Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fisher Towers Trail

The Fisher Towers Trail is a 4.6 mile round trip along the base of some very tall eroded pinnacles east of Moab in southeast Utah. The trail head is 22 miles east along Utah Route 128, then 2.3 miles south on a marked BLM road. Utah 128 travels along the south bank of the Colorado River and there are many campgrounds and river access points.

Trailhead information says that the towers are composed of the Organ Rock Tongue of the Cutler Formation and capped by the Moenkoepi Formation. These layers are below and older than the sandstone formations that form the cliffs and arches around the Moab area. There is also trailhead information on the history of this area known as the Richardson Amphitheater.

The first segment of trail descends and crosses the first of several short side canyons. There are constant views of the towers on the west side of the trail. Climbers are active in this area. Parts of the trail are at the base of these towers and you can throw your head back and look straight up.

The rest of the route winds around the heads of the side canyons and some segments are somewhat ledgy with long drop-offs. When hiking in the morning, the trail goes in and out of shade. There is a warning at the trailhead that on summer afternoons the sun exposure can be extremely hot.

There is a ladder at one of the canyon heads positioned to get down a tricky spot. Steps are constructed in places to make the walking easier and less slippery.

The formation called The Titan is the only one that seems to have a name. There is a trailhead sign saying that the Titan is 1.5 miles along the way. There is a climber visible in this view inching his way up the face of the Titan.

Toward the end of the trail, there are views back to the north with a view up the Colorado River. The trailhead parking area is in this view with the trail winding along the base of these cliffs.

The trail ends at a lookout point over the Onion Creek area with the Castle Valley area in the distance. It took me 1:40 hours to arrive at the lookout point. After 0:15 minute break, the return hike is mostly downhill and took me 1:15 hours for a total hike of 3:10 hours.

It was 75 F degrees at my 10:45 AM start and 86 F degrees at my 1:55 PM finish. I carried and drank 2 liters of water on a sunny late September day. I saw 14 other hikers and there were 4 climbers visible during my hike.

About 8 miles further east on Utah 128 is the historic Dewey Bridge site. The historic bridge has experienced a recent fire and is somewhat in ruins. The Dewey Bridge site is also a trailhead for the long Kokopelli Trail.

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