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Moab, Utah The West's Playground
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Scenic Byway 128 Colorado River

Meet Moab, Utah

Moab, Utah is a small town that is big on adventure. Many call Moab the “Adventure Capital of the West” with so many different ways to play and explore the immense natural playground that surrounds the town. As the gateway town to Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park visitors flock to Moab from all across the globe.

Truly there is nothing else on earth quite like Moab, Utah with forested and snow-capped mountains flanking one side of town and endless miles of the most spectacular red rock canyon country pretty much everywhere else! After a day of exploration, picture-taking, and river romping it’s nice to know that Moab’s downtown will take good care of you with great places to stay, places to eat, and even shop for that perfect souvenir item to remember your visit.

Unbelievable Beauty

"The startling beauty of this terrain is enough to leave even the most seasoned traveler frozen in the sand, blinking in disbelief."

Cindy Price, NY Times

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What to Do in Moab

So what can you do in Moab? Two of the most popular things to do in Moab are rafting the Colorado River and hiking in Arches National Park. There are hiking, biking, and off-road 4x4 trails in nearly every direction, right out of town. You can do many of these on your own, such as with a Jeep Rental, or choose from a variety of guided adventures. Playing tourist along Main Street is fun with shopping and dining opportunities. Also, don't overlook the joy of a self-guided scenic drive to any number of iconic and spectacular overlooks!

Check out our list of favorite things to do in Moab for a little help in choosing. For a view of all the guided tours in Moab, see our “Adventures” page.

30+ Guided Adventures

Moab Adventure Center Corner Sign

Guided tours near town include Hummer Safaris on Hell's Revenge Trail, Canyoneering in Ephedra's Grotto and Morning Glory Arch, a Zip Line, Rock Climbing, River Rafting and Jetboat rides on the Colorado River that practically rolls through town. You can even take to the skies with Scenic Air Tours or Hot Air Ballooning.

See Best Things to Do in Moab

Iconic Scenic Drives in Any Direction

Canyonlands National Park Dead Horse

Pick any highway leading out of town and you'll be rewarded with something spectacular. We've listed some self- guided scenic drives surrounding Moab. Among them are the overlook at Dead Horse Point, the LaSal mountain loop, and Mesa Arch or Grandview Point in Canyonlands National Park.

Best Scenic Drives in Moab

Main Street Moab

Moab Shopping

In downtown Moab you can enjoy a lively Main Street with shopping and dining that caters to the tourist tastes, but with a Moab flair. Enjoy Spas, local parks, and sometimes live entertainment. If you want museums, you will enjoy the Moab museum for cultural and natural history, the Moab Giants dinosaur museum, and the movie history museum at Red Cliffs Lodge along highway 128.

See Our Favorite Shops in Moab

Moab Hiking

Moab Arches National Park Hiker

So many hikes in Moab can be done without a Parks pass, without a river raft to get you there and back, and without any money whatsoever. All you need are capable feet, sturdy shoes, plenty of H20 and a little time. Check out our favorite hikes in Moab. You will also find that hiking is naturally included in many of the guided adventures like multi-day rafting trips, zipline, canyoneeringand even the guided van tour of Arches National Park.

SEE THE BEST HIKES NEAR MOAB

Moab Bike Trails

Mac Biking Courthouse Couple

Moab is perhaps, the greatest biking destination on the planet. Moab offers an incredible array and ever growing number of trails varying from beginner to expert. Add in the unimaginable and unbeatable scenery, and it’s no wonder bikers from across the globe salivate when they hear the word Moab.

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Moab Jeep Trails

Moab Utah Jeep Blazing

Once you’ve explored Moab by Jeep, you’ll be hooked. The sheer beauty of the landscape and the variety of trails, have made Moab an off-road legacy. Whether you rent a Jeep, bring your own, or go on a guided tour, with hundreds of miles of old mining roads, and 4x4 trails, you’ll always have a reason to return. Or, just stay and continue the adventure.

MOAB JEEP TRAILS
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Our Most Popular Moab Adventures

Moab, Utah Key Area Information

Throughout our website you will find information on all the "must know" things about Moab, Utah. We've compiled the key information here, but please click through to find what you need to make the most of Moab!

Moab Hotels and Places to Stay

Moab has a variety of hotels, motels, vacation rentals, and even a few river ranch resorts to choose from. Reserving a room in Moab can be a difficult task if you aren’t planning ahead. Use our resource pages of hotels in Moab, Utah to find a place to stay according to proximity to downtown shops and restaurants or nearest to the Colorado River and Arches National Park. There is something for everyone in Moab and lodging options are no different, but book early!

