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Coming up, you will get a great view of the Colorado River. The bridge you are about to drive over crosses the mighty Colorado River. If you want to get out and see the river up close, you can cross over the river on foot or bike on the Moab Canyon pathway just to the east of the roadway you are on. If you prefer to stay in your car, Scenic Byway – Highway 128 heads upstream along the natural meanders of the Colorado River through red rock canyons. The start of the scenic byway is marked with a red flag on your map at the Colorado Riverside Recreation Area. At some point, take a look down at the color of the water. The river gets its name from the Spanish word for "red-colored." The river is often a milky red colored by the silt from the surrounding rocks and canyons. The Colorado River extends for over 1,450 miles from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of California. Moab has long been an essential site for crossing the river in Utah. Indigenous people used this place as a natural river crossing since the valley is one of the few areas where the Colorado River is not surrounded by steep cliffs on both sides. The crossing was also critical for the Old Spanish Trail--a trading route between Santa Fe and Los Angeles considered one of the most arduous trade routes ever established in the United States. River trips are a great way to have modern-day adventures on the river. Westwater Canyon is one of the most popular river trips in Moab. The float includes several sections of rapids and passes the ghost town of Cisco. To learn about the ecological benefits of the Colorado River, head to the Matheson Wetlands Preserve. The Preserve is also on your map labeled with a red flag, and a TravelStorys walking tour is available.
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