Outdoor Activities and Things to Do in Moab Utah

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

There are so many outdoor activities and things to do in Moab like mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, river rafting, and off-roading in Jeeps and ATVs.

visiting moab utah things to do

Moab is located in southeastern Utah near Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and Dead Horse Point State Park

Here’s our list of things to do, what to pack, where to stay and more to plan your Moab vacation!

get the free road trip planner
Some of the links on this site are affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, we may earn a small commission – at no extra cost to you! Read the full Disclosure Policy.

WHAT TO PACK FOR A TRIP TO MOAB

Outdoor Gear we recommend! Travel Gear & Hiking Gear

outdoor gear we use

Best Time To Visit Moab

Here’s what you need to know to determine the best time to visit Moab for YOU.

Spring and fall are the peak times to visit Moab since the temperatures are more mild. Keep in mind the town, parks and trails will all be busy so be prepared for crowds.

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.

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!

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

How To Get to Moab, Utah

There are 3 ways to get to Moab: via Salt Lake City, Utah; Grand Junction, Colorado or Las Vegas, Nevada.

THINGS TO DO IN MOAB

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.

Visit National Parks Near Moab

Visiting Arches National Park you’ll see arches, spires, fins and balanced rocks!

People of all ages and abilities can see and explore the park. You can see many features from the Arches National Park scenic drive and parking lots.

Moab outdoor adventures include exploring Arches National Park

Arches National Park hiking trails are perfect for the avid hiker, causal visitor and families traveling with kids. The more advanced hiker will enjoy difficult and primitive trails like Devil’s Garden trail which lead to serenity away from the crowds.

Arches National Park photography is best early or late in the day when the red rocks glow with vibrant color. We enjoy sunrise and morning photography when there aren’t as many people in the park at that time.

take jaw-dropping photos at Arches & Canyonlands

Canyonlands National Park Island in the Sky is the closest district to Moab. You can hike to Mesa Arch, drive the Schaeffer Switchbacks and photograph the views along the Island in the Sky scenic drive that are 2,000 feet above the Colorado River.

Watch the sunrise at Canyonlands near Moab, Utah.

The Needles district is about an hour south of Moab. There are fun things to do at Needles Canyonlands like 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.

Visit Dead Horse Point State Park Near Moab

The Utah State Parks are stunning! Dead Horse Point State Park is an iconic location to see the panoramic vistas and the bend in the Colorado River. Photographers come from around the world to capture this landscape scene.

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

The side trip near the entrance to Canyonlands Island in the sky, and the State Park fee, are worth the visit! You can explore the Dead Horse Point State Park hiking trails or biking trails. It’s a terrific place to camp as well!

Explore Hiking Trails in Moab

Many of the best Moab Utah hiking trails are found in the National and State Park boundaries. But there are many 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 1.5-miles over a slickrock landscape marked with cairns. The trail gains 440 feet in elevation, most of it coming on a few short, steep scrambles equipped with steel cables (a trail version of handrails) for support.

The trail also leads to Bow Tie Arch and beautiful views of the Colorado River. The trail is suitable for all ages and levels of hiker. We recommend hiking in the early morning or early evening due to the lack of shade.

Your hiking day pack needs to include water, sunscreen and chapstick!

Ride the Biking Trails in Moab

Moab mountain biking has become a popular activity to explore the area.

There are a variety of trails for any experience level, from beginners looking for a scenic ride through beautiful canyons and mesa tops, to seasoned bikers looking for the ultimate challenge.

Moab is known for the world famous Slickrock Bike Trail. It’s a challenging 9.6 mile trail that’s highly technical and considered by many to be the ultimate mountain biking experience.

Join a bike tour to explore the amazing landscape in Moab!

Off-Roading in Moab

The best time to go off-roading in Moab is usually spring and fall. During these seasons the weather stays pretty mild and sunny. However, these are also peak times for tourism, so the trails will be very busy.

Moab has world-famous offroad 4x4 trails.

Tours are the best way to see the scenery and enjoy the thrill of off-roading, especially if you’re intimidated by the vehicles and terrain.

But if you’re feeling a little on the adventurous side, book 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 the trail.

We have used and recommend Outlaw Jeep Tours for the Drive Along Tour. MUST-HAVE: Moab, Utah Offroad Trail Guides and Maps!

Drive the Moab Scenic Byway: Potash Road

The Potash Road is a Scenic Byway where you can see great views of the Colorado River, ancient rock art, and dinosaur tracks.

We recommend you begin the drive in the late afternoon so you can see the glowing color on the red sandstone cliffs as the sun sets. The scenic byway is a 34 -mile round-trip drive to Jug Handle Arch and back to Moab. Plan two hours for the trip with stops to take photos.

Reflection of red rocks in the Colorado River along Potash Road in Moab.

Potash Road begins about 4 miles north of Moab, where it turns off of Highway 191. Soon the road enters the deep gorge of the Colorado River. Look for rock climbers on the cliffs that locals refer to as Wall Street.

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. READ to find more dinosaur tracks in the area.

The final attraction on the road is Jug Handle Arch. Beyond this, the road becomes rough and requires a 4WD vehicle. It connects with the Shaefer Trail in Canyonlands.

Photograph Moab

You definitely want to pack your camera to take pictures of the stunning Moab landscape. Download our camera gear checklist!

fisher-towers-moab-utah-sunset-photo-jeepers-960x640

Sunrise and sunset hours are the best for photography because the reflected light on the red rocks is so vibrant!

→ We highly recommend this photography guide if you’re SERIOUS about taking photos in Moab: 3 Day Itinerary & Photography Guide

Stargazing in Moab

Stargazing is a MUST-DO activity while you’re in Moab. It’s home to many Dark Sky locations like Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and Dead Horse Point.

All three locations 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.

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

The slogan “Half the Park is After Dark” encourages visiting these National Parks in Utah at night and simply LOOK UP!

During the spring, summer and fall the Milky Way is visible!

White Water Rafting in Moab

Rafting the mighty Colorado River is a thrill and a wonderful way to enjoy the scenery around the Moab area.

Red raft going down rapids on a river - white water river rafting

You can enjoy this fun Moab adventure by taking half-day, full-day or even multi-day rafting trips. This activity is perfect for families or groups of friends.

If you want to enjoy calm waters, there are sections of the river where you can do stand up paddleboarding.

Visit Moab Giants

Moab Giants Dinosaur Park is a cool attraction for kids and adults! Explore the outdoor trail and walk along 100 life-sized dinosaurs. They have dinosaur egg wagons to transport the kids. How cool is that!?

Moab Giants dinosaur museum

This fun attraction in Moab also includes a 5D PaleoAquarium, Tracks Museum and playground. We recommend you go in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the scorching heat of the sun.  

Moab maps and guides at Amazon:

moab maps guides

MOAB TOURS, HOTELS AND RESOURCES

travel planning made easy optin

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.