Embarking on a quest to uncover the best things to do in Moab, Utah?
In this comprehensive guide, we've melded insights from locals and travelers to present you with a mosaic of experiences that define this remarkable place. While we've highlighted some must-visit spots, it's imperative to understand that these recommendations are shaped by personal opinions and experiences.
There are countless other wonderful places awaiting your discovery. Our goal isn't just to point you to the well-trodden paths, but to inspire you to explore and truly immerse yourself in the city's essence.
Take Stunning Photos at Corona Arch
Let me tell you, if there's one thing I've loved about living in this region, it's the beauty and tranquility of Corona Arch.
Heading out there in the early morning, just as the sun is beginning to peak over the horizon, offers an experience that photos simply can't capture.
The majesty of the red sandstone arch, accessible via a 1.5-mile hiking trail with cables, never fails to leave me awestruck.
Early mornings at Corona Arch are usually quiet, with just a handful of other hikers around.
The near silence, coupled with the impressive views, makes for an almost meditative experience.
As the morning sun shines on the arch, it illuminates it with an ethereal glow, making it the perfect spot for your photography.
The hike to the arch is moderately challenging, but the last quarter mile can be quite tricky.
It’s not something I’d recommend for pets, especially during the hotter months.
I've seen many hikers bring along their dogs only to find the steep climb challenging for their pets.
Despite the occasional challenges, the Corona Arch hike remains one of my favorite activities, particularly in the fall when the weather is cooler.
The panoramic views, the tranquility, and the sense of accomplishment from reaching the arch make each trip worth it.
For those of you planning to visit, remember to bring plenty of water, wear suitable clothing and most importantly, respect the natural beauty of the place.
Go Off-Roading with Moab Cowboy Adventures
Living in Moab, you might think that I'd be tired of the rocky terrain and stunning views, but let me tell you, nothing beats the thrill of exploring my own backyard in a UTV.
As a local, I've had my fair share of off-road adventures, but the folks over at Moab Cowboy Off-Road Adventures really know how to make it an unforgettable experience.
Before the sun had a chance to peek over the horizon, I was strapped into a side-by-side, a little nervous but mostly excited.
As we started our journey, the guide had us all laughing in no time.
When we hit the slick rock and sand, I was amazed at how easily the UTV handled the terrain.
It was like nothing could stop us!
Halfway through, we stopped to take in the breathtaking views.
And let me tell you, there's nothing quite like seeing the Colorado River and parts of Arches National Park at sunrise.
Plus, we got to see actual dinosaur tracks! How many people can say they've done that?
This adventure with Moab Cowboy Off-Road Adventures was truly a blast!
Hike toward Double O Arch
Living close to the Double O Arch has always been a treat, with its majestic sandstone fin and mesmerizing dual openings.
As a regular hiker, I can tell you that the path leading up to the arch is as thrilling as the destination itself.
Each hike is a new experience, with the changing light of sunrise or sunset offering a dramatically different backdrop against the sandstone.
There's always an air of adventure as you navigate the tricky terrain, and the rock scrambling keeps you on your toes.
You have to pay attention to the cairns at a couple of spots; they're small rock piles that help guide your way.
A word of advice, if you're bringing kids along - it's not the easiest hike.
But don't let that discourage you, kids around 6 or 7 usually manage it just fine.
Just keep them close, ensure they stay on track, and remember to bring plenty of water.
What always gets to me, though, are the views. When you reach the top, you're rewarded with a stunning panorama that truly makes you appreciate the grandeur of nature.
From the large upper opening to the smaller lower one, Double O Arch is a testament to the years of natural elements shaping and refining it.
Explore the Colorado River with Moab Jett
Living in Moab, you get used to the incredible beauty of the landscape.
But I discovered a completely new perspective when I decided to take a trip with Moab Jett.
I hopped on their 2-hour journey along the Colorado River and discovered it was a fantastic way to add a little spice to my usual Moab days.
That day on the river is now etched in my memory.
Their knowledge of the river, the surrounding attractions, and the history of rock slides and events that have set the shape of the landscape made the ride more than just fun - it was enlightening.
