The desert surrounding Moab, Utah is the stuff dreams are made of. While nearby Arches and Canyonlands National Parks draw the crowds, an unassuming stretch of HWY 128 holds the keys to another world.
Looming red rock spires, the Colorado River snaking next to the highway; it’s otherworldly. To get the most out of this amazing chunk of Utah, hike to Fisher Towers.
The trailhead for Fisher Towers starts at the end of Fisher Towers Road, off HWY 128. As you descend into the first of many small canyons, you’ll feel like you stepped into an Indiana Jones movie. Fun fact; you did! The opening scene of The Last Crusade was filmed along HWY 128!
The trail gains and loses elevation rapidly as you climb in and out of canyons, across sections of slick rocks (follow the cairns, so you don’t lose your way!), and balance precariously along the edge of cliffs. At one point, you have to descend a metal ladder to get down into a canyon; this was challenging with our 60 lb dog who was not interested in being precariously perched on our shoulders. It’s manageable with a canine companion, but I would definitely suggest having a buddy if you’re bringing your dog. You may need someone to lower your dog down to you. A harness would be super handy on this hike!
The stark beauty of the red rock formations towering over the trail is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. While gazing up at the incredible rock towers, you might spot climbers, standing precariously on top of them. The whole trail has a view of the valley below, but the icing on the cake is the trail’s end where you end up on what feels like the top of the world, gazing down at the beautiful valley below, crows calling out to each other under a clear, blue sky.
This hike will leave you breathless (in a good, oh-that’s-freakin’-amazing! way, not an I’m-going-to-die way!) and feeling incredibly small amidst the remarkable beauty of the world around you. This hike left me feeling inspired and passionate about protecting the natural world we live in. These pristine places won’t stay that way if we don’t do our part to help.
We visited Fisher Towers in March and the temperature in the afternoon rose to 80F. As with any outdoor pursuit, be smart to protect yourself! Start early and avoid the summer months. Bring more water than you think you need, sunscreen and a hat. By mid-day, this trail receives zero shade. Heat stroke and dehydration are very real and no fun. Protect yourself (and your four-legged friends) and hydrate. Flash flooding is also evident on this trail, so if it looks like its going to rain, choose a different day!
Fisher Towers Trail
Getting There: From i70, take HWY 128 south to Fisher Towers Road. From Moab, take HWY 128 north to Fisher Towers Road.
Distance: 5.2 miles (8.4 km for non-Americans) round trip. This is an out and back trail.
Best Time to Visit: Spring or Fall, early mornings (the sun and the parking lot filling up are two reasons to get an early start!)
Dog Friendly: Yes, but see the note above about the ladder
Camping Nearby: The BLM maintains several campsites along HWY 128, including one at the Fisher Towers trailhead. These are first come, first serve and fill up quickly. $15/night.
Nearby Attractions: Moab, Arches National Park