Upper Colorado River Byway

Length: 44 miles (1 to 1.5 hours)
Overall Rating:
09 - Top Tier
Scenery:
09 - Dramatic
Sport:
09 - Totally Engrossing
Solitude:
08 - Quiet, occasional traffic in peak season

Beep beep! If there’s a road that comes close to the land of Saturday-morning-cartoon coyote villains, this has to be it. Most of the 44 mile drive follows the Colorado River as it meanders through sheer canyon walls. There’s a lot of corners and drops, with no shoulder serving as a margin of error.

From the west, the drive starts in the beautiful red-rock country surrounding Moab. Moab is a good spot to base a trip around, as there’s lots of things to do and see — hiking, biking or off-roading for a start. Arches National Park (and Canyonlands NP) are also must-sees.

In stark contrast, the eastern end of the road eventually straightens out to flat desert. You can check out (er.. drive by) the old ghost town of Cisco, which was at one point a big stopping point on the old Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. Unless you're continuing to Colorado, there's a good chance you'll want to drive this road from the other direction (in fact, arguably the views this way are even better).


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