RoadRUNNER’s Bucket List Roads: Upper Colorado River Scenic Byway (Utah Route 128)

Aug 05, 2017 View Comments by

Utah Route 128

The western end of this route out of Moab, which borders Arches National Park, quickly engulfs riders in massive canyon walls. If you can imagine what it would be like to ride through the Grand Canyon, it would be a little like this, though this canyon obviously is on a smaller scale. The eastern section of the route tops out on a high desert landscape and terminates at I-70, near the iconic ghost town of Cisco, UT. This region of Utah has been a popular location for making Hollywood Westerns.

Utah Route 128Best Time to Go: September and October are prime riding months. Always keep an eye on the weather and avoid this route when thunderstorms are a threat. Heavy rain can cause mud and rock slides, closing the road—or worse!
Scenery: Towering sandstone canyon walls squeeze the roadway close to the river. There are a number of turnouts on the north side of the route to stop and take in the views.
Curves: Sweeping curves follow the meandering course of the Colorado River through the canyon.
Traffic: Usually sparse
Services: No gas or restaurants
Distance: Approximately 44 miles
Time Required: One to two hours
Technical Difficulty: Moderately challenging. There are near-constant sweeping curves (some of which are blind), but no sudden elevation changes. The route is appropriate for most riders on street bikes, but avoid excessive speed.

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