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RV Parks and Camping in Moab

There are nearly a dozen RV parks and more than two dozen BLM campgrounds in and around Moab, Utah. Add a few more campgrounds maintained by the La Sal National Forest Service, campgrounds and yurts in the State Parks and National Park campsites and you’ve got a lot of ground you can call home for 14 days at a time. Add private campgrounds like Moab Under Canvas, dispersed BLM camping where no facilities are provided, and the campouts provided with multi-day river rafting expeditions along the rivers near Moab, and your options can seem unbound. No doubt, camping is a very popular thing to do in the Moab area. This is partly due to the warm dry climate that keeps the camping much more pleasant than in many other parts of the country. During the winter months, however, it can get very cold in the high desert, so always be sure to check the local weather reports.

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Restaurants and Places to Eat

Grabbing a quick bite to eat as you head out for an adventure, sitting down in a charming eatery after a day filled with adventure, or even a scenic romantic atmosphere, Moab, Utah will have something for you. We’ve made a list of restaurants and places to eat around Moab that help you make plans for something different each night of your stay. Thai? Mexican? Pizza? It’s all here, we can help you find the best places to eat in this fun tourist-oriented town.

Top Rated Restaurants in Moab

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National Parks Near Moab, Utah

As mentioned, Moab is the gateway town to both Arches National Park (just 5 minutes north of town), and Canyonlands National Park that sprawls for mile after square mile toward the west of town. Arches National park is easy to drive the highway in and out of the park to easy access points of interest. A guided van tour can help you get an overview of the park’s most popular stops, and then you can return on your own to hike a little further from the road to places like Delicate Arch or Landscape Arch. Canyonlands, by contrast, has two access points by car that are disjointed from each other - separated by the vast gulf created by the Colorado River. Our recommended way of exploring Canyonlands is by way of the Colorado River on a rafting expedition. Air tours from Moab to Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Grand Staircase National Monument are available, as well as air tours over Arches and Canyonlands. Driving distances to other national parks near Moab are as follows: Capitol Reef (145 miles or 2.5 hrs), Bryce Canyon (263 miles or 4.5 hrs), Zion National Park (326 miles or 5.5 hrs) and Grand Canyon National Park (300+ miles or 6 hrs).

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Best Time to Visit Moab

Ask a local and they will tell you there is always something magical about the fall in Moab. But that could be that the summer crowds have diminished and they feel the town is theirs again. Hold them to it and they might start talking about how cool it is to see the desert flowers bloom in the spring as temperatures warm. Then ask them about rafting and they will say the long days of summer are awesome... For more concrete answers, check out our Weather in Moab page, ask yourself which activities you most want to do, and judge for yourself!

The primary tourist season in Moab, Utah is throughout the summer months of June, July and August. Temperatures in these hotter summer months are prime season for river rafting for multiple nights and days in the longer expedition-level rafting trips in nearby Cataract Canyon and Desolation Canyon. The popular single-day and half-day rafting trips on the Colorado River run from April through October.

The cooler temperatures in the “shoulder seasons” of spring and fall are ideal times for activities such as hiking, biking, and off-roading. In the summer months, these activities are best done in the cooler temperatures of mornings and evenings. Making a mid-day siesta at the hotel poolside a delight all it's own. Keep in mind that the longer days of summer amount to more daylight hours for adventurous activities, while the best “golden hour” light of sunrise and sunset arrives earlier in spring and fall. See these blog posts for a month-to month breakdown for the best time of year in Moab.

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Where is Moab, Utah? Get a Map!

Moab, Utah is located in Grand Country among the rugged and remote cliffs and plateaus along Utah’s sparsely populated eastern border. Highway 191 makes up Moab’s Main Street and connects toward the north across the Colorado River to Interstate 70 where Denver, Colorado lies 5 hours to the east, Salt Lake City 4 hours to the north, and Las Vegas 7 hours to the southwest.

Download a Moab Map

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Moab Airport - Getting to Moab

Moab is home to the Canyonlands Field Airport (CNY) where direct flights from Denver are available. The airport is roughly 10 miles from town and shuttles or rental cars are available. We do recommend having your own rental car while in Moab since shuttles, taxi-cabs and Uber type services are still mostly unavailable in this growing town. There are pick-up services available at some hotels for a guided van tour of Arches and other guided tours such as canyoneering, Hummer safaris and more. Much of downtown (a relatively small area) is accessible on foot. If you plan to take scenic drives through Arches, to Dead Horse Point or Canyonlands overlooks, you will want a rental car of your own.

Resources for Getting to Moab

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Sun Divider DarkFree Insiders Guide to Moab, UT

What to take, where to eat, where to stay, what to do, and a few little secrets on the side. Not unlike your own personal Jiminy Cricket, (minus the worries of the little guy getting smooshed) the Moab Insiders Guide will provide you with all the essentials for a perfect Moab experience.

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