Courthouse Rock aka Buttes and Towers

5/5 (2 reviews)
Moab, Utah (Grand County)
Last Updated: 03/30/2022
Zoom in to see trails...

Trail Information

Highlights

Simply amazing is an appropriate description for this iconic Easter Jeep Safari route. Buttes and Towers follows an easy but rocky route around the most majestic landscapes in the Moab area. The trail offers very mild rock-crawling challenges for stock-type 4x4s on its massive stretches of sandstone. You will climb up and around the towering Courthouse Rock circle around the ledge at Pasture Butte before ending near the famous Determination Towers. The trail has numerous points where you'll want to stop, get out and soak it all in. For the lesser experienced offroaders, this is a great way to get the complete experience of a Moab adventure.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Buttes and Towers is a scenic 11-mile cliff-lined trail with a few challenges for stock-type vehicles. It's an ideal trail for someone looking to get their feet wet in Moab or has a vehicle without lockers. It is bumpy and rocky for the first half; there are countless rocky ledges to climb up and down. The later sections, after Waypoint 10, are where the soft sand begins. The route is easily accessible and can be completed by stock high clearance 4x4 vehicles equipped with durable off-road tires. The trail has a couple of rocky sections where spotting may be necessary for low clearance vehicles. There can be stray boulders at various times that can require careful navigation. Watch your speed and look for oncoming traffic. There is a maze of roads and trails in this area. This route will utilize a few of them and bypass others. Unless on Sevenmile Rim all of the roads will be roughly the same technical rating as this one.
Do not stray off the designated route. Stay the trail, and please follow the trail markers closely.

Trail Reviews

5/5 (2 reviews)
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 05/24/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Today I went looking for Petroglyphs and pictographs and instead stumbled upon the old Halfway Stage Station ruin, an amazing natural tunnel (Tusher Tunnel) and a beautiful Hidden Canyon. Explored the following trails: Tusher Tunnel, Bartlett wash road, Hidden Canyon, Hidden canyon overlook, Courthouse Rock, The Halfway Stage Station aka: Upper Courthouse Rock Station, is a ruin site that is located off of Mill Canyon rd. This station served as the half way mark between Moab and Thompson which is where the train station was. It was 35 miles between Moab and Thomson so travelers would stop for lunch on there way to or from Thompson. The stage coach trip was 35 miles and took 8 hours to complete. Some patrons chose to spend the night at halfway station continuing on the following day. Freight wagons would almost always overnight at halfway station. The former Thompson station was last used in 1997 and was demolished in early 2016, . Thompson Springs was named for E.W. Thompson, who lived near the springs and operated a sawmill to the north near the Book Cliffs. The town began life in the late nineteenth century as a station stop on the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad (D&RGW), which had been completed through the area in 1883. A post office at the site was established in 1890, under the name "Thompson's". (The official designation by the United States Postal Service is still "Thompson".) The town was a community center for the small number of farmers and ranchers living in the inhospitable region, and it was also a prominent shipping point for cattle that were run in the Book Cliffs area. Stockmen from both San Juan and Grand counties used Thompson. Thompson gained importance in the early twentieth century due to the development of coal mines in Sego Canyon, north of town. Commercial mining in Sego Canyon began in 1911, and that year the Ballard and Thompson Railroad was constructed to connect the mines with the railhead at Thompson. The railroad branch line and mines continued operating until about 1950..
Bobby Nelson
Official Crew
60300
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 03/18/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

We started around 9 am right off highway 191 and ended this trail at Determination Towers at about 1 pm. The trail is perfect for stock 4x4 Jeeps, Toyotas, and many other high clearance rigs without lockers. No street tires!! You need durable tires on these rocks and extra traction in the soft sand. You will want to air down your tires for added traction and comfort; it's a bumpy trail. The views never stop. You're on one side of a butte; the next, you get a completely different breathtaking view of the same area. We ventured out to a couple of the scenic vistas above Sevenmile and the random sandy canyons on our way out on the Sevenmile trail. I'm coming back to run this in the spring. Hard to believe it could be even more impressive during the spring bloom.
Trail Review: Courthouse Rock aka Buttes and Towers - Bobby Nelson
Trail Review: Courthouse Rock aka Buttes and Towers - Bobby Nelson
View More Images

From the Community

Start a free trial and get this level of detail on every trail guide
Go All-Access