Moab's best kept secret, in our opinion, is the La Sal Mountain Loop Road Scenic Byway. It's a 70 mile loop that takes you along the Colorado River, through the scenic Castle Valley, into the Manti-La Sal National Forest, & up the La Sal Mountains. Wineries, rivers, and cool mountain temperatures await!
We started out the drive next to the Colorado River and discovered the many raft/kayak put-ins along what locals call "The Moab Daily" (pictures below). Since it was summer the river was running super slow - we actually saw people floating down the river for fun…not floating on tubes…just floating…people floating! Although they seemed like they were enjoying themselves, we don't recommend it! We also stopped by the Red Cliffs Lodge, a cool City Slickers-esque hotel right on the river. They have tons to do there - a restaurant, winery, cabins & rooms, horseback riding, and plenty of gorgeous views from all rooms.
The real gem on this trip is when you make it to the La Sal Mountains. Warner Lake Campground is located along the route - a perfect place to get a break from the desert heat of Moab. It rests at 9000 feet - the pictures look like they're from a different season all together but they're not!
Heading back into town we stopped by Spanish Valley Vineyards, a low-key vineyard with tasty wines close to Moab. What a trip! The 72 mile loop (with the Warner Lake pit-stop) takes about 3 hours - plan for more so you can make stops and soak it all in! Also, gigantic RVs might want to sit this one out as sharp turns in the mountain part of this drive make it a little tricky for the compact-challenged vehicles. One more post from Moab tomorrow, then off to hunt some dinos in Colorado!
~Paul, Amber, Dad ETC
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