Awesome List of Outdoor Moab Adventures and Activities

Outdoor Moab adventures include mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, river rafting, and off-roading in Jeeps and ATVs.

Here’s our list of things to do in Moab, what to pack, where to stay and more for planning your trip.

moab utah things to do

If you love outdoor activities, Moab should be at the top of your list of places to visit in Utah.

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WHAT TO PACK FOR A TRIP TO MOAB

Outdoor Gear we recommend! Travel Gear & Hiking Gear

outdoor gear we use

PLAN YOUR MOAB VACATION

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.

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.

Fins at Arches National Park with snow-capped mountains in the background.

Where to Stay in Moab:

There are all types of lodging in and near Moab from budget-friendly hotels to higher-prices resorts. You’ll also find vacation rentals, a hostel, campgrounds and RV parks

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 – we like kitchens found in rentals to cook our own meals to save money!

MOAB OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: BEST THINGS TO DO

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.

Moab outdoor adventures include exploring Arches National Park

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.

take jaw-dropping photos at Arches & Canyonlands

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.

Watch the sunrise at Canyonlands near Moab, Utah.

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.

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.

Dead Horse Point is a must-visit location near Moab.

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 hiking trail near Moab is one of the best!

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!

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.

Moab has world-famous offroad 4x4 trails.

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.

→ MUST-HAVE: Moab, Utah Offroad Trail Guides and Maps!

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.

Colorado River in Moab with glowing red rock reflections

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.

Milky Way over fins in Arches National Park near Moab, Utah

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!

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.

man kayaking a river

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.

There are calm sections of the Colorado River right outside Moab that are great for stand up paddleboarding. Try a white water rafting adventure.

Moab maps and guides at Amazon:

moab maps guides

MOAB TOURS, HOTELS AND RESOURCES

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National Parks packing list for spring summer fall and winter

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20 Comments

  1. Moab looks so exciting. Wow. The pictures and the landscape got me hooked. I would love to explore the National parks and that stargazing would be fun. This is definitely going to be on my list whenever I visit America.

  2. I haven’t been to Moab and Utah and didn’t realise that there were so many places to see. I have always wanted to go to the Horseshoe bend. Now I have added the Arches park and others as well. Love the photograph of the milky way and it must have been awesome shooting it.

  3. I love Utah but have never been to Moab! It looks like the kind of place my husband would love! Definitely bookmarking this for our next trip out there!

  4. I’m going to Utah this spring for the first time, so nice to know that is a good time of year to visit Moab. Your pictures are really amazing. For me the stargazing photo is the most impressive. I am from New York City, so I almost never get to see incredible stars like that.

    1. Spring is an amazing time to visit Utah. Definitely take the time to look at the stars at night while you are Moab. It’s amazing!!

  5. Wow! Moab looks stunningly beautiful and your super amazing pictures perfectly justify the beauty of the place. The views are simply breathtaking! I love the one at Canyonlands and the Dead Horse Point. But most of all, stargazing is something that has attracted me the most. Hope to venture through these National Parks some day and photograph the Milky Way. 🙂

  6. Utah is probably the first ‘unusual’ place that I had heard of in USA (i.e something other than Washington, California etc). A decade ago, when there were hardly any blogs, there was a couple with a dog living in and blogging about Utah! Now I don’t even remember that blog’s name!!!! So yeah, Utah is always special to me… 🙂 🙂 🙂
    Stargazing and the Arches National park would be the top things for me to do of this list. How did you click that pic of night sky? I always mess up!

    1. We always shoot the Milky Way with focus set on infinity, full blown aperture and you’ll want a really fast lens like 1.8 and usually run between 1600 and 2400 ISO and 20 second exposure. Every camera will be a bit different. We use Nikon. Hope this helps!

  7. Looks like a fantastic place and your photos are so beautiful, they make me want to go there right now! Taking notes… 🙂

  8. This is an excellent post, and very adventurous too! Moab is completely new to me, but your photos are inspiring me to visit one day. I’m not a hiker, but I’d give it a go just to see those stunning arches and landscape. Will also have a go taking photos!

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