They filled us with local lore, anecdotes, and facts, adding depth to the experience.
The Colorado River, which I had seen so many times from the shore, amazed me in a completely new way from Moab Jett.
Among all the rivers I've seen around the world, the mighty Colorado now holds a special place in my heart, all thanks to this unforgettable trip.
I've decided to take this tour again definitely, and I can't wait to uncover more about Moab's past, present, and future from the river's perspective.
Trek the Devils Garden
I have had the privilege of residing on the doorstep of one of the nation's most stunning landscapes, Devils Garden in the Arches National Park.
Its 7-mile-long trail, adorned with towering sandstone fins and numerous landmark arches, offers a unique blend of challenge and beauty that never fails to mesmerize.
Hiking in this area is a part of my regular routine. The trail, though described as moderate, has steep grades on sheer rock cliffs that offer quite the challenge.
However, it's not just the adrenaline rush that draws me to it.
The breathtaking views from the top, showcasing miles and miles of untouched nature, are something words can hardly describe – you’ll have to experience it yourself.
One of my personal favorites in Devils Garden is the Primitive Trail.
It can be quite the test with lots of climbing and rock scrambling, but the sense of accomplishment at the end of it all is unparalleled.
I've spent quite a few afternoons going up to Dark Angel, then taking the main trail back to Double O Arch, Navajo Arch, and Partition Arch.
If you're up for it and have about 5 hours to spare, this hike is an absolute must.
One thing I always recommend to visitors is the hike to Landscape Arch.
It’s a few miles round trip and brings you face-to-face with one of the most iconic arches in the park.
Or, if you're feeling a bit more adventurous, the four-mile round trip to Double O Arch unlocks an entirely new level of scenery.
But if you really want to maximize your experience, go all the way with the 7-mile Primitive Loop.
Scale the Heights of Lion's Back
I remember that heart-pumping adventure, the day we decided to conquer Lion's Back.
Sweat glistening on our brows, hearts racing, hands gripping the steering wheel of our Ford Ranger as we scaled those massive boulders.
Each turn was a test of courage, each incline a challenge to overcome. '
And believe it or not, we made it to the top, not once, but twice.
Our victory? A stunning view of Moab's rugged beauty and the thrilling tale we got to share.
Lion's Back, notorious for its challenges, was a highlight of Outlaw Adventures' mountain adventures.
We even enjoyed a 3-hour sunset ride, adding more shades to our memory palette.
The staff was top-notch, the Jeeps were always spotless, and water was always at hand.
Even the company owner joined us on occasion! And if you asked nicely, they'd show you dinosaur tracks - a thrill that rivaled the Pink Jeep.
But even if the Lion’s Back is out of reach, there's still plenty of fun to be had.
I recall one particularly wild week during Jeep Safari Week, where Moab became a playground for adrenaline junkies.
Yet, there's always a bit of nostalgia when I look up at the Lion's Back, remembering those daring drives to the top.
Catch the Sunrise at Canyonlands National Park
I wake up to the rugged beauty of Canyonlands National Park every day.
It's a scene that never gets old, the way the sun kisses the sandstone spires in the morning, casting a warm glow that seems like it's from another planet.
The park is divided into four zones by two main rivers, with each zone offering a unique perspective of nature.
My favorite area in Canyonlands National Park is the Island in the Sky mesa.
Standing on this flat-topped hill with steep sides, I feel like I'm on top of the world, looking down at the labyrinth of canyons and mesmerizing rock formations.
A sunrise view at Mesa Arch is a sight I recommend to everyone - the way the first rays of the sun illuminate the underside of the arch, creating a surreal glow, is an unforgettable spectacle.
The Needles district offers a different kind of thrill. My regular jaunt is the 6-mile Chesler Park hike, a challenging but rewarding trek.
The heat can be relentless during summer, often reaching 100 degrees, but the views, oh, the views!
They make every drop of sweat worth it. I have found that carrying an umbrella for shade and stocking up on water can make the journey more comfortable.
When hiking, it's crucial to remember that the park is much larger than it seems - a driving time of over 2 hours separates the Island in the Sky and the Needles district.
