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Bureau of Land Management

Fisher Towers Trail, Utah

A spectucular hiking trail winding in and around towering red rock cliffs in eastern Utah.

Text from Bureau of Land Management

map of Utah

Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, this 2.2-mile backcountry trail provides access to one of the most unique geological hikes in North America. The Fisher Towers Trail allows visitors to the Moab and Arches National Monument area to hike among the world-renowned towers of the Colorado Plateau.

photo of rocky hills
Approaching the the Fisher Towers through one of the narrow canyons along the trail

The Fisher Towers are one of the most outstanding scenic features of Utah's Colorado Riverway. These rock pinnacles soar above a maze of red and purple hued canyons.

Visitors to the Fisher Towers Recreation Site will be rewarded with a sweeping view of the towers, Castle Rock, the cliff enclosed Richardson Amphitheater, and the Colorado River. The Bureau of Land Management administers the Fisher Towers Recreation Site, a small campground and trailhead, located at the base of the towers. Facilities at the recreation site include a vault toilet, fire grills, and picnic tables. There is no drinking water.

The hiking trail along the base of the towers offers excellent views of these carved piles of hardened mud and adjacent canyon systems. The trail is 2.2 miles long and it takes most people three to four hours to make a leisurely round trip.

While there are numerous stopping points with striking views, an outstanding view of the area may be obtained by hiking out halfway along the trail to the base of the Titan.

photo of bicyclist in desert

A ladder is required to traverse a gully on the trail (click to enlarge photo)

While camping or walking the trail, listen to the scrub jays and the ravens. Notice a juniper tree growing out of a crack in the rock. Try to get a close view of a lizard. These living components of the environment are as much a part of the "scenery" as the Fisher Towers.

The route of the Fisher Towers Hiking Trail is marked by cairns (small rock piles) where it crosses areas where the path of the trail is not obvious. If you find yourself scrambling down ledges, retrace your route until you locate the trail.

 

Geology:

photo of red rock cliffs
(click to enlarge photo)

The Fisher Towers are composed of the Organ Rock Tongue of the Cutler geologic formation capped by rock of the Moenkopi formation. The Towers are isolated remnants of a 225 million year old floodplain deposit of the Uncompahgre highland, which was located in western Colorado. When the Colorado Plateau was uplifted, salt deposits underlying this region buckled, warped, and collapsed. Subsequent erosion caused the formation of valleys and cliff escarpments. The highest tower, the 900 foot Titan, was first climbed in 1962 by three men from Colorado.

Trail Activities:

The Fisher Towers Hiking Trail is closed to motorized use and mountain bike travel. Please respect the rights of individuals who prefer primitive recreation experiences. For information about the hundreds of miles of routes available for mountain bike, motorcycle, all terrain vehicle, and 4 wheel drive use, please visit the BLM Moab Field Office website.

Safety:

photo of hiker in red rocks

The Fisher Towers National Recreation Trail

There is no water along the trail so come prepared. In the summer, a gallon of water per day per person is recommended. Sturdy walking shoes or light boots are also a good idea. Be careful if you are walking the trail during or after a rainstorm. Erosive forces are still at work and falling rocks are a hazard. The trail skirts unfenced drop- offs. Parents should watch children carefully and caution them about the danger of falling.

Trailhead Location:

Fisher Towers Recreation Site is northeast of Moab at the end of a 2.2 mile long graded dirt access road. The road to Fisher Towers begins near highway mile marker 21 along Utah Scenic Byway 128.

For more information:

Bureau of Land Management, Moab Field Office,82 East Dogwood, Moab, Utah 84532 - Phone: (435) 259-2100

The National Trails Training Partnership
American Trails, P.O. Box 491797, Redding, CA 96049-1797 (530) 547-2060 Fax: (530) 547-2035 nttp@americantrails.org www.AmericanTrails.org

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Updated June 30, 2007
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