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Colorado Riverway
Scenic Drives > Colorado Riverway (UT) 
Location
2 miles north of Moab, Utah.
 
Description
The Colorado Riverway includes 48 miles of spectacular red-rock canyon along the Colorado River near Moab. The only stretch of the Colorado River in Utah accessible by paved highways, the riverway allows visitors to drive along the river, enjoying the scenic wonderland of colorful cliffs, river-carved canyons, and massive sandstone spires. Various layers of sandstone have been revealed by the cutting action of the river. The drive along the Colorado Riverway is one of the most scenic in the United States.
 
Directions
From Moab, drive north 2 miles on U.S. Highway 191. Turn right on State Highway 128. The eastern portion of the riverway starts here, and continues for 30 miles to its terminus at historic Dewey Bridge. To access the western portion of the riverway, continue on U.S. Highway 191 for an additional 2 miles. Turn left onto State Highway 279, and follow it for 18 miles to its terminus at Potash. Note: One of the two unpaved portions of the riverway extends from Potash to Canyonlands National Park on a four-wheel-drive road. The other partially unpaved section is Kane Creek Road, which follows the Colorado River for 4 miles, then turns up the Kane Creek tributary of the river for an unpaved additional 5 miles. To access Kane Creek Road from Center and Main Street in Moab, drive south on Main Street (U.S. Highway 191) for 1 mile. Then turn right onto Kane Creek Boulevard, which becomes Kane Creek Road.
 
Visitor Activities
Picnicking, hiking, mountain biking, birdwatching, fishing, wildlife viewing, kayaking,canoeing, rafting, archaeological site, historic site,interpretation, scenic drives, rock climbing, and four-wheel driving.
 
Special Features
Such well-known red-rock features as Fisher Towers, fantastic sandstone spires, and the dramatic single spire Castle Rock (also known as Castleton Tower) are part of the riverway’s landscape. These forms will be familiar to many, as they have been used as background scenery in many films and advertisements.
 
Permits, Fees, Limitations
All vehicles are limited to designated roads.
 
Accessibility
Restrooms at most of the campgrounds and day-use facilities are accessible to those in wheelchairs. Accessible group areas, campsites, and day-use facilities have been developed at the Big Bend Recreation Site located on State Highway 128, 8 miles from U.S. Highway 191.
 
Camping and Lodging
Many lodging establishments are located in Moab. BLM operates 16 campgrounds within the Colorado Riverway. Ten campgrounds are along State Highway 128, two are on State Highway 279, and four are located on Kane Creek Road.
 
Food and Supplies
Gas, food, and supplies are available in Moab.
 
First Aid
Emergency medical services and a hospital are available in Moab.
 
Additional Information
State Highway 128 is narrow and winding. Although it is often negotiated by fairly large motor homes and RVs, drivers of these large vehicles should exercise discretion. The many BLM campgrounds along the riverway vary in their suitability for large RVs. Those most suitable for large units are: Goose Island (1.4 miles from U.S. Highway 191 on State Highway 128); Big Bend (7.4 miles from U.S. Highway 191 on State Highway 128); Hittle Bottom (22.5 miles from U.S. Highway 191 on Kane Creek Road); and Goldbar (10.2 miles from U.S. Highway 191 on State Highway 279). Walk-in sites for tents only are available at Jaycee Park (4.2 miles from U.S. Highway 191 on State Highway 279); Oak Grove (6.9 miles from U.S. Highway 191 on State Highway 128); Moonflower (3 miles from U.S. Highway 191 on Kane Creek Road); and Hunter Canyon (7.8 miles from U.S. Highway 191 on Kane Creek Road).
 
Contact Information
BLM - Moab Field Office
82 East Dogwood
Moab, UT 84532
Tel: (435) 259-2100

Colorado Riverway Webpage

Colorado Riverway Map


Colorado River and Red Rock Cliffs

The Colorado River flows alongside State Highway 128 near Moab, Utah, providing a winding, scenic drive. (Bill Stevens, BLM Moab Field Office)

 
Last updated: 10-23-2009