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Manns and Tomaski Peaks - Manti-La Sal National Forest

Summary: A strenuous half-day hike to two prominent peaks in the La Sal Mountains with incredible 360 degree views of the La Sal Mountains and beyond. The route follows a trail to Burro Pass, then heads cross country to the summits. It's best to avoid the peaks and ridgelines in the afternoon during the summer thunderstorm season due to the danger of lightening strikes.
Directions: From the town of Moab, UT head south out of town on Highway 191 and turn left onto Old Airport Road at the sign for the La Sal Mountain Loop Road. Drive 0.5 miles to the end of this road to a 'T' junction and turn right. Follow this paved road for 12 miles, then turn right onto Geyser Pass Road, which is also Forest Road (FR) #071, at the sign pointing towards Gold Basin. The road becomes well graded dirt as it winds its way up into the mountains. After 5.6 miles FR #0421 branches right. Continue straight a few more miles to Geyser Pass and turn left at the sign for the Moonlight Meadows Trail #179 and Burro Pass Trail #315. Follow this road for 1.2 miles to FR #0240 and sign for the Burro Pass Trail (0.5 miles) on the left. Those with passenger cars will want to park here. Those with high clearance or 4-WD can head up this road as far as you dare (it is very steep) and park.
Road Conditions: Passenger Car (high clearance or 4-WD will get you slightly closer)
Navigation: Easy
Length: ~4 miles
Date Hiked: July, 2007
Weather Conditions: Warm and sunny
Required Skills:
Hike Description: From the wherever you parked, walk up the road to the Burro Pass Trailhead and register (10,420 feet). Follow the well maintained path as it travels at a moderately steep grade up the mountain through forest and meadows to eventually reach a junction at Burro Pass. Turn right at the junction and follow the trail a short distance to a forested basin below Manns Peak, which you will see above you to the left. The trail fades at this point. Simply begin climbing a route of your own choosing to eventually top out at Manns Peak (12,272 feet). From here you will be able to easily see the prominent rocky point of Mount Tomasaki to the southeast. To get there, simply follow the ridgeline between the two points, circling around an intervening hill to the south along the way. The easiest route to the top of Mount Tomasaki is to head straight up from the ridgeline. As you climb, a distinct trail will form. Watch your footing as you climb, the hill consists of piles of loose plate-shaped rocks which clatter and rock beneath your feet as you climb. The summit (12,239 feet) provides an ideal place from which to scout your trip down to the trailhead. You could either return the way you came via Burro Pass, or choose a more direct route down the hill from the ridgeline below Tomasaki. If you choose the latter route, be aware that the hillside is quite steep in places.
Rating (1-5 stars):
The author, his wife and two friends completed the hike described above in about 5 hours.
Maps: Latitude 40 Maps - Moab East Utah Trails Recreation Topo Map
Click here for a map of the hike.
Books: Utah Mountaineering Guide 3rd Edition - Michael Kelsey
Photos: Click picture for larger view, click your browser's 'Back' button to return to this page.
Following the trail to Burro Pass. Mount Tomasaki as seen from
Manns Peak
Manns Peak and Mount Waas
as seen from Mount Tomasaki.
Descending Mount Tomasaki.