Imagine red rock arches, brilliant sunrises and sunsets, national parks, and all the mountain biking and hiking you can handle surrounded by breathtaking nature.
With its otherworldly desert scape, Moab is an outdoor adventure lover’s dream come true. You’ll also love the quaint town, fantastic restaurants, and fascinating museums.
The fun things to do in Moab, Utah are almost limitless. But, no matter how you choose to spend your days and nights, you can always count on having the time of your life.
Moab, Utah elevation is 4,025 feet (1,227 m) on the Colorado Plateau. It is 18 miles (29 km) west of the Utah/Colorado state line. Surrounded by Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and the La Sal Mountains, Moab is beloved by people who love outdoor activities.
Although Moab is remote, you can fly to one of several international airports:
If you want to land closer to the fun in Moab, try one of these regional airports:
After you’ve decided what to do in Moab and booked your flight and rental car, protect your plans with travel insurance by World Nomads.
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Best & Fun Things to Do in Moab, Utah
Canyonlands National Park
Get there by car (recommended):
- From US 191 north of Moab, UT 313 will take you to Island in the Sky.
- From US 191 south of Moab, UT 211 will take you to The Needles.
- The Maze can only be reached by four-wheel-drive on unpaved roads. Check for road conditions.
Explore the canyons and buttes formed from the Colorado River at Canyonlands National Park.
The park is divided by rivers into four districts: Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze, and the rivers.
The entire park is a classic desert, but the districts offer unique features that offer unforgettable sightseeing.
For a guided tour of the famous Island in the Sky district from Moab, see this guided Half Day Canyonlands National Park Island in the Sky 4×4 Tour.
After pick-up from your Moab hotel, you’ll navigate the district’s backcountry affording incredible views. Highlights include petroglyphs and the Gooseneck overlook.
Arches National Park
Arches National Park features more than 2,000 natural stone arches and its amazing sunsets will stay with you for a lifetime.
For entry between April and October, you’ll need to reserve a timed entry ticket.
Explore the hilly backcountry Arches National Park by Jeep Wrangler and see remote portions of the park. Hike the towering sandstone arches and trek through the unique landscape that’s been used as a location for hit Hollywood features.
Follow former explorers along an old cowboy trail. This tour is especially good for visitors with limited time.
Own your own, you can discover the colors, rock formations, and a landscape unlike any other.
Located on Scenic by Way 128 along the Colorado River and 15 miles from Arches National Park, the fantastic Red Cliffs Lodge features a horse corral, Western film museum, and the famous Castle Creek Winery.
Red Cliffs Lodge
Address: Mile Post 14 Highway 128, Moab UT 84532
Every suite offers private patios with creek or river views. Separate living areas offer a dining table, fridge, and microwave. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the resort.
All suites feature Mexican tile floors, wood-paneled ceilings, and beautiful log furniture.
Red Cliff’s Cowboy Grill, open from March 1 to December 1, offers indoor and outdoor seating and serves traditional American cuisine for dinner, plus Sunday brunch. You can also enjoy cocktails at The Wild Horse Bar.
Their free Moab Museum of Film and Western Heritage houses memorabilia from early films to the present. Guests can enjoy the outdoor pool, fitness center, and tennis courts.
Castle Creek Winery is a fully operating winery with an extra-large deck affording stunning views overlooking the Colorado River.
Get there by car (recommended): Find the entrance to Arches National Park north of Moab, Utah.
- From Moab, drive north on US 191 for five miles.
- From Interstate 70 (Crescent Junction), drive south on US 191 for 22 miles.
Get there by plane: Most people coming to Arches fly into these airports:
Get there by train: Amtrak’s California Zephyr serves Green River, Utah, (45 miles from the park entrance) and Grand Junction, Colorado (109 miles from the park entrance).
Get there by bus: Greyhound serves Green River, Utah, and Grand Junction, Colorado.
PRO TIP: There is no public transportation inside Arches National Park. You will need a car or a bicycle. Another great way to get around and see the park is with an Arches National Park 4×4 Adventure from Moab.
