The Manti-La Sal National Forest, located in southeastern Utah, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide array of recreational activities including horseback riding. With its diverse landscapes and breathtaking vistas, this national forest is home to some of the most challenging and beautiful horse trails in the region. Whether you are an experienced equestrian or a beginner rider, here are the top horse trails in the Manti-La Sal National Forest.
1. Dark Canyon Trail:
Regarded as one of the most scenic trails in the area, the Dark Canyon Trail is an 11-mile journey that takes you through lush forests, meadows, and towering rock formations. This trail allows riders to explore deep canyons and witness stunning views of the La Sal Mountains. Keep an eye out for wildlife including deer, elk, and various bird species.
2. La Sal Pass Loop:
For those seeking a longer adventure, the La Sal Pass Loop is a perfect choice. This 24-mile trail features stunning alpine meadows, wildflowers in abundance, and panoramic views of the surrounding peaks. The trailhead can be accessed from Highway 46, and it offers opportunities for camping overnight in designated spots along the way.
3. Oowah Lake Trail:
Located near the towns of Moab and Monticello, the Oowah Lake Trail is a lesser-known gem within the Manti-La Sal National Forest. This 10-mile trail takes riders through dense forests, meadows, and across rocky terrain. The trail ends at the picturesque Oowah Lake, providing an ideal spot for a picnic or a rest stop before heading back.
4. Gold Basin Trail:
The Gold Basin Trail is a relatively easy 6.6-mile loop that provides a wonderful ride for beginners or those looking for a shorter adventure. This trail takes riders through open meadows, aspen groves, and pine forests. Don't forget to bring your camera, as the abundant wildflowers and stunning vistas make for excellent photo opportunities.
5. Bull Hollow Trail:
For a more challenging ride, the Bull Hollow Trail is a 10-mile trail that offers exciting and varied terrain. With steep climbs, rocky sections, and creek crossings, this trail will test both horse and rider's skills. The trail winds through beautiful aspen groves and provides breathtaking views of the nearby mountains.
Before embarking on any trail in the Manti-La Sal National Forest, it is crucial to remember some essential tips and guidelines. Always pack plenty of water for yourself and your horse, wear appropriate protective gear, and be mindful of the weather conditions. Additionally, ensure that you are informed about any trail restrictions or closures that may be in place.
Exploring the horse trails in the Manti-La Sal National Forest is an unforgettable experience. It provides riders with a unique opportunity to connect with nature, witness stunning scenery, and create lasting memories. So saddle up, grab your reins, and enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Utah's Manti-La Sal National Forest on horseback.