Overview | Scheduling | Itinerary | Essentials | Training | Other
The Mosida Handcart Trek Site offers an authentic handcart experience on approximately 21 miles of groomed trails. It is a dedicated Church handcart trek site. Our motto is “Strengthening Saints through handcart experiences.”
The Mosida trek site is about one hour south of Salt Lake City and about 20 minutes northwest of Santaquin. It is adjacent to the southwest corner of Utah Lake.
Because GPS directions to Mosida are often misleading, directions are provided below:
From Salt Lake City, go south on I-15 to exit 289 (Bangerter Highway) and go west on Bangerter to Redwood Road. Go south on Redwood Road (Highway 68) through Saratoga Springs. Continue south on Redwood Road to mile marker 9. When you see the sign for the Mosida Handcart Trek Site, turn left (east) on the dirt road toward the lake. The green Mosida Lodge is two miles in.
From the Orem, American Fork, and Lehi areas, go on I-15 to exit 278 (Pioneer Crossing, Highway 145) and go west to Redwood Road in Saratoga Springs. Turn left (south) and follow the directions in the preceding paragraph.
From the Provo area, go south on I-15 to exit 244 (Santaquin, Highway 6). Turn right and travel west through Santaquin, Genola, and Goshen toward Elberta. At Elberta (just a sign), turn right and travel north on Highway 68 to mile marker 8. When you see the sign for the Mosida Handcart Trek Site, turn right (east) on the dirt road toward the lake. The green Mosida Lodge is two miles in.
From south of Santaquin, go north on I-15 to exit 244 (Santaquin, Highway 6), turn left (west), and follow the directions in the preceding paragraph.
1. In what months are treks allowed at the site?
Ward and stake three-day treks with missionary presence are available the last week of May through the first week of August. Families may also schedule treks during this time, but they must do the full three-day trek and have at least 30 people. Families may schedule shorter treks with minimal missionary presence during the last weeks of August through the first weeks of May.
2. What is the cost per person to use the site for treks?
$15 per person, including youth, adults, and support staff. This cost includes handcarts, drinking water and portable toilets at all lunch sites and campsites, and cooking areas with running water.
3. How many trek participants can the site accommodate at a time?
The site can accommodate ward, stake, and family treks from a minimum of 30 to a maximum of 600. The first night’s campsite has an amphitheater that will accommodate up to 400 trekkers. It is a great setting for a guest speaker and a group picture.
4. How many handcarts are available?
70 handcarts, plus three rickshaws for trekkers who have physical challenges.
5. What is the trek site like?
The site is generally flat, and the trail wanders through sagebrush, tamarisk, and grasslands. Travel is generally on groomed trails. It can be very muddy when it rains.
1. Who may schedule a trek? Wards? Stakes? Families?
Wards, stakes, families, and other approved groups
2. How far in advance should treks be scheduled?
Ideally, treks should be scheduled one to two years in advance. Due to occasional cancellations, openings may occur that would allow groups to schedule with shorter notice. Six months in advance is sufficient for groups that can move quickly in planning and preparation. The missionaries at the site have sample itineraries and can help streamline much of the planning.
3. Who is the site contact for more information and scheduling?
The site directors (currently Elder and Sister Pingel) at 1-801-473-4149 or email@example.com
4. Are missionaries available to help with treks? What services and activities will they provide?
Each trek group is assigned three sets of senior missionaries. They provide orientation, and as requested, they can help with square dancing, pioneer stories, the women’s pull and men’s callout, the river crossing, a reenactment of the Jens and Elsie Nielson story, and other activities. The missionaries don’t walk with the trekkers, but they enjoy being invited to share evening meals and activities so they can get to know each group. They love to witness what happens between the orientation and reaching the end of the trail.
1. What is the recommended length (in days) of a trek at the site?
The optimal trek at Mosida is three days and two nights: Monday through Wednesday or Thursday through Saturday.
2. How long are the trek trails?
The main trail for three-day treks is approximately 22 miles. A slightly shorter three-day route is also available.
3. Is the trek a set route, or is there flexibility for different schedules and routes?
Trek groups follow each other on the main trail; however, each group is the only group on a portion of the trail at any given time.
4. What trek activities can be done at the site (such as a river crossing and women’s pull)?
Trek itineraries normally include square dancing, a women’s pull and men’s callout, a river crossing, and other activities. Missionaries are happy to assist with these activities and also with reenactments and pioneer stories, such as Levi Savage, Captain Willie, Captain Martin, Ephraim Hanks, and Jens and Elsie Nielson.
1. Is water available at the site? How do groups handle transporting water? Do they bring their own containers?
Water buffaloes (500-gallon tanks) are provided at all campsites and most lunch sites. Missionaries refill the tanks. Groups bring two five-gallon jugs for each handcart for the water needed while trekking. Bagged ice is also available for a nominal fee.
2. Are pit toilets or portable toilets available on the property? If not, how do trek groups handle sanitation?
Portable toilets are provided at each lunch site and campsite and are spaced between two and four hours apart on the trail.
