Top of the World Trail
“Top of the World” is a viewpoint on Waring Mesa. It has a spectacular view of Fisher Valley, Onion Creek, and the La Sal Mountains, but this view is only part of a variety of landscapes seen from this trail. Waring Mesa is east of Moab and south of the Dewey Bridge crossing of the Colorado River. In addition to the 7,000-foot viewpoint at Top of the World, the route sometimes includes Sevenmile Mesa, the canyon of Fisher Creek, Fisher Valley, and Onion Creek with its unusual, narrow canyon. Above Fisher Creek is possibly the longest of our steep and rocky hills (called “Rose Garden Hill”). There are 32 miles of pavement at one end of the off-road trail and 22 miles at the other with about 40 miles off-highway in between.
Departures for the weekday trips are 8:00 a.m. for this rather long trail.
The Entrada Sandstone is beautiful wherever it is exposed, and we travel the base of a long stretch of its cliffs near the rivers. The Top of the World viewpoint is a cliff edge above Fisher Valley and Onion Creek with the La Sal Mountains in the southern background, but there are vistas of distant plains and the Book Cliffs to the north. Narrow Onion Creek canyon is different from anything else in the area.
There is some graded road, but most is broken layered rock. A rocky creek bottom may be used if there is time.
The Top of the World viewpoint is worth the trip even without the other good stuff. The trail turns off Utah 128 at the site of the old Dewey Bridge (unfortunately burned up a few years ago). It uses a graded county road to climb a fair portion of the altitude gain necessary to get to the viewpoint, but when it finally departs from this road, the four wheeling fun begins in earnest. But this is not meant to discount the part of the trail that is on the county road, as the colors in the sandstone rocks are spectacular.
The four wheeling section features many sections of loose rock interspersed with several mean shelfy climbs that will test both vehicles and the driver’s resolve to reach the viewpoint overlooking Onion Creek. Once there the view is 360 degrees. Often times the winds here can be impressive as well with a flood of air rising up from the valley below.
This trail will then descend back to the county road, and then it begins to find a network of trails off the county road on its way to the descent of Rose Garden Hill (except Big Saturday). Once down Rose Garden the trip enters Fisher Valley, drops down Fisher Creek to connect with Onion Creek, and descends toward Utah 128. Those sharp observers in the group will be able to spot the Top of the World viewpoing high above as everyone is descending along Onion Creek.