This is about a 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hr. ride, including a couple of view stops, for the decently fit. Take the aforementioned double track just a couple hundred meters up the Dtrack there will be a split to the left, take that, you are on the right track if it makes a sharp right and goes down after 100meters or so,you should have a view of the mesa at that point as well, continue down the Dtrack, 50ft. out of the sharp left at the bottom is a single track on your right, It's kinda concealled so keep your lids peeled, there should be a trail marker a little ways in with a Andre Posse tag on it. Follow the trail down, keep an eye out for kerins on the s.rock sections, the trail winds mostly down hill for about 6mi. or so, at the last s.rock section go to the rim on your right and check out the old cabin ruins(they sit below the edge of the rim wall) before you follow the kerins to the left and down to the fire road. At the fire road go left, it will roll along for a mile or so before it really starts climbing. Just make sure you stick to left turns as you climb and you should'nt have to worry about a long ride back to your auto. If nothing else just climb the s.track back up, it's harder than you think.
From town: 191 N. to 128(river road) go 10? or so miles to Castle Valley road, take CV rd. up in to the hills, the parking area is about4+ mi. after you pass LaSal Loop Rd. turn off., It's just the first obvious shaded pull off on your right, you will see a double-track almost directly across the road from it.
Check with the nice folks at the Chile Pepper for trail status and better directions.
Summary: I rode the trail in the following way: From the pullout on Castleton Gateway rd, down the doubletrack; at the bottom of the hill, sign in and turn onto the single track and continue until intersection with the doubletrack then continue out on the double track an additional 8 miles or so until the end of the trail, turn around and come back staying on the double track. Now, this is the most difficult way to ride Fisher Mesa. The easiest would probably be a simple out and back on the singletrack. Looping the singletrack (turning left to return by the doubletrack instead of continuing or turning around at the end of the singletrack) adds quite a bit of climbing on rough, loose rock 4wd trail and steep rutted clay. The doubletrack out to the tip of the rim is excellent, beautiful, but looks to be seldom used and is a bit overgrown and sandy through some meadows. The difficulty ratings I chose are for the hardest way, which is pretty aerobically difficult due to the amount of climbing and distance.
Thanks to its altitude, it is an excellent choice to ride in the summer months.
Review Date September 2, 2003
Overall Rating 4 of 5
Aerobic Difficulty 3 of 5
Technical Difficulty 3 of 5
Ridden Trail: Ridden Once
Reviewed by: jonny boy
Cross Country Rider
, from Longmont, CO
Summary: Fun singletrack that zigs through the forest. Sandy at times, broken rock, technical only in the sense that you need good handling skills because the turns are so tight. Great views along the cliff, the trail flirts with the cliff numerous times. The singletrack maintains a higher elevation longer than the road does.
Kind of a mid-level ecology between red rock desert and alpine, different. Plenty of shade from the sun.
Recommended Route: We went out and back on the singletrack, though you could loop it with the road.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Out here? Haven't done any exploring in Castle Valley prior to this ride. I think we'll camp of Castleton Road in the valley next trip out, below Priest.
Review Date November 26, 2002
Overall Rating 5 of 5
Ridden Trail: Once a year
Visitors rate this review 5.00 of 5,
Reviewed by: Chris C.
, from Salt Lake City, Utah
Summary: Fisher Mesa is a roughly 10 mile long finger of land that extends out into the Fisher Valley, and provides outstanding views down into the Onion Creek drainage, Castle Valley, and of Fisher Towers. The ride begins in a campground just off the road, at the trailhead described above. The trail descends at varying pitches for nearly it's entire length, and technical difficulty varies between easy dirt road and difficult rock ledges. At times, the trail is difficult to follow due to lack of use and having become somewhat overgrown, especially near its northern terminus. However, there is only one way to go out here, so as long as you follow the main route, you probably won't get lost. Physically, the ride is fairly easy in the outbound (downhill) direction, but becomes strenuous on the return trip due to the constant climb and the ~20+ mile round trip distance. You loose about 1500ft. in elevation on the way out, and climb that much on the way back. That said, this trail offers adventure riding at its finest! Not only does it take you back into some of the most remote territory accessible by bike in the Moab area, it also offers spectacular views off the edge along the way. At times you can look over into Castle Valley for some great views of Castle Rock and the Priest and Nuns. At other times spectacular views are offered down into the fantastically-eroded fantasyland of the Onion Creek drainage. Once the end of the trail is reached it's time for the big payback-- Incredible views down into the Onion Creek narrows, Fisher Valley, Fisher Towers, and Castle Valley, and all from the top of a 1,000ft.+ cliff! If you want a challenging ride that makes you feel like you're a million miles away from civilization, with stunningly-spectacular views along the way, the Fisher Mesa trail is your ticket.
Recommended Route: From Castle Valley, turn east on the Castleton-Gateway road. Drive about 5 miles to the roadside marker for forest road 601. The marker and the trailhead are on the north (left) side of the road. The trail, which is primarily a jeep road/2-track, travels north for about 10 miles, nearly to the tip of Fisher Mesa. After the trail ends, hike the last 100 yards or so to the edge of the Mesa for some world-class views.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Top of the World, Onion Creek
Review Date October 21, 2002
Overall Rating 4 of 5
Ridden Trail: Once a year
Reviewed by: Cumbah Bun
Summary: Fun for the whole family, nothing too chalenging (except the climb back up)for a fat guy like me. There's a couple of nice little jumps, but you have to really be looking for em'
Recommended Route: The same
Other recommended trails in the same area: It's all good, La Sal's in the summer kick arse!