3. How are trek groups to handle trash?
Trek groups collect all trash and send it back to the lodge dumpsters with the group’s support staff. A garbage bag should be tied to each handcart while trekking. We encourage “leave no trace” trekking and camping, which keeps the trails and campsites clean for others.
4. What is the fire protocol at the site?
Open fires are allowed only in the fire rings at the campsites. Regulations in the area may restrict fires due to weather conditions. Groups may also bring propane stoves for cooking. Dutch ovens may be used in fire rings and on appropriate stands.
5. Is there a place for cooking?
There is a special cooking campsite with running water for washing dishes. Many cooks find it easier to stay at this location to prepare food and bring meals to trekkers, but they can also prepare meals at the lunch sites and campsites. There are water tanks at the lunch sites and campsites but no running water.
1. Do missionaries from the site provide training to trek leaders? Is the training mandatory? When is it offered? How much does it cost per leader?
Trek leader training is mandatory and is provided by the Mosida missionaries at the Mosida Lodge. Training is held on several Saturdays in the spring and fall and lasts from approximately 8:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m. At least one and as many as six people from each trek group are required to attend a training session before their trek. It is most productive when key people such as the chairperson(s), the trail boss, a “support” leader, and priesthood and auxiliary leaders attend together. The cost for training is $10 per person, which includes lunch and one copy of the Mosida Trek Leader’s Handbook. To make a reservation, contact the Mosida missionaries at 1-801-473-4149 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Reservations should be made early as spaces fill up quickly.
2. Does the site have a site-specific handbook?
Yes. Your group will receive a printed copy at trek leader training. Additional printed copies are also available for the cost of printing.
1. How many vehicles are allowed in the campsites?
Each group is allowed two support vehicles for the first 100 trekkers and one support vehicle for each additional 100 trekkers. The medical vehicle counts as one of the allotted vehicles. We have an area where you can park your personal vehicles while on trek.
2. Can people be transported in the back of a pickup truck?
No. It is unsafe and is against Church policy.
3. Do the missionaries deliver games or other supplies to the campsites?
No. Each group’s support team is responsible for delivering these items to the campsites and returning them to the lodge. Please requisition these items when you submit your itinerary.
4. Can we use the Mosida sound system for our programs?
Yes—if a missionary is assisting with the program. The missionary is responsible for transporting the system unless other arrangements are made.
5. Can we use the water from the water tanks to wash our hair and feet?
No. Water is for drinking, cooking, and washing hands only.
6. How much can we put on the handcart?
Each handcart can hold up to ten participants’ buckets, one family emergency bucket, two five-gallon water jugs, snacks, a cooler for lunches, a garbage bag, and any other items essential for the trek. All other gear is transported to lunch sites and campsites by the group’s support staff. Overloading the handcarts may damage them and create undue hardships to those who are pulling them.
7. Can a person ride in a handcart?
Only if a member of the medical team says it is necessary for medical reasons, and even then, only temporarily. For long term, there are three rickshaws available. If you have a special need, please reserve a rickshaw when you submit your itinerary.
8. Do we need to wear pioneer clothing on the trek?
We strongly recommend that you do. It adds to the spirit and authenticity of the experience.
9. Should we wear hats and bonnets?
Yes. They protect your head and face from the sun even if you have sunscreen on.
10. Are shorts allowed?
No. The trek is in a wild terrain with bugs and bushes. For protection, men should wear long pants, and women should wear long pants or pantaloons under their skirts.
11. Are there bugs at Mosida?
Yes. See pages 19 and 25 in Handcart Trek Reenactments: Guidelines for Leaders for information about insect repellent and treatment for insect bites.
12. Are blisters common?
Yes. See pages 24–25 in Handcart Trek Reenactments: Guidelines for Leaders for information about preventing and treating blisters. Wearing shoes that are comfortable and well broken in will reduce the chance of blisters. Due to risk of injury, flip-flops and sandal-type shoes are not allowed on the trail.
13. Does the site rent handcarts for groups to use at different locations?
14. Are other activities, besides trekking, offered at the site?
Mosida offers year-round opportunities for day, overnight, and multiday activities. These opportunities are available to wards, stakes, families (including family reunions), and other approved groups. Common uses include retreats, Boy Scout activities, Young Women camps, and priesthood or Relief Society events. A nominal fee is charged.
The Mosida Lodge is available for rent. It is a large building with heating and air conditioning. It has a kitchen (including a stove and fridge), running water, and two indoor bathrooms. A room with four bunk beds is immediately off the large gathering room (linens are not included). The lodge also has an electric fireplace, television, and Blu-ray (but no satellite). The large gathering room can accommodate about 100 people for meals or sleeping.
A bunkhouse that is adjacent to the lodge is also available for rent. This small building has heating and air conditioning and two bunk beds (linens are not included).
Mosida also has a beautiful amphitheater that can be scheduled at no cost. The amphitheater is an ideal site for early-morning devotionals, evening firesides, and similar gatherings. It can accommodate up to 400 people.
Mosida’s open spaces can be used for many activities in addition to treks. Camping areas can accommodate groups from 30 to 600 people.
For scheduling, fees, and more information, contact the site directors at 1-801-473-4149 or email@example.com.