Upper Colorado River Scenic Byway

Fisher TowersOur adventure today takes us on a driving tour of the Upper Colorado River Scenic Byway along SR 128. Just north of Moab on HWY 191 we turn off onto SR 128 and follow the southern bank of the Colorado River through a narrow steep gorge. Looking through the roof of the jeep up at the sheer sandstone walls of the gorge was a spectacular sight. Along the river there were many campsites which are on a first come first serve basis and they usually are full by noon. We drove almost 40 miles to the Dewey Bridge which crosses the Colorado River. The River runs for over 400 miles in Utah and there are only 3 sites with bridges to cross it and the Dewey Bridge is one of them. The original Dewey Bridge, built in 1916, remained the longest suspension bridge in Utah until it was destroyed by fire in 2008.

Video of our drive through the Colorado River Gorge Scenic Highway

On our way back we drove into see the Fisher Towers, huge soaring fins of mud up to 1000′ high, a set of dark red spires against the La Sal Range in the background. It is a very popular rock climbing area for people in Moab. It was time for dinner and we happened to arrive at the beautiful Red Cliffs Lodge nestled against the red cliff walls on the Colorado River. This place has 100 years of cowboy history when Red Cliffs Ranch was homesteaded by a cowboy family at the turn of the century and has been a working ranch ever since. The Red Rock canyons have been the backdrop for many movie stars, in 1948 Rio Grande, starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, was the first movie filmed at Red Cliffs Ranch. We stopped by the Castle Creek Winery first to sample the local wines, established in 2002, and bought a bottle of the Outlaw Red. We dined outside on the huge deck of the Cowboy Grill surrounded by 2000-foot Red Rock Cliffs and wide open skies looking down into the Colorado River below. Best way to end the day!