Located alongside the Colorado River and surrounded by magnificent red sheer cliff walls, Red Cliffs Lodge is best known for its amazing views.
Why not spend a few hours, half day, or full day exploring Moab on your own? We’ve put together a few of our favorite drives - maybe you’ll discover one of your own!
One Hour Scenic Drives
One hour is plenty of time to explore the desert near Red Cliffs Lodge. Just be sure to stop by our Gift Shop located in the main lodge for some snacks, drinks, sunscreen, and don’t forget the film. Here are some ideas:
1. Drive to famous Castle Rock. As you are leaving Red Cliffs lodge take a left on HWY 128. Go 3 miles and take a right on the Loop Road. Then Drive approx 9 miles to the base of Castle Rock. From here you can either take a short Hike to the base of the gigantic rock, or in a high clearance vehicle you can drive. The view is tremendous, and the hiking is easy.
2. Visit the historical Dewey Bridge. As you are leaving Red Cliffs Lodge take a left on Hwy 128 and drive 15 miles to Dewey. Before you drive over the new bridge make a sharp right and you will see the original one lane suspension bridge which still stands! Driving is prohibited on the bridge, but you can still walk across it and even have a picnic on it! Historical information as well as picnic areas can be found there.
3. Sunbathe at “Big Sandy Beach”. Just Two miles West on Hwy 128 from Red Cliffs Lodge is a wonderful sunbathing beach on the Colorado River. While catching some rays, you can watch the river rafters and kayakers float by. The impressive thousand foot cliff above provides cool shade in the evenings, and the ancient Cottonwood trees offer shady areas to picnic in the daytime.
Two Hour Scenic Drives
Twice as much time means twice as many sights! Again, don't forget to stock up on snacks, drinks, sunscreen and film. Here are more ideas:
1. Hike to Fisher Towers. Fisher Towers is one of the most impressive features in the Moab area, and it’s only 7 miles away. From Red Cliffs Lodge take a left on Hwy 128 then drive approximately 7 miles and take the Fisher Towers Road (improved dirt) on the right. Once you reach the trail head you can enjoy the vast scenery of the Colorado River cutting its way through the Richardson Ampitheatre. Castle Rock, The Priest and the Nuns formation, and more are all visible throughout the hike. You can have a picnic at the trail head, or hike for as long as you wish on the Fisher Towers Trail (moderate hiking).
2. Take a Drive on The Loop Road. This route is approximately 65 miles roundtrip. From Red Cliffs Lodge take a left on Hwy 128 and go about 2 miles, then take a right on the Castle Valley Road. The road takes you up the valley toward the La Sal Mountains. After crossing one cattle guard, there is a paved turn to your right marked La Sal Loop Road, Moab 35 Miles. Take that turn and stay on that road all the way to Moab. The drive will take you through an array of scenery beginning in the massive red rock canyons. You will see famous sites such as Castle Rock, The priest and the Nuns, Pinhook Battle Ground, and Castle Valley. Then the road winds up onto the breathtaking La Sal Mountains. The temperature will drop by approximately 20 degrees as you enter the Pine/Aspen Forest. You may see wildlife such as bear, deer, elk, bobcat, and chipmunks. Once up on the mountain you will find an extraordinary view of Moab and the surrounding area. Once you arrive in Moab, drive North on Hwy 191 to Hwy 128 and back to Red Cliffs Lodge.
3. Take a drive through Arches National Park. From Red Cliffs Lodge take a right on Hwy 128 and drive until you reach State Hwy 191, then turn right and drive north to the Arches turndoff. From
there, follow the signs to the Windows Section. There you will see some of the park’s largest arches. (add one-half hour to stroll beneath either North Window or Double Arch.)OR
Drive to the Delicate Arch Viewpoint and see the world’s most famous arch, a mile distant. Stop at Wolfe Ranch on your way back and imagine what it would have been like to homestead this relatively barren area in the late 1800’s.
