surrounding desert landscape. This alpine oasis offers a serene escape from the crowds, with a variety of terrain for skiers and snowboarders of all levels.
Backcountry Skiing: Explore untouched powder fields and glades in the rugged backcountry.
Alpine Bowl Descents: Challenge yourself with steep descents from alpine bowls with breathtaking vistas.
Tree Runs: Enjoy tree skiing in lower elevations, providing a unique blend of terrain.
Cross-Country Skiing: Traverse the scenic groomed trails in the La Sal Mountains.
Logistics and Safety
Skiing in the La Sal Mountains requires careful planning:
Access: The La Sals are a short drive from Moab, Utah, making it accessible for day trips or extended stays.
Avalanche Safety: Be knowledgeable in avalanche safety, carry essential gear, and check avalanche conditions.
Wildlife: Respect the local wildlife, including deer, elk, and mountain lions, by taking necessary precautions.
Accessing the La Sal Mountains
The La Sal Mountains are approximately a 40-minute drive from Moab, a popular adventure hub in Utah. Moab is accessible by car from major cities like Salt Lake City and Grand Junction, Colorado.
Moab offers a range of accommodations, from hotels and resorts to vacation rentals and campgrounds. You can choose the level of comfort that suits your adventure style.
The La Sals experience a mix of desert and alpine climate. Expect cold temperatures and significant snowfall during the winter months. Dress warmly and be prepared for variable weather conditions.
While skiing and snowboarding are the main attractions, the La Sal Mountains offer additional winter activities:
Snowshoeing: Explore scenic trails on snowshoes, perfect for winter hiking.
Ice Climbing: Discover frozen waterfalls and ice formations for an adrenaline rush.
Scenic Drives: Enjoy picturesque drives with views of red rock canyons and snow-covered peaks.
Moab boasts a diverse dining scene:
Southwestern Cuisine: Savor local flavors with dishes featuring Southwestern and Mexican influences.
Craft Beer: Explore Moab's craft beer scene, with breweries offering unique brews.
BBQ and Comfort Food: Warm up with hearty BBQ and comfort food options.
Safety should always be a priority when skiing in the backcountry. Ensure you have the necessary safety gear, travel with a group, and inform someone of your plans.
The La Sal Mountains offer a tranquil and awe-inspiring skiing experience, perfect for those seeking adventure away from the bustling ski resorts. Whether you're drawn to the untouched powder, alpine scenery, or the tranquility of the backcountry, the La Sal Mountains promise an unforgettable skiing adventure in one of Utah's hidden gems.