Scenic drives are the guilty pleasure for any outdoor adrenaline fanatic – limitless views with little effort other than creating the most inspiring playlist you’ll ever orchestrate. Scenic drives in Moab are pretty much a cure-all: Fussy baby? Go for a drive. Broken derailleur? Go for a drive. Grumpy Grandpa? Drive. Tired, lonesome, and weary? Drive, baby, drive – because you gotta fast car, and it’s fast enough so you can drive away.
Upper Colorado River Scenic Byway (Hwy 128)
Follow the Colorado River where it cuts to redrock canyon depths, and see sweeping views of the La Sal Mountains with their snow-capped peaks – high desert paradox in the flesh. Get out and stretch your legs on hiking trails and viewpoints along the way.
Potash-Lower Colorado River Scenic Byway (Hwy 279)
Drive past several ancient Native American rock art panels along the north side of the Colorado River (west of Moab). If your eyes are sharp, you might also spot some dinosaur tracks. If your eyes are partially sharp, raise your sights up the redrock cliffs to see climbers making their way up routes along Wall Street.
Dead Horse Point Mesa Scenic Byway (SR 313)
The road to awe-some and expansive views that will take your breath away (especially if you’re a little teensy bit afraid of heights). First stop: Dead Horse Point State Park – situated atop a high plateau 6,000 feet above sea level. Take a gander down into 300 millions years of the Earth’s history. Next stop: Island in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park. There aren’t many landscapes this wild, this vast, or this surreal. Get your cameras ready, and a couple tissues to wipe the tears that will roll down your rosy, ruddy, desert-burned cheeks.
La Sal Mountain Loop Road (Hwy 128)
Wind through Castle Valley and climb the La Sal Mountains like you’re Thelma & Louise (because they filmed scenes in the film right here in Moab) – just don’t do anything illegal, alright? While you’re driving through lush forests, be sure to stop at pullout points to get a view down into desert canyons below. You can access small lakes and rivers on hikes along the route. The road hooks up with Hwy 191 before you plunge back down the mountainside. The entire loop is 50 miles long.