Sand Flats Recreation Area
At the 9,000-acre Sand Flats Recreation Area, you’ll find easy access to incredible biking, hiking, and off-highway vehicle trails at Sand Flats Recreation Area.
Bike trails are best between February and November. Slickrock Bike Trail offers challenging descents and technical terrain.
Porcupine Rim Trail gives travelers a chance to explore the park by hiking.
Sand Flats Recreation Area is at the center of the Colorado Plateau and is a favorite for primitive camping.
It offers 124 campsites, open year-round and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Sites are $10 per night for up to five people.
The campgrounds offer amazing views of sandstone domes, mesas, and canyons with the majestic La Sal Mountains as a scenic backdrop.
Enjoy gorgeous sunsets, singing coyotes, and a night sky of sparkling stars.
Get there by car: US 191 south from Moab. Turn right at the first traffic light onto 400 East. Drive for one mile to Dave’s Corner Market and Millcreek Drive. Take a right onto Millcreek Drive to the stop sign. Continue onto Sand Flats Road up a hill for 2.5 miles to the entrance.
Three-day passes are available and cost $5 per vehicle, $2 per bike, and $2 per person in shuttles, vans, or larger vehicles. Bike trails are at their best between February and November.
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Moab Giants Dinosaur Park
In Moab, things to do aren’t limited to hiking and extreme adventure. Moab Giants Dinosaur Park is a unique experience and is one of the best Moab attractions for families.
See state-of-the-art, life-size dinosaurs in their natural setting. Moab Giants is full of attractions for education and entertainment.
A virtual 5D PaleoAquarium even gives you a look into a deep-sea laboratory to observe prehistoric sea animals.
Follow the outdoor trail with more than 100 life-sized dinosaurs. Learn about the Big Bang Theory in the 3D Theater.
Tracks Museum is full of interactive learning touch screens, games to play, and fascinating exhibits. End your day of dinosaur exploration with a snack or late lunch at the Giants Cafe.
Get there by car: 112 UT-313, Moab, UT 84532
Dead Horse Point State Park
Explore this expanse of desert floors, canyons, woodlands, and hiking trails. Dead Horse Point State Park offers beautiful campgrounds, too, with modern amenities and picturesque views.
Enjoy the vivid sunrises and sunsets that paint the cliffs and canyons in gold. At night, Dark Skies will thrill you with millions of twinkling stars.
The plants and animals of Dead Horse Point have uniquely adapted to the arid land of extreme temperatures.
Plants grow very slowly here, too, and trees are only 15 feet tall maybe hundreds of years old. The small leaves of most plants are coated in wax to help with evaporation.
Many of the animals here are nocturnal, meaning they are only active during the evenings and early mornings when it’s cooler. Their large ears dissipate heat.
Some animals can metabolize water from food.
The peninsula of Dead Horse Point is the rock on top of sheer sandstone cliffs and is connected to the mesa by the neck–or a narrow strip of rock.
There are many stories about its unusual name. One legend has it that, around the turn of the century, the point was a corral for wild mustangs who roamed the top of the mesa.
Cowboys rounded up the mustangs and moved them across the narrow neck onto the point. The neck was only 30-yards-wide and fenced off with brush and branches.
A natural corral was created surrounded by cliffs straight down on all sides so there was no escape. Cowboys got the choice of horses and then let the rest go free.
Sadly, for some reason, horses were stranded on the waterless point and died of thirst above the Colorado River, 2,000 feet below.
The iconic area with its incredible views was opened to the public as a state park in 1959. Trails here offer intermediate mountain biking to the wheelchair-accessible pavement.
Visitors can find scenic overlooks, shade shelters, and interpretive signs throughout the park.
Discover its spectacular scenery on a small-group, sunset tour from Moab called Canyonlands National Park Half-Day Sunset Tour From Moab 2022.
After hotel pickup, tour the highlights of Canyonlands National Park, the famed Mesa Arch, the Green River Overlook, and the Shafer Canyon Overlook.
