This place falls in the you’ve probably never heard of it column. The Dolores River flows into the Colorado about 35 miles upstream from Moab. By Utah standards it’s a pretty big river, and during the runoff it can be a real beast. The river bottoms are lined with thick willow patches, and plenty of Fremont Cottonwoods, while red rock canyon walls border the southern side of the river.
This river is a natural migrant route, and provides lots of food, and obviously water for migrating songbirds. This is about the northern limit in the United States for LUCY'S WARBLER which can be found here quite easily during late spring through the breeding season. BLUE GROSBEAK, CANYON WREN, and YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT are all fairly common here. Southwest WILLOW FLYCATCHER, GREEN HERON, and YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO have all been observed here and two mega rarities--EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE and CHIHUAHUAN RAVEN have been reported. Spring and fall are both fantastic here--from late April to early June and mid-august to October you could turn up just about anything here. There are plenty of places to camp, which can mean lots of people on busy weekends. It can also be a ghost town great for birding! Slightly further up River is the Rio Mesa Center which conducts bird banding and in recent years have banded a number of mega-rarities for Utah here including PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER and YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER.
From Hwy 191 on the north side of Moab, just south of the Colorado River, take UT-128 east along the Colorado River for 29.8 miles to the turn off at Dewey Bridge and the Dolores River on your right. From here you can take a dirt road back towards the Dolores River with several turn offs to take you down to the river bottom form the cliffs above.