Haystack Mountain

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 38.49932°N / 109.24679°W
Additional Information County: San Juan/Grand
Activities Activities: Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Summer
Additional Information Elevation: 11641 ft / 3548 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Northwest face of Haystack Mountain, from Moab, Utah

Haystack Mountain rises in the La Sal Mountains of eastern Utah near the town of Moab. It sits directly to the north of the 10538 ft Geyser Pass, one of the two passes that divide the La Sal Mountains into 3 distinct groups.

La Sal Mountains have twelve peaks that rise above 12000 ft. At 11641 ft, Haystack Mountain is not one of the highest peaks of the range but the fact that it sits at the western edge of the mountains makes it appear as a prominent peak when viewed from the town of Moab.

The easiest way to reach the summit of Haystack Mountain is to start at Geyser Pass. There is no trail and a short distance must be bushwhacked through a spruce forest. If you want more vertical gain, you can start at the 8780 ft Oowah Lake and follow a trail to Geyser Pass before tackling the summit of Haystack Mountain.

West face of Haystack Mountain, from Geyser Pass Road

Southwest face of Haystack Mountain, from La Sal Loop Road

Haystck Mountain
Haystack Mountain & Colorado River
Haystack Mountain, northwest face

Getting There

From downtown Moab follow Route 191 eight miles south to a connecting road on the west/left at mile marker 118 (You may see signs for La Sal Loop Road). Turn left on this road. After half a mile, turn right/south on Spanish Valley Drive. This road will eventually become La Sal Loop Road. After 20 miles from Moab, turn right onto Geyser Pass Road; a dirt road that is passable by most vehicles. At 28 miles from Moab, you reach Geyser Pass. Parking is available at the pass.

Geyser Pass RoadGeyser Pass Road

Route, from Geyser Pass

Haystack Mountain MapMap

Elevation at Starting Point: 10540 ft
One Way Distance per my GPS: 1.6 miles

At geyser pass, I was surrounded by trees with no view of the mountains. Hiked a very short distance east on the road and turned left onto a 4 wheel drive road. Saw a signed trailhead for a trail coming there from Oowah Lake. The road split again. Right went downhill to Burro Pass. I knew that aerial photos had shown that the road straight went a short distance up Burro Ridge and dead ended in the forest. I now had a view of Haystack Mountain to the northwest. Left the road and hiked a grassy area between Aspen forest to the left and Spruce Forest to the right toward Haystack. Free roaming cattle were everywhere.

Haystack MountainHaystack Mountain

Mt Tukuhnikivatz & Mellenthin were visible to the south.

Mt. Tukuhnikivatz & Little TukMt. Tukuhnikivatz & Little Tuk

Mt. MellenthinMt. Mellenthin

Mountain slopes and red canyonlands were seen to the west.

Spanish Valley Cliffs & CanyonlandsCliffs of Spanish Valley

On the slopes of Haystack Mountain

From the slopes of Haystack Mountain

I then reached a spruce forest and had no choice but to enter this forest bushwhacking my way toward Haystack. Fallen trees made the progress very slow. Once I exited the forest after 20-30 minutes, I was at the base of the summit of Haystack.

Summit of Haystack MountainBase of the summit

There was nothing but steep debris field all the way to the summit. To my delight, the debris felt pretty stable despite the very steep slope.

Haystack Mountain


Views from the summit:

Castle ValleyCastle Valley

Looking northLooking north

Pilot & Green MountainsPilot & Green Mountains

Manns PeakManns Peak

Looking SWLooking SW

Looking westLooking west

Moab, UtahMoab, looking NW

Mt. TomasakiMt. Tomasaki
Mt. MellenthinMt. Mellenthin
Mt. Tukuhnikivatz & Little TukMt. Tukuhnikivatz

Red Tape

No permits or fees required.

When to Climb




Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.

La Sal MountainsMountains & Rocks