Then reach Dead Horse Point State Park in time for a spectacular sunset.
Get there by car: UT-313, Moab, UT 84532
See Related: List of US National Monuments
Goblin Valley State Park
Goblin Valley State Park offers hikers six miles of hiking trails, plus a free-roaming area spanning almost three square miles called The Valley of Goblins. Commonly, you’ll find maps that divide the Valley of Goblins into three areas. Descend the staircase from the picnic pavilion to enter the First Valley.
This is a flat space with dozens of twisted hoodoos called “goblins.” From the staircase, you can hike out to the furthest dome you see in the southern distance. This is called the “Second Valley of Goblins” and the formations line the canyons branching off from the main one.
As you make your way south, you’ll eventually reach the Big Wild Horse Mesa Wilderness Area. You can hike through the Red Canyon Wash.
The “Third Valley of Goblins” is a little more than a mile south of the observation point. Reaching this point will take you an entire day. There are zero markings or trails in this area, so you’ll need a GPS and should study aerial maps beforehand.
If hiking trails are what you’re looking for, Goblin Valley State Park has those too:
The Goblin’s Lair
Distance: 1.5 miles one way. Optional additional .25 miles to the Goblette’s Lair.
The Goblin’s Lair is tucked away on the eastern boundary, beyond the cliffs forming the far wall of the Valley of Goblins, and is actually a beautiful slot canyon
The entrance is sealed by a rockfall. During the day at certain times, light shines in through ceiling vents more than 100 feet above the chamber floor.
Once it was a secret, but now a marked trail takes you to the “hiker’s entrance” of the lair. The trail begins at the observation point and follows the Carmel Canyon loop before splitting off after 1/2 mile. Expect moderate scrambling up scree slopes and over boulders. Use caution!
If you want to rappel into the Goblin’s Lair, you can get a permit at the visitor center desk. There’s a $2 permit fee, per person.
Or you can opt for a Goblin Valley State Park: 4-Hour Canyoneering Adventure–a 4-hour adventure led by an expert guide, suitable for all ages.
Meet your guide and get an overview of the area’s history. Your guide will provide basic safety information and an introduction to the basics of rappelling and canyoneering.
Following your short scramble through the Valley of the Goblins, enter a dark, mysterious slot canyon.
Put on your canyoneering gear and rappel 90 feet (27 meters) into the amazing chamber and enjoy refreshments inside the Chamber of the Basilisk.
The Carmel Canyon Loop
Distance: 1.5 miles round trip
Many visitors hike the beautiful Carmel Canyon Loop to access the Goblin’s Lair Trail. It’s especially lovely in the evening. Find gorgeous views of the Carmel goblin formation, the Molly’s Castle outcrop, and the Three Sisters.
If you don’t have time to explore Little Wild Horse Canyon, Carmel Canyon will offer a small section of pretty narrows. Expect some minor scrambling. Use caution!
Distance: 1.5 miles one way
The Entrada Canyon Trail starts at the group campsite and ends at the Valley of Goblins observation point parking lot. If you are camping here, it serves as a scenic alternative to driving. Hiking it will let you see goblin formations you wouldn’t see otherwise.
Curtis Bench Trail
Distance: 1.5 miles one way
The Curtis Bench Trail is accessed alongside the Entrada Canyon Trail and runs parallel to it at a higher elevation. Hikers will get beautiful views of the Henry Mountains to the south and the Valley of Goblins to the east.
The Three Sisters
Distance: 250 yards, one way
The Three Sisters is the most iconic of all goblin formations at the park and you’ll notice it’s on many of the souvenirs you can buy in the Moab area. Visitors can take a photo on their drive to the observation point. For a closer look, a short, marked trail takes you to the formation from the observation point road.
Get there by car: Goblin Valley Rd, Green River, UT 84525
The Fisher Towers Trail explores one of the most unique landscapes in Utah. The area is made of oddly shaped rock formations and towers, created by erosion.
