Other Noteworthy Moab Sites To Visit
- Route 128, which follows the Colorado River north-east of Moab, follows the Colorado River through a 1,000-foot-deep canyon of blackened limestone with several scenic buttes and spires.
- Corona Arch, also called little Rainbow Bridge, is an inspirational stop with a moderately strenuous 3-mile, 440-foot elevation gain hike to a huge red sandstone arch that is supposed to yield side benefits of another smaller nearby arch , alcoves cut from under surrounding hills, and nice distant views.
Go Climbing At Indian Creek
Found about 55 minutes south of Moab, Indian Creek is one of the most popular climbing destinations in the United States and for good reason.
The picturesque sandstone walls surrounding this part of Utah are known for their high-quality grip on rocks, making it an area primarily used by experienced climbers who have mastered top roping but even beginners can find solace here thanks to the creeks more accessible routes.
La Sal Mountain Loop Road Moab Ut
La Sal Mountain Loop Road is a paved scenic byway that starts on US191 about six miles south of Moab. It continues north through the forests of La Sal Mountains and through Castle Valley and Upper Colorado River Scenic Byway the tour returns to Moab via Utah Highway 128.
The road travels through a variety of spectacular landscapes in the canyon country, and the entire loop is about 60 miles long and takes three hours to complete.
The highlights of the route include the Manti-La Sal National Forest with its views of 12,000 foot-peaks and red rock canyons, Big Bend Recreation Site with its many outdoor activities, and much more.
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Walk The Dinosaur Tracks Trail
Moab and the surrounding area were once home to dinosaurs, and there are many archaeological sites in this area devoted to uncovering dinosaur bones and fossils. Along the Dinosaur Tracks Trail, you can check out some huge footprints that were left by dinosaurs in prehistoric times. You will also see fossils embedded in the walls of the canyons along the way. The trail takes approximately 20 minutes to complete, and it leads you to the Colorado River. At the end of the trail, there is a museum that gives visitors more information about the dinosaurs that once lived in this part of the world.
Paddle Board / Kayak / Raft The Colorado River
We did not do either considering we visited during the colder months of April. But I loved watching the group of stand up paddle boarders cruising down the Colorado River.
I have also heard that a rafting trip on the Colorado River in the Moab area is one of the best things to do in Moab Utah.
Its definitely on my USA bucket list experience to raft the Colorado River anywhere, but ultimately through the Grand Canyon. Check out this rafting tour from Moab.
We also saw people whizzing by in a jet boat with arms held high and yelps at full pitch. Looked like a lot of fun. You can book the one hour tour here.
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Take A Dip In Mill Creek And See The Petroglyphs
Mill Creek is one of the best ways to beat the heat in the summer. The pristine crystal clear water flows from the nearby La Sal Mountains and offers numerous calm wading pools as well as deeper pools to jump in.
Dont miss the popular Mill Creek waterfall, a decent sized waterfall where people come to cool off and cliff jump when the water is deep enough.
Once youre done cooling off there are some nearby petroglyphs and pictographs that are just a short hike away.
Mill Creek is located just outside of Moab on Powerhouse lane, see map.
How To Get To Moab Utah
Moab does not have an airport, so youll have to fly into Canyonlands Field Airport.
Canyonlands Field Airport is just a twenty-minute drive from Moab, and you can rent a car on-site after you land. The airport has daily flights between Denver and Salt Lake City but is tiny with no facilities so dont expect lots of entertainment while you wait for your flight.
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What To Pack For Your Trip To Moab:
- Proper hiking shoes with a good grip Moab is famous for its red rock scenery, but the truth is, sometimes, the sandstone surface can be very slick, and you must have the proper footwear to avoid accidents
- Water bottle Always carry at least one gallon of water with you. This is especially true when you go for a hike during the day when it can be hot and dry. The last thing you want is to get dehydrated in the middle of the hike and turn around.
- Layers If you are visiting Moab during the shoulder season, its not uncommon to have cool weather in the morning and scorching sun by mid-day. Make sure to bring at least one long-sleeve top for sun protection, and a few t-shirts for your hike.
- Sunscreen the sun can be very strong in Moab even during fall and spring. If you are going to spend time outdoors, make sure to put on some sunscreen.
- Good hiking pants If you plan to spend a few days in Moab, make sure to bring a few pairs of shorts and one pair of long hiking pants on your trip.
