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Fisher Towers & The Dolores River Overlook

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A few weeks ago Diane surprised me by signing us up for a horseback ride at the Hauer Ranch in Professor Valley along the Colorado River. I had casually mentioned to her that it was something I wanted to try but never seemed to get around to, so I’m glad she finally helped me get it set up. Our two-hour ride was scheduled on Saturday morning at 9:00am, so we left early from home and made it with plenty of time to spare. After filling out the required paperwork and then getting on the horses our ride took us east across the highway and followed a shallow wash towards the Fisher Towers. The trail then turned south and climbed a divide between the wash we were in and Onion Creek. Then we followed Onion Creek back towards the Colorado River and ended up at the ranch again. It was a nice ride with great scenery but my knees were really killing me when we made it back to the ranch from being slightly bent the whole time.

Nice view of Castleton Tower and the Priest and Nuns from the Hauer Ranch as we started the ride.


Diane and I on our horses in front of the Fisher Towers at the top of the divide.


Diane riding Calico.


Following the trail towards Onion Creek.


My shadow below.


Narrow passage of the wash.


We eventually met up with Onion Creek and started following it back towards the Colorado River.


Diane approaches the Colorado River on her horse.


Nice clouds in the sky over the red cliffs this morning.


After a quick visit to the Colorado River we returned back to the Hauer Ranch to end our ride.


My knees were killing me when I got off the horse back at the ranch and I figured a nice hike might help me out with that. We drove across Highway 128 and parked at the Fisher Towers trailhead. It has been a number of years since I had hiked this trail and I never went all the way to the end, so we planned to do that this afternoon.

Nice views as we hiked along the trail at the base of the sandstone towers.



We stopped to watch a few climbers on Ancient Art way above us.


While one of the smaller towers in the area, I still find The Cobra very cool.


Streaks down the sandstone.


A cool cloud above.


Watch your step…



The Titan from the side.


Looking at the back of the towers towards the Colorado River gorge. Kind of the reverse view of the classic scene taken along the river.


We eventually reached the end of the trail.


Another view of the towers from the end of the trail.


Diane enjoys the view.


We laid down on the sandstone and relaxed while watching the passing clouds leave shadows on the desert below.


Love the shadows on the red rocks.


Another view towards the river with plenty of shadows.


Nice light on Kingfisher Tower as we hiked back to the trailhead.


After our hike to Fisher Towers we set off to visit the Dolores River Overlook which is where we planned to catch the sunset and camp for the night.

Nice clouds above the Entrada Bluffs Road.




Dropping down towards the overlook of the Dolores.


The clouds and light were amazing this evening and I spent a lot of time photographing the area in the changing conditions.


Cloud shadow in the canyon.


The light was constantly changing…my favorite conditions!


Camp setup near the overlook. Temporarily…


Looks like stormy weather over in Colorado…


A cool view down into Cottonwood Canyon. I might need to return in the fall when the cottonwoods are bright yellow…




Cottonwood Canyon


As I was hiking along the rim of the Dolores River Canyon shortly before sunset, I looked down and saw these small flower lit up by sunlight with the surrounding rock in the shadow.


As I hiked back towards the overlook near sunset, I saw that Diane was near the edge waiting for the sunset. I went over and joined her.


Amazing view into the Dolores River Canyon.


Sunset over the Dolores River.


Alpenglow on the sandstone bluffs on the Dolores Triangle across the river.


After the sun was down we were hoping the wind would die down as it usually does, but that didn’t happen this time. It stayed pretty windy for a while and at one point our tent almost blew away! We could both tell that we wouldn’t get much sleep if this continued and made the decision to pack it up and head back home for the night since we were only about an hour and a half away. I think it was probably a good decision since we already had a such a good day.

>> Fisher Towers & The Dolores River Overlook Photo Gallery


  1. barbara
    barbara December 13, 2014

    What amazing photography! I recall going to Dolores Canyon Overlook in 1970 and my father ignoring the sign that said “no potable water” saying that surely there would be other water available. Not! I plan to return this year with my husband. Your shots of Fisher Towers captioned “watch your step” look like a scary trail to me. Is there any way to view the Titan and Cobra formations without taking that skinny rim hugging trial?
    Also, how was the road up to Dolores Canyon? Do you think a Dodge van would do it?
    Thanks for your assistance and keep up the fantastic photography.

    • Randy Langstraat
      Randy Langstraat December 13, 2014

      Barbara- I’m not aware of any other way to see the Titan up close than to take the Fisher Towers trail that we took. Unfortunately, The Cobra fell over earlier this year:

      The road to the Dolores River Overlook wasn’t very difficult, but I think you would want to be in a vehicle that has a little bit of clearance since I think there were a few rough sections.

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