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 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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