Fisher Towers – Utah

Nearest town: Moab, UT
Distance from Denver: 325 mi / 5:15
Location: Fisher Towers Recreation Site, Colorado River Valley, Bureau of Land Management
Distance: 4.4 mi RT
Elevation: 4,720 ft; highest elevation 5,400 ft
Direction notes: From I-70, not far past the UT/CO border turn S on Hwy 128 toward Moab. This is the Upper Colorado River Scenic Byway and always my preferred alternative to taking Hwy 191 into Moab. Go 24 mi and turn left at the Fisher Towers sign onto a 2.2 mi dirt road which ends at the parking area/TH and campground with 5 sites (with no shade).
Dogs: On leash
Trailhead: Toilets, signage with basic map and trail description, trail register
Date hiked: May 2013
Additional resource:
Hiking from Here to WOW: Utah Canyon Country, published by Wilderness Press
BLM – Fisher Towers trail (general map and trail info)
BLM – Fisher Towers Recreation Site (geology and trail info, plus list of movies filmed in the area)

Trail notes and photos:

The Fisher Towers trail is a popular, easy 4.4 mi RT of almost completely exposed trail (so don’t forget the sunscreen and water). A shorter option is to hike 2.0 mi RT to the base of The Titan, the tallest tower. The views are awesome even from the TH, but do yourself a favor and continue on to the end of the trail. While this trail is popular, I found it quieter than some other trails closer to Moab. Also, the parking area completely emptied out as I had lunch and planned where to camp for the night.

From the parking area, sign in at the trail register (don’t take the “photo trail” which ends very quickly) and follow the trail and rock cairns into the towers. One description I read of this trail called it a training trail for hiking in canyon country, which I totally agree with. On this easy to follow trail, hikers get a taste of following desert trail on slickrock, sandy washes, following cairns, descending and ascending a short ladder and walking along drop-offs and next to steep rock walls.

Fisher Towers Recreation Area - Bureau of Land Management

Fisher Towers from shortly into the trail

Be sure to stop often to take in the sheer expanse of the rock pinnacles and the views beyond. I also stopped frequently to enjoy the early spring wildflowers popping out after this year’s late spring.

Fisher Towers Recreation Area - Bureau of Land Management

Along the Fisher Towers trail

The views along the trail are mostly west and southwest, of more awesome rock formations and of the Colorado River valley.

Fisher Towers Recreation Area - Bureau of Land Management

Views from the Fisher Towers trail

The Fisher Towers were created from weathering of the sandstone over geologic time. Take a close look as you hike along the base of the towers to see the sandstone still wearing away.

Fisher Towers Recreation Area - Bureau of Land Management

Closer look at the weathering which creates the towers

The Titan is the tallest of the towers at 900 ft tall. The trail follows along the base so crane your neck to look up and feel super small in comparison. According to the BLM resources (links posted above), The Titan was first climbed in 1962, but look around to find rock climbers on other towers in the area.

Fisher Towers Recreation Area - Bureau of Land Management

Silhouette of The Titan, the tallest tower

The clouds rolled in while I hiked, providing relief from the sun and heat for the afternoon. Toward the end of the trail, past The Titan, are views of Onion Creek Canyon and toward the Manti la Sal Mountains (I’m not sure if they would have been visible from the trail if the clouds hadn’t been there). Onion Creek Rd is visible from here, and the turnoff to this road is just past the road to the Fisher Towers TH.

Fisher Towers Recreation Area - Bureau of Land Management

Looking southeast from the end of the trail toward Onion Creek

There are nice big rocks at the end of the trail for sitting and taking in the view before heading back. I opted to rest on a rock by myself a little bit away from the other hikers at the end of the trail.

Fisher Towers Recreation Area - Bureau of Land Management

The end of the Fisher Towers trail

From the end of the trail is a great view of the Colorado River valley you drove through along Hwy 128.

Fisher Towers Recreation Area - Bureau of Land Management

View of the Colorado River valley from the Fisher Towers trail

 

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