Moab, Utah should be on the top of every adventure seeker or outdoosry person’s bucket list! It’s about 4 hours southeast of Salt Lake City and filled with and incredible about of desert canyon beauty. There are so many things to do in Moab, it can be tough to even know where to begin. Whether you have a weekend or a full week to explore, I recommend adding these places to your Moab bucket list!
Best Things to do in Moab…
#1. Arches National Park
Arches National Park is probably one of the most iconic places to visit near Moab. This National Park is famous for its natural stone arches, it has more than anywhere else in the world! Exploring Arches should be at the top of your list!
One of my favorite hikes in the Park is Delicate Arch Trail. It’s about a 3 miles out and back hiking trail that’s rated as moderate. While there isn’t a lot of elevation gain, there is a section where you hike up a pretty steep rock face surface. Be sure to keep an eye out for the arrows pointing the way or download your Alltrails map beforehand. It can be a little tricky to see the trail at some points since the ground is mostly rock or sand. Please always remember to practice leave no trace principles!
Pro Tip: I would recommend hiking it very early in the morning to avoid crowds, not getting a parking spot at the trail head, and extreme heat. We started our hike in the dark so that we could be at Delicate Arch for sunrise – it was incredible!
Other favorite hiking trails in Arches National Park:
It’s important to note that many of these are more like nature walks rather than true hikes. Regardless, it’s still better to be over prepared and drink lots of water. The desert heat is no joke – even in the fall!
- Double Arch
- Window Arch
- Turret Arch
- Sand Dune Arch
- Wall + Pine Tree Arch
- Devil’s Garden – rated as hard
If you are not interested in hiking, there are many beautiful campgrounds and pull outs with stunning views of the Arches. It’s a great park for people of all ages and physical levels!
IMPORTANT NOTE: As of September 2022, there are timed entry permits required [in addition to the park fee]. Reservations should be made in advance online here. These timed reservations help regulate the amount of cars and foot traffic in the park, especially during the busy season.
Looking to get more into hiking but don’t know where to start? Check out my Hiking Guide for Beginners!
#2. Dead Horse State Park
Dead Horse State Park is one of my favorite things we did in Moab. We watched the sunset there and it was so beautiful! I highly recommend going at sunset [or at least staying for it] since the colors and details of the rocks really come out! During the day, the sun light is typically super harsh.
A few things to know before you visit:
- There is a $20 day use fee for cars [your Parks Pass won’t work since it’s a state park]
- The park is open year round from 6:00am – 10:00pm
- Within the park, there’s about 7 miles of hiking trails. Most are shorter nature walks that bring you to an overlook. This isn’t the place to come if you’re looking for longer, more strenuous hikes!
- Dogs are allowed on hiking trails but must be kept on a leash at all times!
- Mountain biking is a huge reason a lot of people visit Dead Horse! There is 16.2 miles of intrepid mountain biking trails, click here to learn more about them!
Pro-tip: After you’ve watched the sun set, stick around even longer to stargaze! I’d recommend packing some layers as it can get chilly at night.
#3. Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park is divided into four different sections/ districts by the rivers – Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze, and the rivers. Each sections offers a variety of activities and accessibility! You cannot get to the different sections from one another, you must leave the Park and drive around to get to another section. The Island in the Sky is the easiest to get to from Moab, while the Maze being the most remote. We decided to explore the Island in the Sky since it was the closest to Moab and contained many of the iconic spots to visit in Canyonlands!
If you only have a half day or a full day to explore, below are the things I would recommend choosing from:
- Mesa Arch Trail – go at sunset for a killer view!
- Green River Overlook
- Grand View Point Trail
- Grand View Point Overlook
- White Rim Overlook Trail
Have more than one day? I would recommend exploring another district in the park! Here is a link to all the hiking trails within the Park. Don’t be fooled – hiking isn’t the only thing you can do in the park! You can go camping, rafting, climbing, mountain biking, horseback riding and more!
Please protect the Parks – stay off the arches and leave no trace!
Pro-tip: If you’re looking to escape the crowds, skip Arches and explore Canyonlands. Even though it is not much further than Arches National Park from Moab, it’s not nearly as busy or visited!
#4. Go Off-Roading
Moab is known around the country for the endless amounts of off-roading trails. The trails range from a few hours long for beginners to multi-day trails for more seasoned experts. Be sure to always be prepared as most trails are quite remote and check the current trail conditions! The app Trails OffRoad is a great resource and tool for off-roading.
Below are a few of the most popular off-roading trails in Moab:
- Gemeni Bridges Trail
- Shafer Trail Road
- Onion Creek + Fisher Tower Trail
- Klondike Bluffs
- Fins + Things
- Hell’s Revenge
- Moab Rim Trail
Interested in off-roading but you don’t have a capable 4×4 vehicle? Rent one from Moab Jeep Rentals or one of the many other options in Moab!
Pro-tip: find dispersed camping on your off-roading trail to cook dinner or even spend the night!
#5. Glamping at Under Canvas Moab
Under Canvas Moab is a super fun way to experience the outdoors, even if you’re not as “outdoorsy”! It’s the best glamping experience you’ll get in Moab. You can choose between a variety of types of tents to sleep in. What’s cool is that it’s not just a place to sleep! They offer fun daily activities, grills for guests use, campfires, live music, and more! It truly feels like a luxurious adult summer camp!
Pro-tip: Keep in mind that they are closed for the winter! Be sure to look at their open/close dates before planning your trip and getting disappointed.