Check out the Petroglyphs at Hidden Valley Trail
The first time I tackled the Hidden Valley Trail, I found those initial 600-700 feet quite a handful.
You have to remember it's the same way up and down, so a little foresight wouldn't hurt.
My partner and I, not the most seasoned hikers, had a bit of trouble staying on the trail, especially where it crosses and follows the elusive "washes."
Despite these challenges, I cannot overstate the beauty of this place; each arduous step is rewarded with breathtaking views.
The meadow at the top is a sight to behold, especially if you're lucky enough to catch the sun setting into the next valley.
It's a local favorite, you'll often see our fellow residents walking their dogs here in the peace and tranquility of nature.
Just remember to bring a flashlight if you're aiming for a sunset hike!
One of the unique features of the Hidden Valley Trail is the array of petroglyphs.
They're not marked, but with a little effort, you'll find them.
I remember heading to the end of the meadow, making a right at the top fork of the trail, and following the other tracks uphill.
There in front of me was a large rock wall filled with ancient etchings.
It's important to treat these cultural treasures with respect: refrain from adding your marks to the wall.
The petroglyphs are our legacy, let's keep it that way for future generations.
Feast Your Eyes to the Panoramic Views of Dead Horse Point State Park
Living around Moab grants you a privileged view of nature's grandeur.
Among these awe-inspiring sights, Dead Horse Point State Park has always held a special place in my heart.
This cliffside park is much more than a breathtaking view of the Colorado River; it's a lifetime experience.
Each time I visit, I feel the same rush of excitement as I did on my first trip here.
The park's hiking and biking trails provide an exhilarating journey, zigzagging through nature's wonderland.
The steep drop-offs do require careful tread, but they only add to the thrill of the experience.
For families, these trails offer a great opportunity to teach their kids about respecting and appreciating nature.
If you appreciate the beauty of sunsets, you must visit Dead Horse Point State Park during the golden hour.
The transformation of the landscape is truly spectacular.
The way the setting sun dances over the Colorado River and paints the canyons with hues of gold and crimson is a spectacle too poetic to be described.
One of my favorite trails has to be the Schaefer Trail. Although it requires a fair bit of time, the payoff is well worth it.
The changing colors, shadows, and majestic overview of the Mesa make it an unforgettable experience.
For camp lovers, the park has its charm. Most of the sites come with a shade shelter.
Just remember to come prepared, especially if you own an RV, as there's no water fill available.
And trust me, these sites are in high demand, getting almost instantly booked. So plan ahead.
Have a Family Time at Rotary Park
Every day, after a long day at work, I find solace at my favorite spot- the Rotary Park.
It's a charming 3-acre park right here in Moab, nestled amidst nature's bounty. I often see families and tourists lapping up the fun and beauty Rotary Park has to offer, but for me, it's my everyday haven.
One of the first things that catch your eyes when you step into this park are the whimsical play structures that instantly remind you of the joy of being a child.
The sight of kids running around, playing on life-sized xylophones and bells is nothing short of delightful.
Shady trees blanket the park, making every corner a perfect spot for a quick nap or an afternoon of reading.
Each table comes with a grill, making it a popular choice for barbecues.
The gentle gurgling of the creek that runs along the park adds a tranquil note to the symphony of nature sounds.
One thing I appreciate about Rotary Park is the meticulousness with which it's maintained.
There were a few instances when flood damage occurred, but the maintenance crew was always swift to restore the park to its original glory.
In the midst of the desert, this park is a true oasis. It offers much-needed shade, clean restrooms, and even water access.
The Rotary folks have done an outstanding job in creating this green sanctuary. And let's not forget the basketball court.
There's nothing like ending my day with a game of hoops as the sun sets.
So whether you're a local like me or a visitor passing through, slow down and take the time to enjoy life at Rotary Park.
Trust me; it's the little slice of paradise you didn't know you needed.
Cycle through Slickrock Bike Trail
Thrills, chills and a superb workout, that's a typical day for me at the Slickrock Bike Trail.
It's a challenging yet invigorating parcel of paradise every cycling enthusiast should conquer at least once in their lifetime.