Half Day Scenic Drives
In today’s busy world, it’s harder than ever to get a little quality time with each other. What better way to reconnect than spending a half-day exploring Moab together? Start with a savory breakfast at the Lodge then visit the Gift Shop for snacks, drinks, and sunscreen. Choose from any one of these suggestions:
1. Add more time to any of the above Suggestions. Combine two or three of the shorter trips together to make a loop, or just spend more time enjoying the scenery and hiking at any one spot.
2. Drive to Dead Horse Point State Park. From Red Cliffs Lodge turn right on Hwy 128 then right again on State Hwy 191 and drive 12 miles to Hwy 313 and turn Left. From there follow the signs to Dead Horse Point. This awesome viewpoint will take your breath away! From the La Sal Mountains to the Blue Mountains you can see the mighty Colorado River carving it's way through the layered landscape below. Birds soar at eye level some 2,000 feet above the canyon floor. This is a great place to have a picnic, and to stretch your legs. If you have more time, go on furthur up the road to the Island In the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park.
3. Island In the Sky - Canyonlands National Park. There are many hikes in this part of Canyonlands. Be sure to stop by the Park Visitor Information Center as you enter the park to pick up any maps and see the wonderful displays about the flora and fauna of the area. Some hiking suggestions are: Hike to Whale Rock. Or visit Aztec Butte. Attend a ranger-led program at Grand View Point. Return to Moab via the historical Shafer Trail, and Potash roads (High Clearance Vehicles only)
Full Day Scenic Drives
Take a trip deep into Moab during any one of these full-day excursions. Guaranteed to keep the camera clicking! Don't forget to order a deluxe picnic lunch from our gift shop when stocking up on snacks, drinks, sunscreen and film.
1. Drive, Hike or Bicycle Onion Creek. From Red Cliffs turn left and drive 6 miles to the Onion Creek Road. Drive approx 1/2 mile to the Onion Creek Parking Lot. If you have a 4-wheel drive vehicle you can keep going up the road. Low-clearance vehicles and those hiking or biking should park in the parking lot. Onion Creek Trail passes through the water over 20 times. It is a great way to stay cool in the heat of the summer. After the trail winds up through the creek it climbs up to the historical Fisher Valley. There the famous Fisher Towers can be seen as well as a beautiful ranch nestled at the base of the mountain. From the top of Onion Creek more trails can be found. One heads towards Top of the World which passes up the very difficult “Rose Garden Hill”. Another trail climbs even farthur up the mountain to Polar Mesa. From Polar Mesa you can take the Gateway Road back towards the Loop Road. Then take the Castle Valley Road back to Red Cliffs Lodge.
2. Hike to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park. This 3 mile roundtrip hike begins at Wolf Ranch, the site of an old homestead from the 1800’s. Magnificent views of Salt Valley and the La Sal Mountains are seen throughout the hike. The bright colors of Delicate Arch against the more subtle background make this a photographers dream come true.
3. Relax and Let Red Cliffs Adventure Lodge Entertain you! Begin your day by having coffee on your room’s private patios and then make your way to the main lodge for a delicious buffet breakfast overlooking the Colorado River. Then stop by the Gift Shop and pick up a drink, snack, and some film. A walk around the property will provide many great photography opportunities. Or venture just beyond Red Cliffs for a short hike up the mountain to get an amazing view of Red Cliffs Lodge, the Colorado River, Fisher Towers, and the canyons beyond. Stop back by the main lodge and pick up a sack lunch to take down to the cool grassy area by the river and tipi’s. From there watch the river rafters float by as they approach White’s Rapid. Then pick up some sun screen at the Gift Shop and head to our full-size swimming pool and hot-tub (Rated in the top 10 for the most scenic pools in the Nation), or try out our exercise facility. In the afternoon you can treat yourself to a complimentary wine tasting (ages 21 and over) from our on-site winery. Then while you are waiting for your dinner reservation, you can take a stroll through our Museum of Film and Western Heritage and see pictures of all of the movies that were filmed right here on the ranch! Then enjoy fine cusine as the sun sets casting hues of purple and orange over the Colorado River and Fisher Towers. Before bed, find a comfortable place outside to do some stargazing. Since Red Cliffs Lodge is located over 15 miles from the nearest town, and 100 miles from the nearest large city, you are sure to see many constellations!