Outdoor Moab adventures include mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, river rafting, and off-roading in Jeeps and ATVs.
Use this Moab Utah Vacation Guide to plan the perfect trip: weather, activities, what to pack, where to stay and more!
If you love outdoor activities, Moab should be at the top of your list of places to visit in Utah.
Here’s our list of things to do in Moab, what to pack, where to stay and more for planning your trip.
Some of the links on this site are affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, we may earn a small commission – at no extra cost to you! Read the full Disclosure Policy.
What To Pack for a Trip to Moab
- Hiking shoes
- Darn Tough hiking socks
- WATER: Hydration packs or carry refillable water bottles in your backpack.
- Healthy snacks – there may be NO services on the trails you’ll hike or drive.
- Lip balm with sunscreen and hydrating lotion – Utah’s high elevation and dry air can be hard on your skin.
- Summer – High temperatures, unrelenting sunlight, and low humidity. To keep cool, wear light colored, loose fitting UV protection clothing that does not absorb sunlight. Also avoid sun burn by wearing a sunhat and by generously applying sunscreen to any parts of your body that are exposed to the sun.
- Winter – Pack winter clothing to stay dry and warm.
- Fleece jacket
- Buff headbands
- Hand sanitizer
- Flashlight or headlamp
- First aid kit
- DOWNLOAD – Camera gear checklist
A Photo Tour of Moab, Utah
Take a visual tour through the Moab, Utah area to see the stunning landscapes you’ll see when you visit!
Where to Stay in Moab
There are many Moab hotels to choose from: budget-friendly hotels to higher-priced resorts. You’ll also find vacation rentals, a hostel, campgrounds and RV parks in Moab.
READ OUR FULL GUIDE: Where to stay in Moab
- Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Moab – we enjoyed our stay and highly recommend this hotel due to its location close to Arches.
- Purple Sage – our all-time favorite place to stay in Moab – walking distance to shopping, full kitchen, and only 8 units so you don’t feel lost in a large hotel.
- Red Cliffs Lodge – rooms up to 6 people – located 17 miles from Moab, this lodge is known for its beautiful location, winery and activities like horseback riding, fishing and more!
- Vacation Rentals in Moab – we like kitchens found in rentals to cook our own meals to save money!
Best Time To Visit Moab
Spring and fall are the peak times to visit Moab since the temperatures are more mild. During the summer temperatures can average 105 degrees. Even with the heat, summer can be a busy time.
During the winter there are days you could wear a short-sleeved shirt and shorts, or you’ll need to be bundled in layers depending on the weather. The off-season prices and fewer crowds make winter a terrific time to visit Moab.
If you’re wondering what it’s like to visit Moab at other times of the year, check out our article: Best time to visit Moab.
MOAB OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: BEST THINGS TO DO
If you’re traveling with kids, there are many things to do like hiking, biking, junior ranger programs, and discovering dinosaurs!
CHECK OUT this list of kid-friendly things to do in Moab to enjoy outdoor family fun.
Visit Arches National Park
Arches National Park is known for its arches, balanced rock, spires and fins, especially the iconic Delicate Arch.
People of all ages and abilities can see and explore the park along Arches National Park scenic drive.
There are easy, moderate and strenuous Arches National Park hiking trails for all levels of hiker.
To get the best Arches National Park photography, sunrise and sunset allow you to avoid the heat of the mid-summer day and the crowds.
- Arches National Park Travel Guide
- Arches Packing List
- Where to Stay Near Arches National Park
- Tours Near Moab, Utah
Explore Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park activities include day hiking, backpacking, mountain biking and scenic driving and driving off road.
There are four areas of Canyonlands, known as “districts.” Island in the Sky is closest to Moab and the most visited.
At Island in the Sky you can see the awe-inspiring viewpoints 2,000 feet above the Colorado River along the Island in the Sky Scenic Drive.