Let me get this straight, the trail isn't for the faint-hearted. It's merciless on the legs, but that's part of its charm.
You work up a sweat, you test your endurance, and what do you get in return?
An exhilarating downhill ride with breathtaking views of the surrounding desert landscape.
I've seen cyclists from all parts of the country, all sharing the same thrill of navigating this intense course.
The Slickrock Bike Trail isn't your ordinary bike trail. It's a 9.4-mile loop of pure, undulating rock that you'll find nothing short of spectacular.
You ride over smooth rock surfaces, a few patches of dirt, and occasionally, broken rock or sand.
The real treat here is the gripping traction where your tires seem to fuse with the rock, giving you total control over your bike and an incredible experience unlike any other.
One of the best parts? The view!
From the trail's higher points, you get a panoramic view of the entire Sand Flats area, the enchanting La Sal mountains to the east, and the majestic Colorado River sculpting its path along the area's North and East cliffs.
And, of course, there's always a fun sideshow of ATVs and Jeeps braving steep, dedicated tracks.
Go Winetasting at Spanish Valley Vineyard & Winery
There's nothing quite like a weekend spent sampling the local fare at Spanish Valley Vineyard & Winery.
Nestled amidst the breathtaking landscape just a bit outside of Moab, the picturesque view during the drive is reason enough for a visit.
Their venue is a charming blend of comfort and elegance, with tables that beckon you to sit, relax, and savor their wine.
The tasting room, a cozy alcove off the front, is a delight in itself.
For just 20 bucks, you can sample up to six of their varied and well-priced wines.
I personally vouch for the cherry wine, which is sublime when paired with the complimentary chocolate.
I cannot resist their Syrah either.
It's so good that I often end up bringing home a couple of bottles or three.
While the liquor laws in Utah can be a tad amusing, they certainly don't get in the way of enjoying the fantastic wines this winery has to offer.
The only slight surprise for those used to other wineries might be that they don't waive the tasting fee if you buy a couple of bottles.
But, they do include the tasting glasses with your purchase, which is a lovely memento of a great local winery.
Go Camping at Sand Flats Recreation Area
One cannot help but marvel at the beauty of Sand Flats Recreation Area, a sprawling 9,000-acre wonderland for outdoor enthusiasts.
The expanse of the area guarantees much to explore, with a wealth of mountain bike trails, 4x4 offroad trails, and hiking paths.
Personally, I recommend the Juniper Trail, a leisurely one-hour hike that offers stunning views.
The entrance fee is a small price to pay for the amount of fun and adventure that awaits.
And if you're wondering about the camping situation, it's all rather straightforward.
Just tell the folks at the booth that you'd like to camp, and they'll guide you through the rest.
There's a variety of campground loops at Sand Flats Recreation Area. The closest ones to the entry booth are A, B, C, and D.
These are accessible by mostly paved roads, while the loops E-J are deeper into the park.
The sites are first-come-first-serve, and you'll find a diverse range of spots with different sizes and features - some even have cool rock formations and trees.
And all of them come with picnic tables and fire rings.
Also worth noting is the solid LTE and 5G cell service in some of the sites, especially those with early letters in the alphabet.
That way, you can share your exciting adventures with friends and family in real-time.
However, do keep in mind that it's a shared space. Some visitors may not respect the rules and disturb the peace.
Still, even with the occasional noisy neighbor, the overall experience remains thoroughly enjoyable.
Discover the Prehistoric Wonders of Potash Road Dinosaur Tracks and Petroglyphs
There's something incredibly magical about stepping into the same footprints that dinosaurs left behind millions of years ago.
This is exactly what you experience on the trail to the Potash Road Dinosaur Tracks and Petroglyphs.
The initial climb, albeit a bit steep, is definitely worth the effort as it opens up to a flat, scenic route that seems to transport you back in time.
The tranquility is palpable as you approach the Longbow Arch, just another short but rewarding climb away.
However, don't let your excitement get the better of you, like some visitors who end up on the Poison Spider Trail—still a great hike, but not where the dinosaur tracks are.
