Moab is a city in Utah next to Arches and Canyonlands national parks, making it a common travel destination for hikers, mountain bikers, and other active people. Whether you’re in love with the appeal of an open desert landscape, or you’re a fitness enthusiast looking to challenge yourself, there are countless things to do in Moab at some point in your life.
Furthermore, there’s much more to do in Moab than just hike and bike, and if you’re planning a trip for the first time, you should get a chance to see all the city (and its surrounding areas) has to offer.
When to Visit Moab
First, you should know the best times to visit Moab. Peak tourist season stretches from mid-March through May, and from September to October. The summer is still somewhat busy, due to the “summer vacation” crowd, but the 100-degree-plus temperatures keep most people relegated to the spring and fall. Try to hit Moab in early spring or late fall to get the best weather, while still avoiding as many tourists as possible.
Where to Stay in Moab
There are lots of options for places to stay in Moab, but these will be dictated by the type of experience you want to have. If you want to make the most of your communion with nature, you’ll want to camp or stay in an RV; alternatively, you can stay at a ranch. If that doesn’t work for you, you can stay in one of the traditional hotels along Main Street or rent a house nearby.
The Best Things to Do in (and Around) Moab
Once you’ve made your initial accommodations, you’ll want to start planning for some of the best attractions and features of Moab, such as:
- Canyonlands National Park. Canyonlands National Park is the largest national park area in Utah, with more than 337,000 acres. It’s the number one destination for Moab tourists thanks to its diversity of mesas, canyons, and breathtaking cliffs. There, you can mountain bike on the 100-mile-long “White Rim Road,” white water raft, or hike to your heart’s content; just make sure you bring along plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Take in the sights at Sand Flats. The Sand Flats Recreation area is a 9,000-acre park where you’ll find slickrock domes, bowls, and fins. Mountain bikers, 4×4 riders, and campers spend hours here, exploring miles of challenging and scenic trails.
- Bike along Slickrock Bike Trail. If mountain biking brought you to Moab, you’ll need to make time for the Slickrock Bike Trail (also in the Sand Flats Recreation area). Don’t let the name scare you; while this is a technical and challenging ride, this 10.5-mile trail is exhilarating. Spend some time at the practice loop to get used to the conditions, then go for the full trail when you’re ready.
- Spend time at the Moab Museum. If you need a break from physical activity, consider roaming the Moab Museum, a regional museum that displays both natural and historical artifacts relevant to the area. You’ll find a wide range of rock and mineral displays, including fossils, and personal items from as early as the prehistoric era to as recent as today.
- See the Arches at Arches National Park. Aptly named, Arches National Park is a national park home to more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches. It’s a short, 5-mile drive from Moab, and offers 36 miles of drivable trails. Spend your time leisurely roaming these trails, pull off wherever you want, and spend time taking in the sights.
- Stare at the Stars With RedRock Astronomy. In the deserts around Moab, there are few (if any) artificial lights to corrupt your view of the night sky. With RedRock Astronomy, you can get a guided astronomy tour that introduces you to the planets, star clusters, galaxies, and nebulae that decorate our night sky. You’ll also get a hands-on experience with powerful telescopes, so you can see these natural wonders closer than ever.
- Try Hell’s Revenge—if you’re ready. Hell’s Revenge is a difficult trail for 4x4s, located deep within Sand Flats. It’s a challenging and potentially dangerous trail, so only experienced riders should try it. Still, if you’re ready, it’s one of the most rewarding experiences Moab has to offer—especially because it offers stunning views of the La Sal Mountains, the Colorado River, and more.
Whether you’re new to the world of outdoor exploration or you’re a seasoned biker, camper, or ATV rider, Moab has something incredible to offer you. Give yourself plenty of free time to explore the hundreds of thousands of acres around Moab, and push yourself to your physical limit—or simply relax and take in the beautiful sights.