On the final day of my road trip to Utah, I made a quick stop along the Colorado River near Moab to shoot some video with my drone.

I set up my launch pad on a roadside pullout along Utah 128 and took the Phantom 3 for a spin, moving the aircraft up and down the canyon.

Here’s a video with some highlights:

This turned out to be a fun spot to fly the drone. I didn’t have to worry about trees, power lines, or other obstructions. The rocks on both sides of the river were a fairly gradual series of steps, rather than sheer cliffs, and it was easy to judge my distance from them.

Colorado River drone photo 1

The one thing that gave me pause was the river: if I lost control of the drone and it fell from the sky, there would be no retrieving it!

Colorado River drone photo 2

From this location, the Colorado River appeared docile and not especially big or important. But the river is the source of drinking water for some 40 million people, most of them downstream from Moab.

On the way back to Denver, I occasionally passed by and over the Colorado, most notably in Glenwood Canyon. Flying the drone over the river there is on my to-do list!

This post is part of a series on my May 2018 trip to Southeast Utah. Check out the rest:

Mitch Tobin

Mitch Tobin is an author, multimedia journalist, and FAA-certified drone pilot based in Durango, Colorado.