They are composed of dark red Cutler sandstone under Moenkopi sandstone and covered in mud drapes. The 2.6-mile trail takes you past towers, canyons, and cliffs, to its far southern terminus, to form a 5.2-mile round-trip hike.
You can hike out as far as you want before turning around to the trailhead.
Lots of day hikers end at the ridge below Ancient Art, a rock formation with a corkscrew (one-way at 0.5 miles), or at the base of Cottontail Tower’s west ridge (one-way of 1.0 miles).
The white water rafting trips take you over an adjacent section of the Colorado River. Enjoy the canyon scenery and awesome vistas throughout your day. The full-day adventure features oar rafts operated by river guides, although inflatable kayaks are usually available upon request.
At lunchtime, your guide serves a buffet-style picnic during a stop on a riverside beach. Take pictures, swim, and relax as an experienced river guide rows the boat downstream.
Additionally, you’ll learn from your expert guide about the ecology, history, and wildlife of the Moab area. Includes all safety gear, transport from Moab to the river, water and lemonade, and lunch.
Get there by car: Drive north from Moab on US 191 and before the Colorado River Bridge, turn right (east) onto UT 128/River Road.
Follow the paved highway for 21 miles to a turnoff marked Fisher Towers.
Turn right (south) and follow a dirt road southeast for another 2 miles to a parking area, campground, and trailhead.
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Hell’s Revenge Trail
Hell’s Revenge Trail is a Moab area roller coaster ride in nature. The trail is in a desert canyon outside of Moab and is an off-roading track for crawling over rocks, trekking along with cliff faces, and up and down near-vertical terrain.
Besides the Slickrock, there are also rock ledges, sandy dirt, broken rock, and blown sand to challenge your off-roading skills.
Then take off-road dirt tracks and find spectacular views of the Colorado River, Arches National Park, and mountains.
Get there by meeting at the Moab Tourism Center: 606 South Main Street, Moab, Utah, at least 15 minutes before departure.
For an organized tour of the trail with an expert guide, the Moab: Hell’s Revenge 4WD Off-Road Tour by Kawasaki UTV is an absolute blast.
Colorado River Rafting
Flowing for an impressive 1,447 miles (2,330 kilometers) with red rocks and canyons framing it on both sides, the legendary Colorado River leads to the Hoover Dam.
The Colorado River is one of the major water sources for California and Nevada.
It’s also a major recreational destination—offering exciting river activities like biking, hiking, boating, and rafting.
Get there by getting picked up: You can organize a lift from the lobby of your Moab hotel or your rental and meet your guide. You’ll need to be outfitted with the necessary gear and given safety instructions.
Then go on a thrilling 7-mile river rafting trip along the wild Colorado River navigating Class 1 or 2 rapids surrounded by incredible rock formations!
Choose the optional lunch to enjoy a delicious buffet during your tour. At the end of the trip, take the shuttle back to Moab.
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Mountain Biking around Moab
One of the most exhilarating things to do in Moab, Utah, is to take full advantage of the various trails for mountain biking. Anyone from beginners to the most advanced mountain bikers will enjoy riding through Moab’s beautiful scenery.
The most famous and advanced trail is the Slickrock Bike Trail, a heart-pounding 9.6-mile experience. But there are also easy, scenic mountain biking trails for the pure enjoyment of getting out in nature.
The Bar-M Loop Trail is perfect for beginners as it introduces different types of terrain while offering gorgeous scenery.
Rock Climbing in Moab
Moab draws rock climbing aficionados from around the world. You’ll find many professional guides and tons of gear to prepare you for some incredibly fun outdoor adventures on Moab’s rocks and canyons.
Carved from water, much of Moab’s canyons aren’t accessible via hiking or biking trails. For those who want to discover what few others can even reach, rock climbing is the ultimate thrill.
Experienced guides can teach you everything you need to know to explore these remote canyons. You don’t even need prior experience!
