Hiking Moab Utah – Corona Arch – Negro Bill Canyon – Fisher Towers
Continued from…..Hiking Arches National Park post
Day 2 – I woke up super excited to see more arches. The parks ended up being closed but thankfully the area offers plenty of other things to do outside the parks including the arch that is the worlds largest rope swing. Of all the things I’ve seen, giant towering monoliths are by far my most favorite. The breath taking towering arches remind me of what I can only imagine what the landscape was like in prehistoric times.
The day started with another slick rock hike to Corona Arch. I hit the trail near 9am. This was by far one of my favorite arches of the trip due to it’s size and accessibility. Plus the number of people around were considerably less than within Arches National Park. The hike itself started off crossing a railroad track between two rock walls and then gained elevation almost immediately. Anyone who has ever hiked with me knows that I’m a wuss when it comes to hiking elevation. I usually start singing songs about how hot it is or how I feel about hills but thankfully it leveled off for the remainder of the trek. There was one spot where a ladder was installed to climb over a precarious crack in the rock. As the sun rose in the sky the heat of the day was upon the rocks and radiating warmth up from the earth. I sat and awed in the beauty of this magnificent arch.
Later in the afternoon the guide took me on a canyon hike call Negro Bill Canyon. This hike was completely opposite from the morning hike as there was a lot of vegetation. We even saw poison ivy warnings at the trialhead. Also, there were several spots where we crossed the river. Yes, crossed the river. I jumped, skipped, leaped and squealed my way across those river crossings without landing in the water once. The Negro Bill Canyon ended at a natural bridge monolith instead of an arch. The Morning Glory natural bridge was probably 200 feet across and 100 feet high. When the end arrived, there were two climbers standing on top of the bridge. I sat on a rock, ate a cliff bar, drank some water and watched the two climbers rappel off the huge natural bridge.
Day 3 – What do you know? Blisters! The third day started with a roar! And I mean roar of the ATV that took me far, far up into the canyon walls. My first time on an ATV was interesting to say the least. The guide of the ATV tour gave me about 2 minutes of instruction before we rode off into the desert terrain. The first turn I encountered allowed me to test the roll over capabilities of the machine. I hopped off the ride like a gazelle while holding the break on so it didn’t roll away. Oh well, I got that out of the way first thing. Next, after my amazing amount of instruction and roll test the guide felt like I was ready to charge forward into the towers. Yes, first time on an ATV and here I was hundreds, possible thousands, of feet in the air going over car-sized-boulders feet away from the cliff’s edge. The throttle allowed me to get over the boulders and the break saved my life many times. Once I made it up the first tower and received a little more instruction from the guide to relax and lean into the turns, I got to experience SAND DUNES! The rock in this area is mostly red sandstone. Now imagine red sand dunes. Yes, red sand dunes were beautiful and rough. Not only do you go up and down over the dunes but also side-to-side. I swear an ATV is more work then I was expecting. I like to go fast but going fast on a cliff face looking down for a canyon was a different type of thrill than I’ve ever experienced. The guide in charge of the tour stopped us at a few look outs to enjoy the surrounding view and rock formations in this area.
Our first stop was the Crack House. I cave like structure with a large crack running from end to end that climbers use to boulder on.
Gemini Bridges were twin natural bridges that looked close enough to jump from one to the other however no one was crazy enough to try it.
That ATV ride wiped the snot out of me! I could not think or move when we were finished. After a little lunch break I was ready to hit the trails. Blisters were in full effect but I didn’t care. I wanted to see more of the towering rock walls. I was given the choice of hikes, canyon or south exposed slick rock. I chose the rock!
The Fisher Towers hike was the hardest hike of the week. The morning energy drain probably impacted this afternoon hike but it was worth it! The hike started by declining into a ravine and then following the rock cairn over hot rock. Several times I stopped to breath as the trail dipped and climbed during the hottest part of the day. Utterly exhausted I hiked aside a towering 1000 ft tower called the Titan. It totally lived up to it’s name. This hike also included ladders and a few areas of stairs. This hike was completely unique around every turn there was a new terrain feature to climb over or down. Several times I had to stop just to look around for the next rock cairn since the trail was mostly slick rock. I wanted to enjoy the hike without taking alot of images so there are from the trail end and looking back as we drove away.
View from the top was completely worth the hot hike!
I just hiked all that! The parking lot is where the white speck is off in the distance.
Looking back from the parking lot