Visiting Moab in the winter is our favorite time because it’s the off-season. There are fewer visitors and the rates to stay are lower than any other time of the year.
There are still many things to do in Moab in the winter like scenic drives and even hiking and biking!
Here’s our list of things to do, what to pack and where to stay when going on a winter trip to Moab.
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WHAT TO PACK FOR A TRIP TO MOAB
FREE DOWNLOAD: Moab, Utah 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.
- 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 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!
MOAB WEATHER IN THE WINTER
The weather at Moab in the winter is cold and unpredictable if a storm rolls through. Remember that Moab is about 4,000 feet above sea level so it does get cold in the winter, even if the sun is out.
- Moab in December: high 45 / low 22 – 3 days rain/snow
- Moab in January: high 44 / low 22 – 3 days rain/snow
- Moab in February: high 52 / low 26 – 3 days rain/snow
After a snow storm, the Arches and Canyonlands roads might be closed for plowing for a few hours. Keep in mind that the roads, parking lots, and pullouts in the parks can still be icy, especially in shaded areas.
You can see current weather conditions at Arches on the NPS website and updated photographs of trail conditions at the Arches visitor center.
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 Winter
Moab is one of the most popular places to visit in Utah to enjoy the outdoors.
There are so many exciting Moab adventures and activities, even in the winter months.
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.
National and State Parks Near Moab in the Winter
The one must-do when you’re in Moab is visiting the National Parks and the Utah State Park by Moab. These guides can help you plan your trip to these parks in the winter!
- Arches National Park in the Winter
- Canyonlands National Park in the Winter
- Dead Horse Point State Park
History and Geography of Moab
Get to know the history and the geography of the area by visiting these places:
- Moab Giants Museum
- Moab Museum
- Moab Museum of Film and Western Heritage
- Amazing Petroglyphs in Moab
- Dinosaur Sites Near Moab
Biking in Moab in the Winter
Biking at Moab has become a big thing! Winter is a great time to bike all day and not worry about getting too hot.
If there’s been a rain or snow storm, the trails could be muddy, snowy or icy so check conditions before heading out.
You can also join a Moab bike tour to explore the amazing landscape in the area!
Moab Hikes in the Winter
The Moab Utah hiking trails are out of this world. There is so much landscape to explore right around the city.
If you are looking for some of the best hiking you definitely want to explore the trails in the National and State Parks near Moab where you will find trails for all hiking levels.
In the winter trails may be muddy, snowy or icy and you may need traction devices. Your hiking day pack needs to include water, sunscreen and chapstick even in the winter!
- Day Hike Checklist
- What to Bring on a Hike
- Photography Gear for Hiking
- Hiking Gear for Kids & Tips for Hiking with Kids
Photographing Moab in the Winter
We love photographing the white snow against the red rock in Moab in the winter. So be sure to pack your camera and download our camera gear checklist so you don’t forget anything.
Plan to take pictures during the sunrise and sunset hours when the sun on the red rocks is vibrant and glowing!
→ We highly recommend this if you’re SERIOUS about photography in Moab: Arches & Canyonlands 3 Day Itinerary & Photography Guide
Moab Area Stargazing in the Winter
You want to reserve at least one night while visiting for stargazing. Leave the city of Moab and just look up and you will find a truly spectacular show in the sky.
Arches, Canyonlands, and Dead Horse are all International Dark Sky Parks which makes them absolutely perfect for seeing thousands of stars in the sky. In the winter the Milky Way isn’t as visible as it is during the other times of year!
Moab Scenic Byway: Potash Road in the Winter
Winter is a nice time of year to see the white snow against the red rocks while driving the Potash Road. Enjoy the beautiful views of the Colorado River, ancient rock petroglyphs, and even dinosaur tracks along this scenic byway. This drive is 34 miles roundtrip and will take about 2 hours.
Run Down the Dunes Near Moab
Kids and adults love the Moab sand dunes. There is a large sand hill on the side of the road across from the entrance to Arches. It’s totally free to sled, roll or run down sand!
CHECK OUT our list of more kid-friendly things to do in Moab!