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Horseback Riding around Moab
Explore the beautiful landscape in iconically Western-style with horseback riding trips. Horses are allowed on BLM lands and in Canyonlands National Park.
Pack and saddle stock are allowed at any BLM campground. Goose Island, Ken’s Lake, and Hittle Bottom campgrounds are the most suitable for trailers.
Canyonlands National Park is a bit more challenging for water sources and you must obtain a backcountry permit for pack and saddle stock. You can get helpful recommendations for horseback riding destinations within the park and overnights are permitted at vehicle camps.
Bird Watching in Moab
Slow down and enjoy the quiet adventure of bird watching. The colorful canyons, rivers, natural arches, and mountains are home to some amazing wildlife, including birds unique to the Southwest.
Check out some fascinating species of the Scott M. Matheson Preserve, the Colorado River Scenic Byway, Moon Flower Canyon, Fisher Mesa, and Grandstaff Canyon.
Fishing in Moab
Moab offers incredible river and lake fishing. Fish for catfish from the sandy banks of the winding Colorado River or hook a trout in a lake while enjoying the mountain scenery.
The relaxing solitude and beauty of the lakes will elevate your mood for days. Game fish in these lakes include rainbow, cutthroat, brown, and brook trout that are both planted and native.
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Photography around Moab
Access the most gorgeous photographed scenic vistas in and around Moab to create your own works of art. The constantly changing light and unusual red land will inspire and challenge you.
The best time of day to photograph is at sunrise or sunset when the landscape glows with rosy color. Moab’s fluffy clouds add depth to portraits and the rainstorms are particularly effective.
Utah Scenic Byway 279 Rock Art Sites
You can also find prehistoric activities in Moab. Deep in the Utah desert, ancient residents created rock art during the Archaic (6,000 – 1,000 BC) and Fremont (450-1300 AD) cultural periods.
Two different types of art are found here–pictographs (or painted images) and petroglyphs (or inscribed images).
Most rock art features anthropomorphic (human) or zoomorphic (animal) images. You’ll find many of these unique rock art sites outside of Moab along Highway 279, a Utah Scenic Byway.
Highway 279 is an incredible drive taking visitors along a beautiful stretch of the Colorado River. You can enjoy hiking and the campgrounds along the route too.
With easy site access and a gorgeous setting, the Utah Scenic Byway 279 is a great place to start exploring rock art.
The soaring red walls here are also popular with rock climbers and you’ll likely see many climbers near the art areas.
Please enjoy the rock art here but be careful not to touch it as it’s fragile. Also, be safe and watch for oncoming traffic as art walls are often near the highway.
Get there by car: Utah Scenic Byway 279.
For an amazing tour of petroglyphs, take Private Scenic Petroglyph Tour that departs from the Moab Tourist Center, 471 South Main Street #7, Moab, Utah 84532.
Your guide will take you to rarely seen petroglyphs and tell stories and historical details about the region.
You’ll have the option to ride along with the guide or drive your own off-road vehicle makes the tour flexible for families, small children, and off-roading enthusiasts.
This tour is a great option if you’re looking for things to do in Moab with kids because you can avoid tiring waiting on other tourists and customize the tour for their enjoyment.
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Corona Arch Trail
Seeing the Corona Arch is one of Red Rock Country’s most amazing things to do near Moab. It’s a natural sandstone arch near Moab, Utah, in a side canyon of the Colorado River west of Moab.
The trail is for expert hikers and scales smooth rock walls. To ascend, a ladder and cable are required. It’s difficult but worth it as you get incredible views. You can also rappel from the top of Corona Arch if you have a daredevil spirit.
Otherwise, this popular destination is still worth reaching even if you prefer to take in the beauty of the arch with your feet on the ground.
Enjoy all the arches on Moab’s Best Arches Tour. See the Corona Arch, Corona, Tibbets, Jeep, and Uranium arches, and much more on this 30-minute scenic flight.
Get there by car: Moab, UT 84532
Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail
Here, you’ll find evidence of stegosaurus, allosaurus, camarasaurus, and camptosaurus on the Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail. This is one of the most unique things to do in Moab, Utah, and a great activity for families with kids.
