There are many Moab winter activities to enjoy during the off-season. Winter is one of our favorite times to visit because there are fewer visitors and the rates to stay are lower than any other time of the year.
Use this Moab Utah Vacation Guide to plan a trip in the winter: weather, activities, what to pack, where to stay and more!
You’ll find many things to do in Moab in the winter like scenic drives, hiking, biking, and photography!
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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Winter Packing List for Moab, Utah
- Waterproof hiking boots
- Heavy wool socks – we LOVE Darn Tough Socks!
- Traction device with trekking poles
- Wicking and quick-drying base layers
- Fleece jacket
- Wool, down or heavy-weight insulated jacket
- Insulating hat
- Insulating winter gloves
- Fleece neck gaiter or buff
- WATER – water bottles or hydration backpack
- FOOD – healthy snacks
- Flashlight or headlamp
- Lip protection with sunscreen
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!
Moab Winter Weather
Moab is about 4,000 feet above sea level so it does get cold in the winter, even if the sun is out. The Moab weather in the winter is cold and unpredictable, especially when a rain or snow storm rolls through.
Here’s what to expect during the winter months:
- 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 roads in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks 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 Arches National Park current weather conditions on the NPS website and updated photographs of trail conditions at the Arches visitor center.
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 Winter Activities
Moab is one of the most popular places to visit in Utah to enjoy the outdoors.
You’ll be able to enjoy many outdoor Moab adventures and activities, even in the winter.
Here’s a list of winter activities you can do in Moab!
Arches, Canyonlands, and Dead Horse Point in the Winter
The one must-do when you’re in Moab is visiting the two National Parks and the one Utah State Park near Moab.
Explore the scenic drives and hiking trails… and don’t forget to take pictures of these scenic parks!
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
Moab Historical Sites
Get to know the history and the geography of the area around Moab, especially the petroglyphs and dinosaur tracks you can see!
- Moab Giants Museum
- Moab Museum
- Moab Museum of Film and Western Heritage
- Amazing Petroglyphs in Moab
- Dinosaur Sites Near Moab
Moab Biking in the Winter
Winter is a great time to bike around Moab and not worry about crowded trails or getting too hot like you do during the summer and fall.
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 Winter Hikes
There are many Moab Utah hiking trails to explore in the winter. It’s a terrific way to see and photograph this scenic area filled with sandstone arches, pinnacles, petroglyphs and even dinosaur prints!
You will find trails for all hiking levels at the National and State Parks near Moab as well:
- Arches National Park Hiking Trails
- Canyonlands National Park Hikes
- Dead Horse Point State Park Hiking Trails
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
Moab Winter Photography
We love it when it snows in Moab so we can photograph the white snow against the red rock.
Be sure you have your winter photography gear and clothing so the cold mornings and evenings are bearable! We recommend at a minimum:
- insulated jacket
- lens warmer
- microfiber lens cleaning cloth
- photographer gloves
- rechargeable hand warmers!
If you’re SERIOUS about photography in Moab, check out our Arches & Canyonlands 3 Day Itinerary & Photography Guide
Moab Winter Stargazing
Yes, it will be cold at night, but you really should take a night for stargazing. Leave the city of Moab and just look up to see a sky full of stars!
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!
Potash-Lower Colorado River Scenic Byway in the Winter
Winter is a nice time of year to see the white snow against the red rocks while driving the Potash-Lower Colorado River Scenic Byway.
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 starting and ending in Moab. Plan about 2 hours to complete the trip.
Moab Sand Hill
Kids and adults love the Moab sand hill. It’s a fun Moab activity any time of year!
You’ll find the 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!
Moab Utah Tours and Resources
Where to Stay in Moab
There 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.