America by Car‎ > ‎Week 2‎ > ‎


Moab, Utah - Home of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks

Moab view from the Canyon wall
Moab view from the Canyon wall (  Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0 )

Moab is the ideal base camp for world famous mountain biking, hiking, four wheel driving, or river trips of any length and experience level. For those seeking for more relaxing Moab’s three Scenic Byways may be the perfect option.

Jim's Tip

The Upper Colorado River Scenic Byway (see bellow) is worth to drive it all long. Castle Valley, a side trip of about 10 miles, offers fantastic scenery.

Upper Colorado River Scenic Byway
Upper Colorado River Scenic Byway (Picture by J. Razi)

Castle Valley
Castle Valley with Castleton Tower, the Priest and Nuns (Picture by J. Razi)

Castle Valley
Castle Valley, view from the top of Adobe Mesa (Picture by J. Razi)
Upper Colorado River Scenic Byway (U-128)

Length: 44.0 mi / 70.8 km
Time to Allow: 2 hours

This spectacular route starts on the north end of Moab and for the first 13 miles it is parallel to the Colorado River. It provides breathtaking views of the surrounding red sandstone cliffs. At 13 miles you processed to past Castle and Professor Valleys. Many western films including Wagon Masters and Rio Grande have been taken here. The Moab to Monument Valley Film Commission has a museum at the lodge located at Mile Marker 14. Admission is free. Do not miss the viewpoint for one of the grandest views in the west after 24.7 miles. It is the red rock spires of the Fisher Towers set against the often snow covered peaks of the La Sal Mountains. After leaving the valley, the road follows the northern bank of the river for a few more miles before exiting the Colorado River gorge. You cross the open desert toward the ghost town of Cisco at 44 miles. Cisco was founded as a water refilling station for steam locomotives along the main line of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. Finally after another 5 miles the route intersects Interstate 70.

Potash-Lower Colorado River Scenic Byway (U-279)

Length: 17.0 mi / 27.4 km
Time to Allow: 1 hour

Perfect for a late afternoon and on the return drive to Moab this Scenic Byway provides great views of the Colorado River, ancient rock art and dinosaur tracks.

This byway starts where Potash Road (U279) turns off of Highway 191. That is 4.1 miles north of Moab. After 2.7 miles Potash Road enters the deep gorge of the Colorado River. At the 4 mile point, look for rock climbers on the cliffs along the section of Potash Road, locally referred to as Wall Street. At 5.1 miles several petroglyph panels are visible on the cliffs on the right side of the highway.

The “Dinosaur Tracks” is further down the road, where visitors will find two view tubes adjacent to the highway. The first tube points to the location of a series of three-toed dinosaur tracks. The second tube shows another petroglyph panel. Binoculars are required for a close view.

A trail to Corona and Bowtie Arches is available at 9.9 miles. Corona Arch, with an opening of 140 by 105 feet, is also known as Little Rainbow because of its resemblance to Rainbow Bridge at Lake Powell.

Dead Horse Point Mesa Scenic Byway (U-313)

Length: 35.0 mi / 56.3 km
Time to Allow: 2 hours minimum

After a series of hairpin curves as you begin to ascend the plateau, the road mellows out allowing you to appreciate the scenery. At about 14.6 miles (23.5 km) from the beginning of SR-313 a fork to the left leads to Dead Horse Point State Park. Note that a fee is required to proceed to the viewpoints.

The view from Dead Horse Point is one of the most photographed scenic vistas in the world. Towering 2,000 feet above the Colorado River, the overlook provides a breathtaking panorama of Canyonlands’ sculpted pinnacles and buttes.
What about Steaks?

After all the activities you may be hungry like a bear and think about some good foods. If you like Steaks then Jeffrey's Steak House, located just slightly off main, is going to please you. 

Jeffrey's Steak House Open nightly starting 5pm
218 North 100 West Moab, UT 84532, Vereinigte Staaten
(435) 259-3588