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Colorado River: Moab Daily Section

Hittle Bottom to Takeout Beach

Moab, Arches + La Sal Mountains, Utah

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Colorado River: Moab Daily Section

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  • The Moab Daily begins in the shadow of the Fisher Towers- Colorado River: Moab Daily Section
  • Classic Moab landscape.- Colorado River: Moab Daily Section
  • The put in at Hittle Bottom.- Colorado River: Moab Daily Section
  • Warm up rapids early in the run.- Colorado River: Moab Daily Section
  • Summer fun on the water.- Colorado River: Moab Daily Section
  • The action picks up at Cloudburst Rapid.- Colorado River: Moab Daily Section
  • Riding the wave train.- Colorado River: Moab Daily Section
  • Scenic serenity on the Colorado River.- Colorado River: Moab Daily Section
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Amazing scenery. Day stretch. Close to town. No permit needed.
Cons: 
Long pools.
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Region:
Moab, Arches + La Sal Mountains, UT
Route Characteristics: Character:
Pool Drop, Open (Non-wooded)
Gauge URL: 
http://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?09180500
Overall difficulty: 
III
II
III
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer
Put-in location (lat, long coordinates): 
Hittle Bottom Campground
Suitable for:
Kayaks, Rafts, Commercial Outfitters, Stand-Up Paddleboards
Take-out location (lat, long coordinates): 
Takeout Beach
Total Distance: 
13.00 mi (20.92 km)
Current Local Weather:

Notable Hazards + River Information

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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

The Colorado River near Moab, Utah, is a journey through whitewater, red rock, and blue mountains--a prismatic panorama that only the American West can create. Towering cliffs, monumental rock towers, snow-capped peaks, and desert vistas characterize this iconic landscape, and the river's swift water is an exciting avenue to tour it all. It makes a great beginner- to intermediate-level run with options for half day, full day, or overnight trips.

This stretch is also known as the Fisher Towers Section, named after the famous spires that dominate the horizon. An abundance of access points along Highway 128 makes this a low commitment run with various options for length and difficulty. Unlike other sections of the Colorado River, Moab Daily requires no fee, permit, or registration for private trips. Simply show up and put in. It is open to rafts, kayaks, canoes, and all other types of non-motorized craft.

The rapids are Class I through Class III, and the character and difficulty of the rapids depend on water levels. Rapids are punctuated by long pools that allow ample time to relax, picnic, and enjoy the scenery. The water is cool, but not cold, a perfect temperature for quick escapes from the desert heat. If you don't have whitewater experience or don't have your own boat, consider going with one of many commercial outfitters in Moab that offer rafting, kayaking, and paddleboarding excursions.

A brief list of some of the notable rapids on this run follows, but please consult a river map for specific locations and information.

  • Onion Creek Rapid
  • Professor Creek Rapid
  • Cloudburst Rapid
  • Rocky Rapid
  • White's Rapid
  • Trash Compactor Ledge
  • Salt Wash Rapid
  • Lester's Rock

The full Moab Daily run is 13 miles long, begins at Hittle Bottom Campground, and ends at Takeout Beach, both of which are located along Highway 128. Most of the campgrounds along the run can be used as alternate access points. Rocky Rapid, 6.8 river miles below Hittle Bottom, is a reasonable halfway point that can either start or finish a half day trip.

Camping along the river is an option for an extended trip. There are numerous developed campgrounds along river left that are accessible from either the highway or the water. These have toilets, tables, and fire rings, but no water or hookups. Fees are specific to each campground and are payable upon arrival. Camping is allowed at designated sites or on sandbars on river right. There is no fee, and sites are first-come, first-served. Regulations require using a fire pan and packing out all trash and human waste for any camps on river right. There are also riverside camps above and below the daily stretch, so you can add mileage to a multi-day itinerary for more scenery and time on the water.

The Colorado River is another destination adding to Moab's thrill. Arches National Park, Canyonlands, Sand Flats Recreation Area, and La Sal Mountains are all regional staples, but the river is unique among these as a water adventure in the desert. If you are visiting during the summer, consider rounding out your Moab vacation with a refreshing trip on the Moab Daily.

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(6 within a 30 mile radius)

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