The canyon is named after an old copper mill that operated there until 1902. Remains of the mill can be seen on the canyon’s south side. Trail-side signs describe these prehistoric giants that once ruled this region, and how their bones and footprints came to be discovered.
This trail can be a self-guided walking tour. Pick up pamphlets describing the sites at the Grand Resource Area. Highlights include fossilized bones of all shapes and sizes, tracks, and fragments of fossilized wood.
A stop here is included in The Works X3 Experience Private Ride Along Adventure which is a guided backcountry tour of Moab.
Get there by car: To reach the trailhead, drive 15 miles north of Moab on US 191. Turn left at the intersection just north of highway mile marker 141.
You’ll cross the railroad tracks and continue 2 miles on a dirt road to the trailhead. This road is impassable when wet.
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La Sal Mountains
The La Sal Mountains are Utah’s second-highest mountain range. Nine of the range’s peaks surpass 12,000 feet.
The diverse terrain, incredible views, and towering summits make them an excellent place for bouldering, ice climbing, hiking, scrambling, or canyoneering. La Sal’s level 2 and 3 climbs attract travelers all year round, but the steep mountains are very technical and require experience.
Many of the trails that lead to the highest peaks require an ice ax to navigate—even in the summer. The natural pools are refreshing and the lovely waterfalls of Mill Creek, Negro Bill Canyon, and Professor Creek canyons make them a great hike in warmer months.
Since the mountains are on almost entirely public land, visitors can camp nearly anywhere before an early morning climb. Another way to explore them is with a helicopter tour from Moab.
Located 11 miles from the loop, the highly-rated Scenic View Inn & Suites Moab offers a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, and a fitness center.
Scenic View Inn & Suites Moab
Address: 2701 US 191 Moab UT 84532
There is also a 24-hour front desk and room service, and free WiFi throughout the property.
The hotel features family rooms and all guest rooms feature air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with cable, a microwave, a coffee machine, a shower, and a desk. Guests at Scenic View Inn & Suites Moab can enjoy a buffet breakfast.
Get there by car: The La Sal Mountain Loop is a paved 60-mile route starting 8 miles south of Moab off US-191.
The loop takes you through the mountains down to Castle Valley and SR 128 where it follows the Colorado River back to Moab.
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You don’t have to spend all your time around Moab hanging from a butte! After hiking, rafting, biking, and other activities explore the town and nightlife in Moab.
Moab offers a lively downtown with restaurants, shops, microbreweries, and galleries. Find an excellent selection of southwestern arts, jewelry, home decor, souvenirs, and gear.
Beautiful accommodations in the center of Moab boasting mountain views and surrounded by soaring red rock cliffs can be found at the Hotel Moab Downtown Moab.
Hotel Moab Downtown Moab
Address: 182 South Main Street Moab UT 84532
Beautiful accommodations in the center of Moab boast views of the La Sal Mountains and are surrounded by soaring red rock cliffs.
Guests can enjoy a seasonal pool. The entrance to Arches National Park is 5.7 mi away.
Hotel Moab Downtown Moab also features free WiFi throughout the property. Plus, a flat-screen TV with cable is available.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to do in Provo, Utah
What are the top attractions to see when we visit Moab?
The top attractions to visit in Moab are:
– Arches National Park
– Hell’s Revenge
– Canyonlands National Park
– Dead Horse Point State Park
– Corona Arch Trail
What are the most fun things to do in Moab?
– Hike to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park
– Bike the Slickrock Trail
– Explore Canyonlands, Island in the Sky
– See the View from Dead Horse Point State Park
– Hike or 4WD in the Needles Division of Canyonlands National Park
– Drive the Potash Road to Thelma & Louise Point
What is the best month to visit Moab?
March through May, when the days are longer and the red rock gets warm, is a good time to escape to someplace mild. Midday temperatures will usually reach a pleasant 70ºF.
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