Always remember to read the signs and maps before you set off.
Once you are on the right track, you can marvel at the well-defined dinosaur tracks on a slanted rock that seems to have tumbled from its original location—a breathtaking sight.
One of the best parts?
The trail is just a stone's throw away from the starting point.
Good walking shoes with some traction and the willingness to tackle a few steep climbs are all you need to embark on this adventure.
Add to this, the roadside petroglyphs are another fascinating sight that never fails to impress.
Unfortunately, some parts of this area have been vandalized over time, a disheartening reality, but it doesn't take away from this unique place's overall awe and wonder.
Discover Local Species at Grandstaff Canyon Trail
Every time I lace up my hiking boots and take the path less traveled on the Grandstaff Canyon Trail, I am reminded of the true, raw beauty that nature holds.
This trail is no mere walk in the park. It starts off with a long section for the less seasoned explorers, gradually increasing in complexity.
For the dedicated adventurers, you are well-rewarded with a more thrilling experience.
The trail winds through some of the most scenic views imaginable, with every step leading me deeper into the heart of this rugged landscape.
As I navigate the challenge, I am met with an awe-inspiring sight - the legendary bridge that is the highlight of this trail.
Hiking here is never a quick affair. I often find myself so entranced by the journey that I end up spending most of my day here.
I've learned to pack a backpack with plenty of water and snacks, essential for any long hike.
The Grandstaff Canyon Trail is not just for thrill-seekers. It's also a delight for nature lovers.
Every time I hit the trail towards the end of May, I am greeted with a myriad of wildflower blooms and cacti, which add a burst of color to the already vibrant environment.
Even the water crossings, though tricky at times, offer a unique thrill of their own.
This trail is a testament to nature's grandeur, serving as a constant reminder of why I fell in love with hiking in the first place.
It’s not just a trail, but a journey into the heart of nature, a journey that I will never tire of.
Cool Down at Swanny City Park
Here's the thing about Moab - it's got the sun, the heat, the outdoors, and then some.
But if you're looking for a slice of paradise where you can cool off, Swanny City Park is your best bet.
Now, I've lived in Moab all my life and this park, well, it's something else. It's an oasis, really.
Seems like it's the only place within 100 miles that's got some shade.
And it's not just a park, it’s a world of amusement.
A playground for the kids, a skate park for the teens, picnic shelters for the families, and even restrooms.
Everything you need for a day out is right there.
Swanny City Park is clean and always buzzing with great vibes.
There are water stations, too, and the swim center, it's a fantastic public place to swim, workout, or even take a shower.
Despite this, I still have a deep-seated love for this park.
I spent many a summer growing up, playing football, and practicing my tackles there.
They've always taken good care of the park and it remains a cherished part of my Moab experience.
Just remember, if you do decide to visit, be respectful and follow the rules.
Hike the Bowtie Arch
There's something truly magical about hiking at the Bowtie Arch.
Nestled in the heart of Moab, this hidden gem is a treat for the eyes and a challenge to those seeking moderate sweat.
Being out there, surrounded by the raw beauty of nature, is as close to a meditative experience as it gets.
The trail isn't too demanding, making it a perfect pick for all those who love a good walk, even for their dogs.
The total distance of about 2.4 miles is a breezy walk that you can complete in roughly an hour or so.
The trail starts off with a bit of climbing which gets your blood pumping, but it's not overly strenuous.
What's more, the trailhead has ample parking and restroom facilities, making the trip hassle-free and enjoyable.
The real showstopper is, undoubtedly, the majestic arches. The Corona and Bowtie Arches are a sight to behold - towering, massive, and incredibly awe-inspiring.
The surrounding scenery adds to the beauty, painting a picture that stays with you long after you've left.
What's even better, these arches are less crowded than the ones you would find in the National Park, and to me, they're even more impressive.
The trail to the Bowtie Arch is marked by blue paint, guiding your way through the breathtaking path.
I love walking this trail towards the end of September - the weather is perfect, and the arch looks stunning against the clear, blue skies.
Uncover the City's History at the Moab Museum
Ever wondered how it feels to explore the rich tapestry of your own hometown's past?