Needles Canyonlands is about 1 hour south of Moab where you can enjoy hiking, backpacking, driving 4×4 roads and photographing the unique sandstone rock formations.
The other two districts are the Maze which is remote and rugged and the Green and Colorado Rivers that offer rafting and paddling adventures.
- Canyonlands National Park Guide
- Best Time to Visit Canyonlands National Park
- Things to Do at Canyonlands National Park
- Where to Stay in Moab Near Canyonlands
- TOURS Near Canyonlands
See the Views at Dead Horse Point State Park
Dead Horse Point is a MUST-SEE Utah State Park overlooking the bend in the Colorado River.
There are a variety of things to do at Dead Horse Point State Park like hike, bike, camp, and photograph the epic views! It’s a popular spot to see and photograph sunset.
Hike the Trails in Moab
Some of the best Moab Utah hiking trails are in the National and State Park boundaries. But there are also countless other hikes in the Moab area to explore.
The Corona Arch Trail is a 3 mile hike to one of the largest arches near Moab. You also pass by Pinto Arch and Bowtie Arch along the way.
The trail is best hiked in the early morning or early evening due to the lack of shade. There are a few slickrock sections with metal cables to use as handrails, and a ladder on a steep section.
Your hiking day pack needs to include water, sunscreen and chapstick!
- Day Hike Checklist
- What to Bring on a Hike
- Photography Gear for Hiking
- Hiking Gear for Kids & Tips for Hiking with Kids
Enjoy Off Road Jeep or ATV Adventures
The most famous 4×4 trail in Moab is Hell’s Revenge. It’s known for its high steep climbs, heart-pounding descents and beautiful views of the La Sal Mountains and Negro Bill Canyon.
The most spectacular view is from the overlook where you’re high above the Colorado River.
Feeling a little on the adventurous side? Take a Drive Along Tour where you get behind the wheel of a Jeep, and under the watchful eye of an experienced guide, follow their vehicle along this trail.
You may also opt for the Ride Along Tour where the guide does the driving and you simply enjoy the ride. We have used and recommend Outlaw Jeep Tours.
Drive the Moab Scenic Byway: Potash Road
Your Moab itinerary should include driving the Potash Road, a Scenic Byway where you can see great views of the Colorado River, ancient rock art, and dinosaur tracks.
Begin the drive in the late afternoon so you can enjoy the spectacular color on the red sandstone cliffs on the return to Moab as the sun sets. The scenic byway is approximately two hours for the 34 -mile round-trip drive to Jug Handle Arch and back to Moab.
Potash Road begins about 4 miles north of Moab, where it turns off of Highway 191. The road first enters the deep gorge of the Colorado River. A few miles farther look for rock climbers on the cliffs which locals refer to as Wall Street.
Just beyond this, you can admire the petroglyphs that are signed with pull-offs. Further down the road is the “Dinosaur Tracks” turnout, where you can see a series of three-toed dinosaur tracks in Moab.
The final attraction on the road is Jug Handle Arch. Beyond this, the canyon widens and the sheer cliffs below Dead Horse Point State Park are visible in the distance.
Stargaze in Moab
As cities around the world grow bigger and brighter, the night sky becomes dimmed by light pollution. Stargazing has become a tourist attraction at many Dark Sky locations around the world.
Moab, Arches, Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point are all internationally recognized as the best places for viewing stars and photographing the Milky Way due to their remote locations, altitude, and clear skies.
The slogan “Half the Park is After Dark” encourages visiting these National Parks in Utah at night and simply LOOK UP!
Check out our Guide to Moab photography for sunrise and sunset photo spots!
Moab River Rafting, Kayaking or Paddleboarding
Rafting and kayaking the mighty Colorado River you can experience a wonderful stretch of whitewater and famous red rock canyons.
You can enjoy this fun Moab adventure no matter how much time you have — you’ll find all types of Moab rafting trips to float along the Colorado River.