Fisher Towers is a region of interesting eroded rust-red sandstone towers about 25 miles north of Moab, Utah. The drive out is short and the hike is a nice length for a quick journey.
The trail follows along the edge of a stepped bluff. Thin, rugged pinnacles, buttes and hoodoos rise up at intervals. The sandstone is a deep red and the whole landscape is a fantasy one that would fit in any science-fiction movie with dinosaurs or a foreign world. I doesn’t take much imagination to see many shapes in the rock and you can have fun with it as you walk along.
Some of the towers are so tall and slender, with non-uniform erosion, it belies logic that they can stand. The pattern of erosion is reminiscent of that at Goblin Valley State Park a hundred miles to the southwest. You may be treated with seeing adventurous souls climbing these spires for dramatic views.
The trail meanders along the towers, and approaches the formation known as the Titan. It is here that we decided to turn back. The trail is just as interesting on the way back, and the mostly-downhill trail is less tiring going in this direction. Fisher Towers is a worthy place to spend an hour or two.
You might see rock climbers working their way up the spires here. It must be thrilling, but it doesn’t quite fit my definition for careful adventures. If you are hiking, keep a wary eye out for the climbers and avoid going under them. Rocks can come loose occasionally and you don’t want to be on the receiving end of any of that. It is also neat to marvel at what some folks can do when they set their mind to it. I am content to watch them.
Fisher Towers has one primary trail that is 2.2 miles in each direction. It follows along the edge of the towers and reaches the most famous one, The Titan, after about 1 mile. The trail gains about 600 feet in elevation, but there is some up-and-down to it. If you walk to the end, you’ll reach an overlook that gives a wide view of the surroundings. The beginning of the rail can be hard to locate, so watch for cairns and the trace of the trail. Once you find it, it is easy to stay on it and you will be walking along the edge of the largest towers and ridgeline, but the trail is a bit of a scramble at times.
Smaller children may have difficulty and navigating a stroller will require two in places. Older children should be fine for the trail. The latter portion of the trail veers away from the more interesting monoliths, so you could cut the distance in half and turn back at or about the Titan at the midway point if you are short on time or energy.
All the regions around Moab are extremely hot in the warmer months. You’ll be in the sun the whole time you are on the trail, so please take plenty of water and cover you heads. The trail is at about 5000 above sea level, so the thinner air will increase the likelihood of sunburn as well.
Snakes, including the poisonous rattlesnake, are here as in most places in the southwest. I saw the one pictured here crossing the trail right next to the toilet. Please take appropriate precautions – assume all snakes are dangerous and give them wide birth, don’t put your limbs into or under rocks unnecessarily and step on top of rocks or other obstacles where possible instead of walking next to them.
Fisher Towers is in the Colorado Riverway Recreation Area about 25 miles north of Moab, Utah. The drive is memorable even without stopping anywhere for any hikes, but there are some good hikes that you will enjoy. To get to Fisher Towers, follow Hwy 91 northwest from Moab and turn right at the river onto Hwy 128. Watch for the turn to the right and then you’ll have 2.2 miles to where the dirt road ends. Parking can become full during busier times so you may have to park along the dirt road. There is a primative toilet there but not much else in the way of facilities Hwy 128 leads to I-75, but there are numerous interesting areas to explore along the route.
Not a National Park
Moab is most famous for being the gateway to Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park, but the whole area around Moab is loaded with activities. Fisher Towers is one example, but there are many others. There are many arches in the area that are not within a national park, such as Corona Arch. Moab is famous for mountain biking and jeeping, from the fairly easy in Canyonlands to the more extreme in Hell’s Revenge. Be sure to look outside the national parks during your stay in the Moab area for other things to do. You may have to dig a little, but it is worth it. Check out my page on Moab (coming soon) for some ideas.
I’ve put some hi-res pictures from our hike in Fisher Towers here.