Located in southeastern Utah, the town of Moab is surrounded by stunning red rocks that create a beautiful backdrop for any outdoor activity.
From ATV rides in the desert to camping trips under starry skies, there are plenty of opportunities for adventure when visiting Moab in the summer.
This Moab Utah Vacation Guide will detail everything you need to know to plan your summer vacation: weather, activities, what to pack, where to stay and more!
June, July and August are HOT months to visit Moab, but we’ve got tips to help you enjoy all the outdoor activities during the summer.
It’s important to stay hydrated and use sun protection. Use our Moab, Utah packing list to make sure you have the right clothing and gear for your summer trip. Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!
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Moab Summer Packing List
- 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.
- Wear light colored, loose fitting UV protection clothing that does not absorb sunlight.
- Avoid sun burn by wearing a sunhat and by generously applying sunscreen to any parts of your body that are exposed to the sun.
- 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!
Visiting Moab in the Summer
Expect HOT temperatures during the day. You’ll want to plan outdoor activities in the mornings and evenings when it’s a bit cooler. We like to spend the hot daytime hours enjoy the hotel AC or pool!
Summer is a popular time to go so it WILL be crowded. Expect higher prices for accommodations and long lines at the restaurants! The national parks, state parks, overlooks, hiking trails and points of interest will also be packed with people.
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 Weather in the Summer
The Moab weather and temperatures during the summer months are brutal.
Arches & Canyonlands AUDIO TOUR
“Download the app to your phone – no cell or wifi service needed. Based on your GPS location, the app takes you on a guided tour of the park and points out all the interesting features and stops. It’s like having a park ranger in the car with you.”
Things To Do in Moab in the Summer
If you love the outdoors, then Moab should be at the top of your list of places to visit in Utah! Here’s a list of Moab summer activities we recommend:
Moab History and Geology
There’s some cool history and geology around the Moab area. Moab Giants Museum is a must-visit for anyone who loves dinosaurs!
- Moab Giants Museum
- Moab Museum
- Moab Museum of Film and Western Heritage
- Amazing Petroglyphs in Moab
- Dinosaur Sites Near Moab
National and State Parks Near Moab
The Moab area has two National Parks and one State Park to explore: scenic drives, hiking and camping. Here’s what you can expect at these Utah National Parks in the summer:
- Arches National Park in the Summer
- Arches National Park Summer Activities
- Canyonlands National Park in the Summer
- Canyonlands National Park Summer Activities
- Dead Horse Point State Park
Summer River Rafting, Paddleboarding and Kayaking in Moab
River rafting and kayaking are great summer activities to enjoy in Moab! You’ll find all types of Moab rafting trips to float along the Colorado River.
You can also do stand-up paddleboarding in the calmer waters of the Colorado River close to Moab. There are local companies that rent kayaks and paddleboards.
Moab Summer Hikes
Here’s a list of the best Moab summer hikes. The morning is the best time to hike in Moab when the temperatures are cooler. It’s important to stay hydrated and wear a sunhat and sunscreen!
Our favorite trails in Moab are:
And of course the trails in the National and State Parks:
- Arches National Park Summer Hikes
- Canyonlands National Park Summer Hikes
- Dead Horse Point State Park Hiking Trails
Biking in Moab in the Summer
The biking trails around Moab are some of the best in the world! Summer is a busy time of year so be prepared to share the trails. Get out early to enjoy the cooler weather and avoid the crowds. Join a Moab bike tour to explore the amazing landscape in the area! You can rent bikes in Moab so you don’t need to pack your own!
Moab Photography in the summer
The best times for Moab photography are sunrise and sunset. The colors are vibrant and the light creates a spectacular glow on the red rocks that cannot be missed.
In the summer you may experience “heat shimmer” in your photos, or smoke in the air from wildfires in the western US.
CHECK OUT our Arches and Canyonlands Photography Guide! We share our favorite 3 day itinerary some of our favorite ‘lesser known’ places to take pictures in Moab!
Remember that if you want pictures at the most popular sites without people getting in the way, early morning is the best time to be out taking pictures!
- Best Sunrise in Moab
- Sunrise at Arches National Park
- Sunset at Arches National Park
- Canyonlands Sunrise
- Canyonlands Sunset
Download our camera gear checklist!
Summer Stargazing in Moab
When you’re visiting the Moab area you MUST take one evening to go outside and LOOK UP!
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.
Summer is a fantastic time see or photograph the Milky Way! The times the Milky Way is visible during the summer months are:
- June – 10:30 pm to 3:30 am
- July – 10:30 pm to 3:45 am
- August – 9:03 pm to 1:30 am
Moab Scenic Drives in the Summer
Check out all the beautiful drives you can enjoy in the Moab the area.
Potash-Lower Colorado River Scenic Byway – the 34-mile round-trip drive is a terrific half-day excursion from the Moab area to see great views of the Colorado River, ancient rock art, and dinosaur tracks. Potash Road or the Lower Colorado Scenic Byway runs along the Colorado River and ends at the border of Canyonlands National Park. We recommend this drive in the late afternoon when the red rocks glow and reflect in the river!
Watch for signs and pullouts indicating petroglyphs. And look for the “Dinosaur Tracks” sign and turnout. A short hike takes you to a series of three-toed dinosaur tracks. You’ll be amazed at all the dinosaur tracks in Moab you can find.
Arches National Park Scenic Drive – the full 43-mile scenic drive, including the spur roads, takes 2 to 3 hours. Add more time if you plan to walk around and take photos or do any hiking at any of the stops.
Canyonlands Island in the Sky Scenic Drive – you’ll definitely want to have your camera ready to capture the beauty you’ll see at all 10 overlooks along this drive!
Located near Needles Canyonlands you’ll find two stunning places to see views of Needles, Island in the Sky, Dead Horse Point, and the Moab area!
Off-roading in Moab in the Summer
Moab off-roading can’t be beat! Local tour companies offer 4×4 rentals for you to tackle the trails on your own. But for inexperienced drivers, we recommend you book a tour or have a guide ride along with you to navigate and teach.
Moab Camping in the Summer
There are a variety of ways to camp in the Moab area in May: RV Parks and Campgrounds, National Park Campgrounds, State Park Campgrounds, and BLM camping.
- Arches National Park Camping
- Island in the Sky Campgrounds
- Needles Canyonlands Camping
- Dead Horse Point State Park Camping
- BLM Campgrounds in the Moab area
If camping is not your thing, here are many types of accommodations to choose from in Moab: budget-friendly hotels to higher-priced resorts. You’ll also find vacation rentals, a hostel, campgrounds and RV parks in Moab.