Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fisher Towers Trail (Colorado River Way Wilderness, Moab, Utah) - 10/13/14

Kingfisher and Ancient Arts Towers

Titan Tower

Kingfisher & Ancient Arts Towers

 Named for a miner who lived near these Cutler Sandstone towers in the 1880's, the Fisher Towers are world known for photography and rock climbing. When eleven hikers were hiking the trail beneath the towers today, there were, indeed, a group of rock climbers scaling the Ancient Arts Tower. They were heading toward the Corkscrew formation but, as far as we could see, they stopped before climbing all the way up to the top of it where the credit card commercial was recently filmed.

Rock Climber Working Toward Corkscrew on Ancient Arts Tower
 The eleven hikers hiked in two different groups. One began at 9am and the second began at 10:30am. The towers trail was still in a lot of shade at these morning hours so photography was challenging but the hiking was very pleasant.

Fisher Towers Trail in Morning Shade
 The second group moved along at a moderate pace enjoying the show that the rock climbers were putting on.

View Out from Trail and Towers

 We found the trailhead by driving east on Highway 128 for approximately 22 miles from Highway 191, taking a right turn onto Fisher Towers Road, and driving this dirt road for a couple of miles. The dirt road is rough but there were several regular low riding cars in the trailhead parking lot ... including our Prius! There is a convenient pit toilet and a decent campground at the trailhead, also.

Fisher Towers
 The trail drops down to a level at the base of the towers that rise up to 1500 feet from there. The tower on which the climbers clung was about 500 feet up.

Return Hike
 The trail zigzagged while hanging on the side of cliffs that were around 50 to 100 feet down. It was a well-maintained trail with a few safety features keeping erosion back and such.

John Captures Other Hikers Showing Scale

 One of the most interesting trail features was a ladder that assisted hikers in going from one side of the gulley to another. This ladder could not have been made more safe! It was concreted in at the bottom and bolted fifty thousand times (okay, another exaggeration) at the top. There is also a handle bolted into the rock above it for an easy climb out. We all handled the ladder easily.

Trail Border for Erosion Factor
 The trail went to a saddle where there was a nice view in the Titan Tower area. We stopped there for a small break and to enjoy the landscape.

Kingfisher Tower with Ancient Arts Tower on Left
 Past the saddle, a "primitive" trail continued. More skills are probably required here but we really didn't care to explore.

Passing Ancient Arts Tower showing the Corkscrew

 After the break, we headed back. The light was a little more conducive to photos, therefore, most of the photos in this entry were taken on the return. We all enjoyed this hike so much that a few even decided it was their favorite hike of the trip! The hike and the scenery along the Colorado River made the 22 mile drive worth it.

3 miles; 1000 feet elevation gain; 2.5 hours

Return Hike

View Toward Colorado River

Rock Climbers on Ancient Arts Tower

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