Finding the Trailhead - not always easy.They say [and you know how omniscient "they" can be] that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. In our case the road to Moab, around to the northeast side of the LaSal Mountains and winding up to the TH in Beaver Basin was paved with our best intentions. Those intentions were to climb Mt. Waas and Mt. Peale in the same day. The intentions were honorable and good, but we came face to face with reality and ended up climbing them successfully but on back-to-back days. This is how it played out.
Our goal for the first day was modest: get to the Mt. Waas trailhead in Beaver Basin. Our drive to the turn on to highway 191 at the Colorado River just north of Moab took a scant 3+50. After twenty-five minutes of scenic cruising along the Colorado River, flanked by the stunning red rock plateaus of the river basin, we took the right turn to Castle Valley.
Fifteen minutes later we stopped to take a picture of a sign for the LaSal Loop Road, a road which we would bypass.
After climbing and then descending on the east side of a broad pass we spotted a sign for Gateway, CO, and nearly 3 miles further down the road we at last spied the sign leading us into the Beaver Basin. Hey, we were getting there without being lost or even temporarily disoriented.
Exactly 1.6 miles of travel on an unimproved but decent dirt/rock road brought us to a level area on the left and a vault toilet on the right. Almost immediately after passing this location the road splits, the left fork descending toward Don's Lake while the right fork leads you across a dinky stream and then up. We drove far enough on the right fork to decide that we had certainly passed the best available camping site, the one back near the restroom.
So we turned around and settled in at the aforementioned level spot. We