Well, that's exactly what I get to experience every time I visit the Moab Museum.
Tucked away in the heart of our charming city, this cultural and natural history museum is literally a stone's throw away from my residence, and I couldn't be luckier.
The collections at the Moab Museum are truly a sight to behold.
The museum showcases a fine blend of geology, paleontology, and archeology in all their glory.
Personally, I always find myself drawn to the intricate Indian tapestries alongside fascinating displays of mining helmets, fossils, and even uranium glassware.
There's something surreal about seeing vestiges of our city's rich mining history right next to beautifully preserved pieces of indigenous art.
It's as if the walls whisper tales of times long gone.
But that's not all. The museum also boasts a vintage film camera on display and even an 1880 Piano that you can play.
I remember my first time plinking those vintage keys, it was like a portal into history, lending a musical note to the echoes of the past.
Moreover, it's not just the exhibits that make Moab Museum special.
The staff here are incredibly warm and welcoming, always ready with a smile.
Their passion for sharing the history and cultural heritage housed within the museum is infectious.
Their knowledge and stories add so much more to the overall experience, making every visit unique.
Have a Quick Dip at Mill Creek Waterfall
Oh, the joy of living near Mill Creek Waterfall, a hidden gem tucked away in the heart of the desert.
Witnessing the cascading waters that gracefully plunge into the cool, clear pool below is an everyday privilege for me.
After all, nothing beats the thrill of crossing rivers and streams on foot and feeling the refreshing water splash against my legs.
I love to strap on my dependable water shoes and tread the well-worn paths that lead to this tranquil spot.
It's a comfortable 20-25 minute walk each way, depending on how distracted I get by the scenic views along the journey.
You could say that I've turned the hike up to the waterfall into a daily ritual. It's not just me, though.
My faithful canine companion is always at my side, and he loves the adventure as much as I do.
The waterfall is dog-friendly, always remember the golden rule: clean up after your pets.
On hot days, the hike becomes even more refreshing.
With the opportunity to spend most of the hike in the water, it's a godsend.
There are several little pools where you can dip into to cool off.
It's a sadness you can no longer slide down the waterfall like the old times.
Still, it's lovely to sit in the water either at the top or the bottom of the waterfall, absorbing the serene beauty surrounding you.
A final piece of advice from a seasoned hiker, always pack water, sunscreen, and bug spray.
The desert sun can be ruthless, and the bugs are not always friendly.
But once you arrive at Mill Creek Waterfall, all those minor inconveniences melt away.
It's a place of tranquility and a testament to nature's enduring charm.
Get Transported to a Bygone Era at Wolfe Ranch
There's a special quietude to the land surrounding the Wolfe Ranch, a silence that echoes the resilience and fortitude of a bygone era.
Living here, one can't help but marvel at the stark contrast between modern life and the lifestyle of the Wolfe family.
Nestled at the trailhead for Delicate Arch, this ranch has seen the struggle and survival of a family of six in a tiny cabin, raising over 1000 head of cattle in a hundred-acre ranch.
Walking by the ranch, I often stop to appreciate the craftsmanship of the buildings.
They are still standing tall, narrating the tales of endurance and survival.
The small in-ground house, where the Wolfes first lived before moving to a slightly larger house, is particularly remarkable.
The buildings are a testament to the extraordinary lives they led in such a remote location for nearly a decade.
The ranch also played host to the first custodian of Arches, adding another layer to its historical significance.
And just when you think the experience can't get any richer, the Ute petroglyphs are another surprise that the ranch holds.
These art pieces, which date back to between 1650 and 1850, depict horses, riders, and bighorn sheep in a beautiful, rustic style.
The Wolfe Ranch, with its historical allure and architectural charm, is a definite must-see.
Especially if you're someone who appreciates the past and the stories it tells.
Moab truly is a gem teeming with adventures, wonders, and surprises at every corner.
All these experiences make Moab a place that is not only close to my heart but also entrancing to anyone who visits.
It's truly a unique blend of adventure, nature, history, tranquillity, and charm, rendering it an experience that simply cannot be missed.