Fisher Towers Trail, Moab UT

May 6, Saturday

Around 8 am, I pick up fellow solo full-timer Katina for a hike. We drive to where the Colorado River intersects 191 north of Moab and then turn east onto 128, following the river.

It’s a pretty drive, cottonwoods line the river and tall cliffs line the valley. There are several BLM campgrounds along the water here (no hookups) and Katina discovers they cost $15 a night. Not horrible for being this close to town.

We go about 14 miles and turn right onto Fisher Towers road, a dirt track with ample washboarding. There’s another campground and picnic area at the end of the road, but the reason for the campground is a grouping of rock formations called the Fisher Towers.

The Fisher Towers are the remnant of a 225 million year old floodplain deposit. Like many of the rock formations in Arches NP, they were exposed when salt deposits underlying the region buckled, and then were sculpted as softer rock was eroded away.

The rock at Fisher Towers must have a different composition though. Besides not having arches, there is a lot of horizontal striation creating a rippled effect. But, in places these ripples have melted away like candle wax, creating a visually appealing texture. Katina and I walk up to the base to see if the rock is as soft as its dripping appearance would suggest: it isn’t! It’s as hard as, well, rock.

It’s an overcast day, which is a good thing as the high is in the 80’s. Before long I’m sweating like crazy, which I haven’t experienced in quite a while. Katina and I talk it over and decide the humidity must be the culprit. There’s a 30% chance of rain today, which if I plan to be outside, pretty much guarantees precipitation.

The trail follows the base of the towers, offering an extreme close-up view that is hard to capture on camera – the scale is just too large! Several times I cut off bits of the towers in my effort to get a good picture.

The tallest of the towers is The Titan, a narrow fin that juts out into the valley. Twice we see groups of rock climbers ascending the towers. Mad props to them, because the sides are extremely steep and to me the horizontal ripples don’t look deep enough to provide good hand or footholds.

The Titan is the one poking up into the heavens (and out of the picture, bah)

The trail is pretty easy to follow with good signage. There are numerous dips and one short ladder climb. If you’re not fond of ladders, you can still make it out to the base of The Titan and get a good view of it – the ladder comes after that. Elevation gain is 670 feet and total length is 2.2 miles out (and then 2.2 miles back).

The last half-mile is more exposed, following the spine of a hill away from the towers. A little hole through the rocks just begs for a photo opportunity.

The trail end is marked by a wood sign on top of a large flat boulder. Katina and I sit down for a while, and I get a picture looking back at the towers.

The clouds grow darker while we rest and out of nowhere a strong gust of wind pummels our seating area, bringing a few drops of rain. Thunder rumbles in the distance. We double-time it back to the truck, but luckily it doesn’t get bad.

I arrive back to camp to see Tentmageddon 2017 has taken place in my absence. Marshall and Kelly inform me that a thunderstorm came through with strong winds, and it seems a lot of the tent campers on our road did not stake down before driving off. Many tents are tipped over or collapsed, one is sitting next to the road no where near a campsite and I wonder how far it blew. Cas remains in good shape though, and I’m glad I prepared for rain when I left!

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At IO I teach people how to ditch the status quo and travel full-time before retirement, and share stories of my adventures (and misadventures) to inspire future nomads and armchair travelers alike. Included at no additional charge: seizing your dreams, living boldly, and making a difference.


  1. Terry on May 10, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    Hey Becky 1st time to comment long time reader i want to thank you for taking me to all the places that I almost got to,but could not. I am a retired OTR {over the road truck driver} & I was very close to every place you written about but due to time & size of truck could not get very far from the main highways. Also I want to compliment you on your writing style it is very good. Many more happy trail’s to you.

    • Becky on May 12, 2017 at 8:32 am

      Hello Terry,

      I’m glad you decided to comment! Thank you for the compliment and for following along with IO. I have a lot of respect for semi drivers, I’ve seen you guys squeeze into places and back up into spots that make me nervous as an RVer, hah! Take care.

  2. Dale on May 10, 2017 at 11:49 am

    You always find such neat places and write about them so well.
    Dale recently posted..Hiking the RiverMy Profile

    • Becky on May 10, 2017 at 3:11 pm

      Thanks Dale. 🙂

  3. Ed@Chasing Sunrises and Sunsets on May 10, 2017 at 9:26 am

    We too are in Moab. Boondocking out on Willow Springs Rd. It’s crowded in town and WAY too expensive in the RV Parks. Thunderstorms have been frequent in the area. Yesterday, we hiked to Delicate Arch, partially in the rain. Today, a system has moved in and it’s a constant rain. Tomorrow, 81 degrees and clear and sunny.
    Ed@Chasing Sunrises and Sunsets recently posted..Prehistoric and PetrifiedMy Profile

    • Becky on May 10, 2017 at 3:10 pm

      Yeah tomorrow looks better Ed. I hope so anyway, as I have every intention of pulling out and moving on, dirt roads permitting.

      Hope you enjoyed the park!

  4. Janet Bickham on May 10, 2017 at 6:37 am

    Wonderful pictures, and very descriptive writing. Thank you so much for sharing, my husband and I are taking our r v out west from Virginia this month. All of your posts have been so interesting and helpful!

    • Becky on May 10, 2017 at 3:08 pm

      You’re welcome Janet. Have a great trip! There’s so much to see out west…

  5. Regis on May 9, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    Go to poison spider bike shop and rent a couple of mtn bikes and hit slickrock. You’re a very good writer and I love reading of your adventures

    • Becky on May 10, 2017 at 3:00 pm

      Thanks and I’m glad you enjoyed this Regis.

  6. Jodee Gravel on May 9, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Those towers are amazing! The red rock is so beautiful, I always love it on a cloudy day. It feels wonderful to come back after a storm and find our home all snug 🙂
    Jodee Gravel recently posted..Jodee Finally Sees Yosemite!My Profile

    • Becky on May 10, 2017 at 2:58 pm

      Cloudy days are my favorite for hiking! Hopefully you’ll get the chance to see them in person some day Jodee. 🙂

  7. Jeff on May 9, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Great pictures and very well written! This is a hike a did many years ago – back when some/all of the BLM campgrounds were still free! – I’m inspired to do it again! I believe the BLM introduced fees after the Dewey Bridge burned.

    • Becky on May 10, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      Glad you enjoyed this Jeff! It is a very pretty area, worth the $15 for a night or two I’d say if you enjoy the river.

  8. Judy Blinkenberg on May 9, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    It is Beautiful!! Love your descriptions! We will get there sometime! Thank You!!

    • Becky on May 10, 2017 at 2:53 pm

      You’re welcome Judy! Glad you enjoyed this and hope you’re having a good time with your travels.

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