Moab/La Sal, Utah
Arches National Park
Canyonlands National Park
Mount Tukuhnikivatz : 12,489'
2.75 Miles one way
Difficulty: Very strenuous, but not too long.
To get to Mount Tukuhnikivatz from Moab:
From Moab, drive south on Highway 191 until you reach Highway 46 to La Sal. Turn left or east down Highway 46. After driving about 6 miles you will reach the small town of La Sal, continue for about 3 more miles until you reach a dirt road on the left called "Two Mile Road".
Drive up Two Mile Road for a couple of miles until you reach Road "073" or "La Sal Pass Road". Follow this road for about 9 miles. Along the way, you'll have to drive through La Sal Creek. It's not very deep, only about a foot or so, but don't stop in it or you will get stuck, just barrel through it and you should be good. You will also probably encounter a lot of cattle along the way, these aren't the smartest creatures, so be careful. They jumped in front of us a few times.
Beautiful aspen groves will be seen on both sides of the road, and after a while it becomes like a mini rollercoaster ride through some incredible forests. See the video. Near the summit of the pass, you will see a sign that says "Beaver Lake" and "Medicine Lake", that means you are getting close, keep going toward Medicine lake, you'll then pass another side road that goes to a little ranger station and the trailhead to Mount Peale. Continue on past Medicine Lake and a large open meadow. There is a sign in front of an old wood fence that says "Mount Peale".
You can park at the meadow and begin, or better yet, continue down the 4WD road until you start to line up with the drainage on the east side of the southeastern ridge. There is a trail around here, but it's difficult to find. don't worry it's easy cross-country walking through aspen groves.
Either way you start the Meadow Route, you will want to work toward the eastern base of Tuk's southeast ridge. Route-find your way up the easiest way that you can find, it will be a bit steep and difficult no matter where you go, so don't worry if your route isn't easy.
Stay on the east side of the ridge until you get to the huge meadow hill up the southeastern ridge. Once on this steep meadow, the trail should be visible, if not jut follow up the side of the ridge until you reach it's spine. Continue up the southeastern ridge's spine to the summit.
If you drive further down the 4WD road (To climb up via the drainage on the west side of the southeastern ridge), you will find a subtle ATV track going up a grassy hill to the right. If you get to the sharp left turning switchback, you've gone to far. At the time of this writing the road was washed out about 300 feet from the trailhead. There was a difficult ATV sideroad to circumvent the huge gash in the road. Once you get to the grassy hill, just follow the easiest way up the ridge. There are many animal trails that you can connect together, to piece your route together.
From near Moab looking east toward Mount Tukuhnikivatz
Looking north toward Mount Tukuhnikivatz.
Little Tuk can be seen on the left.
Mount Peale, the tallest of the La Sal Mountains
Flys and Thistle, two things you don't want to invite to a party.
Giant Root Borer Beetle warming his back to digest the cellulose.
The drainage route to Tukuhnikivatz
The steep hills on the left (west) side of the drainage.
Magenta Indian Paintbrush, with South Mountain to the south.
Nearing the eastern saddle of Tukuhnikivatz.
This is what you have to hike up.
It looks harder than it is, but it's still hard.
Check out the video of a first person view of the final 1000 feet to the summit.
This area is a very rugged place to try to exist.
Spring Azure Butterfly
Looking to the north toward Gold Knob, Grandview Peak, and Horse Mountain.
These peaks sit at the northern reaches of the La Sals.
It gets really steep right here, but it's not hard if you just look around,
there is a staircase made just for you.
Looking down below to the southeast to Medicine Lake
Looking southwest over Tukuhnikivatz and South Mountain toward Canyonlands.
Almost to the top of Tukuhnikivatz.
From the summit of Tukuhnikivatz looking northwest over Little Tuk toward Moab.
Looking south toward South Mountain.
Just west of the summit, you might find these Buddhist Prayer Flags
Behind is La Sal Peak and Mount Waas.
This peak or Mount Tomasaki would be a good middle peak to see the entire La Sal Range.
Looking southeast down into La Sal Pass Road,
at all the little lakes and aspen groves.
The Lake on the left is Beaver Lake.
Notice the trail, if you look carefully you'll see that it splits
when it starts up the ridge to the summit.
the lower trail is to hike up, the higher trail is to hike down.
Looking down the eastern ridge of Tukuhnikivatz toward Mount Peale.
The clouds were dancing all over the place,
leaving shadows and opening up colorful rocks.
The northern end of the La Sal Mountains.
Mount Mellenthin is the high point in the center,
Mellenthin is the 3rd tallest in the La Sals.
Wildflowers on the eastern side of Tukuhnikivatz.
Looking up the ridge to the top of Mount Tukuhnikivatz
Looking toward Tukuhnikivatz
Looking east over Mount Peale.
Walking down the Tukuhnikivatz' southeast ridge looking toward South Mountain.
Columbine Wildflowers (Honeysuckle)
Mount Peale and the turn off to the guard station.
The lush, dense aspen forests of the La Sal Mountains,
a stark contrast to the desolate red deserts all around.
Looking northwest toward Mount Tukuhnikivatz.
Notice the angled ridge, that's the normal route up.
Views of the La Sal Mountains from various points along the road:
La Sal Mountain Views