Moab Area Byways and Backways
The scenery around Moab is astounding, and you can see much of it from the comfort of an automobile. The four roads described below offer incredible views and access to major recreation spots.
Upper Colorado River Scenic Byway ( Hwy 128)
This highway follows the Colorado River east of Moab, where the river cuts a deep canyon through the native red rock. The route also offers panoramic views of the LaSal Mountains, whose snow-capped peaks rise in vivid contrast to the desert environment typical of canyon country. Several popular hiking and jeeping trails are accessible from this road.
Potash-Lower Colorado River Scenic Byway (Hwy 279)
This route follows the north side of the Colorado River west of Moab, past several ancient Native American rock art panels. It also passes a roadside turnout where you can see dinosaur tracks. This road serves as a gateway to a variety of adventures, including hikes to natural arches, climbing walls and off-road trails.
Dead Horse Point Mesa Scenic Byway
This is State Route 313, which provides access to Dead Horse Point State Park and the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park. It offers vistas overlooking wild open canyon country, and provides access to numerous hikes, bike trails and jeep routes.
La Sal Mountain Loop Road
From Hwy 128 along the Colorado River, this backroad loops through Castle Valley and then climbs the La Sal Mountains east of Moab. It winds through lush alpine forests, while still providing views of the desert canyons below. Small lakes and streams can be accessed from this road, before it plunges back down the mountainside to connect with Hwy 191 south of Moab. The loop is about 50 miles long.
A number of alpine campgrounds and picnic spots can be found along this road. The contrasts here are amazing. During summer, when the desert around Moab is sizzling, the air is cool on the mountain. Delicate wildflowers can be seen along the roadway, and trout live the area's clear, cold lakes and streams.
For more information about the surrounding area:
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