Must-Read Tips for Visiting Moab in December

Check out our tips for planning a trip to Moab in December. It’s a great month to visit Moab during the off-season.

There are plenty of things to do in Moab, Utah if you enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, biking, photography, and more!

visiting moab utah in december

Use this guide to plan a December vacation to Moab: weather, activities, what to pack, where to stay and more!

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WHAT TO PACK FOR A TRIP TO MOAB

FREE DOWNLOAD: Moab, Utah packing list

Outdoor Gear we recommend! Travel Gear & Hiking Gear

outdoor gear we use

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 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 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!
main street Moab Utah

MOAB WEATHER IN DECEMBER

If you don’t mind colder weather, and a chance of snow, December is a wonderful time to enjoy Moab adventures like hiking, biking and photography.

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.

December temperatures in Moab: highs 45 and lows 22 degrees Fahrenheit. Any time of year it’s important to stay hydrated and use sun protection, even in the winter.

WATER: Moab is a high desert area so you should drink at least one gallon of water per day, and always carry water with you – hydration packs or carry refillable bottles in your backpack.

FOOD: Pack and eat healthy snacks because there may be NO services on the trails or scenic drives. 

SUN PROTECTION: Wear a sunhat and use sunscreen . Carry lip balm with sunscreen and hydrating lotion to apply as needed.

THINGS TO DO IN MOAB IN DECEMBER

Moab is one of the popular places to visit in Utah for outdoor activities. Here’s a list of activities to do in December:

Reflected-light-at-Sunrise-at-Arches-National-Park-Photo-Jeepers-800

National and State Parks Near Moab in December

Explore the two National Parks and one State Park in the Moab area. In December you can enjoy scenic drives or hiking trails at any time of day! Be prepared with winter clothing so you stay warm while exploring the parks in December. Here are some guides to help you plan your visit to these destinations in December:

moab giants museum in utah

Dinosaurs and Petroglyphs in Moab

The Moab Giants Museum is a MUST for anyone who loves dinosaurs! December is a great time to be outside walking along a trail of life-sized dinosaurs! There are also lots of places to see dinosaur tracks and petroglyphs in Moab too!

Corona Arch in Moab Utah

Moab Hiking Trails in December

In December you’ll enjoy most of the Moab Utah hiking trails to yourself!

Be prepared for trails to be muddy, snowy or icy if a storm rolls through. You may even need traction devices. Your hiking day pack needs to include water, sunscreen and chapstick even in the winter!

Our favorite day hikes in Moab are:

And of course you can’t beat the trails in the National and State Parks:

biking trail along the Colorado River in Moab Utah

Biking in Moab in December

In December you may be the only one out riding the Moab biking trails which is so nice! You can rent bikes in town and even join a Moab bike tour if you aren’t sure what trails to tackle!

Green River Overlook at Canyonlands National Park

Moab Area Photography in December

Moab is also a bucket list destination for photographers. Sunrise and sunset are the best times to photograph the areas around Moab because the light at this time creates a spectacular glow on the red rocks that’s so beautiful! In December you won’t need to get up “as early” or stay out “as late” as you do during the summer months which is nice!

We definitely recommend packing photographer gloves and having rechargeable hand warmers in your coat pockets!

We’ve created an Arches and Canyonlands Photography Guide detailing the best photo spots in these parks and our favorite 3 day itinerary some of our favorite ‘lesser known’ places to take pictures in Moab!

take jaw-dropping photos at Arches & Canyonlands

Moab Stargazing in December

When visiting Moab, you must take one evening to go outside and LOOK UP! In December the Milky Way is no longer visible in the northern hemisphere, but the endless sky of stars is jaw-dropping!

Arches, Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point are internationally recognized as one of the best places for stargazing because of the remote location, accessibility, altitude and clear skies.

Colorado River in Moab in the Winter

Moab’s Potash Road Scenic Drive in December

If you’re looking for beautiful views of the Colorado River, ancient rock petroglyphs, and dinosaur tracks, then drive the Potash Road! It’s stunning in the winter with the contrast of white snow against the red rocks!

It’s a 34 mile roundtrip drive along the Colorado River. Plan about 2 hours for the drive and stops to take pictures. We like going in the late afternoon so the canyon walls will glow with that deep orange color and reflect into the Colorado River.

jeep driving a trail across slickrock in moab utah

Off-roading in Moab in November

If you’re up for an adventure, plan to explore the off-road trails in Moab! Local tour companies offer 4×4 rentals for you to tackle the trails on your own. If you’re an inexperienced driver, we recommend you book a tour or have a guide ride along with you to navigate and teach. We have used and recommend Outlaw Jeep Tours. You can also book a guided 4WD tour in Moab where you sit back and let the driver navigate the trails!

Moab maps and travel guides

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