Utah Hiway 128

Moab Travel Blog

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Interstate 70 West

Once we decided that we had seen most everything in Leadville,  it was time to head out on Highway 24 North.  This road offered us an extremely good ride and incredible vistas with every turn.  We were going to hook up with Interstate 70 West in Vail, about a two-hour drive.  Of course, if the road had been straight, we could have made it in 45 minutes. 

Moab was still a good five to six hour ride away, so we had to make up some time.  The interstate highway helped us out and we were able to ride along at a good clip averaging around 80 MPH.  None of us had any idea that this stretch of I-70 was going to be such a great motorcycle road.   It followed the Colorado River for miles and miles.

Riding Utah Hiway 128
  Between Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction we went down, down, and down some more until we wondered if we would ever reach the bottom.  The mountain had been cut in half by the river and the interstate was constructed right along the edge.  In many places the road would pass over the river, so sometimes it would be on the right and sometimes it would be on the left.   I don't know how many feet in elevation we dropped, but it was enough to make my ears pop. 

The landscape was changing and changing fast.  We had made our way out of Colorado and into Utah.  We knew that we were looking for Highway 128 to Moab.  So when we saw the sign, we made a quick exit.

Utah Hiway 128
  128 was supposed to be incredibly scenic, or so we had heard.  However, there was nothing along side this road but scrubby trees and brush with an occasional cow.  We weren't even sure how anything could survive out here.  No water and certainly no pasture.  The further we went, the more we were convinced that we were probably lost.  The desolate landscape couldn't possibly produce anything worth seeing, much less the beautiful scenery that we were expecting. 

We couldn't have been more wrong.   After about ten miles, the red rock walls opened up before us.  The Colorado River was flowing beside the road, twisting and turning, on it's way to the Grand Canyon.  The beauty of it can't be put into words.

Jan and red rock walls
  Red walls reaching up, up, up into a sky of blue.  With the open road before us and no particular place to be, we were in biker heaven.   

Highway 128 was busy this day.  There were tents pitched right along beside the mighty Colorado.  We could smell the campfires burning and the hamburgers cooking.   This is mountain bike heaven and we had to be careful not to run any of them off the road.  The deeper into the canyon we rode, the cooler the temperature.  Refreshing.  It had been a long, hot afternoon and the sun was getting low in the sky.  Not much further to Moab. 

We wanted to see Arches National Park before dark, so we decided to check into our hotel real fast then take a ride into the park.

Headlights and rocks reaching to heaven.
  It was a good idea.  From the number of the cars inside the park, lots of other folks thought so, too.  Photographers were perched on top of big red rocks, facing west, waiting for the sun to sink out of sight.  We were totally amazed.   Tomorrow morning we would come back and see the entire park, but tonight we were enjoying the surreal feeling that this place offers at dusky dark.

We rode about half-way into the park before sundown.  It was a magic time.  Lots of people milling around with their cameras, but no one was talking.  Everyone was facing west, waiting for the red and orange to appear.  The silhouettes of the massive rocks were outlined against the sky.  Long shadows were being cast on the ground and we were totally captivated.  God's handiwork was on display.

sheba124 says:
Beautiful pictures!!
Posted on: Jan 01, 2008
kensac says:
Everything you said about Rt 128 was right on. I did it today towing my 30' 5th wheel and as a result could not stop to enjoy the sites. You can bet I will go back during my stay in the area around beautiful Moab.
Posted on: Sep 28, 2007
kensac says:
Going to be there in a week or so. Second visit and I can't wait to return. One of the most beautiful areas of the country. Glad you enjoyed it.
Posted on: Sep 25, 2007
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Interstate 70 West
Interstate 70 West
Riding Utah Hiway 128
Riding Utah Hiway 128
Utah Hiway 128
Utah Hiway 128
Jan and red rock walls
Jan and red rock walls
Headlights and rocks reaching to h…
Headlights and rocks reaching to …
Sunset in Arches
Sunset in Arches
Utah Hiway 128
Utah Hiway 128
Interstate 70 West
Interstate 70 West
Moab
photo by: karos4