- Light jacket or windbreaker Temperatures in Moab can get chilly in the evening depending on the season. Bring a jacket, if you visit Moab in spring or fall. A fleece will keep you warm while hiking in Moab during late fall and early spring.
- Swimsuit If you are visiting Moab in summer, make sure to bring a swimsuit, so you could take a rafting trip on the Colorado River or jump in the pool after a day of adventures.
Drive The Scenic Byway 128
With its vast open space and endless roadside views, its no surprise that Utahs Scenic byway 128 tops the list of the best driving routes in the state. Located just 45 minutes from Moab, this winding highway will take you through some of the most jaw-dropping scenery Utah has to offer.
Accessed from US route 191, the byway offers stunning views of canyons and arches as it winds its way through 320 million years of history home to ancient dinosaur footprints, human habitation, petroglyphs, and more.
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Find Some Fun Street Art
On your way into downtown Moab, its easy to spot the Insta-famous Moab mural. Grab a photo with it, and find other fun, artsy spots in the city.
You can find artwork throughout the streets of the town. Be on the lookout in unsurprising spots like the side of a gas station or car wash!
Make a day of it or just keep an eye out as you make your way around town. Its one of the most unique things to do in Moab, and is perfect, simple fun for any age.
Admire The Incredible Petroglyphs
If you love rock art, there is no better place to see petroglyphs than on the Needles Eye Trail in Canyonlands National Park. But far from the only noteworthy destination, you can also head southbound on US Highway 191 and check out the stunning red cliffs of Comb Wash, or drive northeast from Moab to Castle Valley for its very own intricate etchings .
However, the most famous site is hands-down Newspaper Rock, a few miles from Hanksville. Here, the 800-foot long wall contains over 1,500 figures and dates back some 1300 years!
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Go Back In Time At Moab Giants Dinosaur Park
Along the Dinosaur Tracks Trail at Utahs real-life Jurassic Park, you will have the opportunity to walk where dinosaurs once walked.
If you want to take your dinosaur knowledge out of the books and actually see where these beasts once roamed, the Dinosaur Trail and interactive Tracks Museum are well worth the visit.
With being open-air and Jurassic rock layers, this place does its best to make visitors feel the real spirit of dinosaurs.
Walk down Dinosaur Trail, Dig it Out at the Dino Playground, or Paleo Camp, or get surprised in the 5-D virtual aquarium.
Moab Giants Dinosaur Tracks Museum also offers impressive displays for dinosaur enthusiasts of all ages.
Best Things To Do In Moab Utah + A Bonus Moab Itinerary
Utah is one of the best states for those who love the outdoors, but with thousands of fun things to do in Moab alone, how do you decide what to fill your limited time with? Youre in the right place! Well take a look at what Moab is known for, what the top activities in Moab are, and how to build an awesome itinerary for Moab!
Lets start with what Moab is best known for. Any ideas? Its actually a bit difficult to answer as it is famous for so many things, like national parks, deep canyons, hundreds of rock arches, beautiful sunsets, adventure sports, and more! This means youll have plenty to keep you busy while youre exploring Moab. In fact, you wont want to miss the 6 best things to do in Moab!
Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase.
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Drive The Potash Road To Thelma & Louise Point
The Potash Road is a rugged, dirt road, but passable for most vehicles. It runs through some dramatic rock scenery with views out over the Colorado.
The road begins about four miles north of Moab, heading west off Highway 191. About five miles from the start of this route, you can see petroglyphs, and a little further on are some dinosaur tracks, but some of the most stunning views are much further on, beyond Intrepid Potash, where the paved road turns to gravel and becomes Highway 142.
This leads to what is commonly referred to as Thelma and Louise Point, the location for the final scene in the American movie Thelma and Louise. In this scene, a convertible is driven off the edge of a cliff, portrayed in the movie as being the Grand Canyon, but the filming actually took place at this location in Utah.
The area is not well sign-posted. A few miles before the point is a very small sign indicating it is a few miles to Thelma and Louise Point, but it’s easy to miss, so you should keep an eye out as you drive along. At the actual location is a flat gravel parking area and no guard rails or security barriers.
The view is incredible, but even if you miss the actual point, there are other pullouts along here that also lookout over the same scenery and they are all equally spectacular.
See Dinosaurs In Moab Giants Dinosaur Park
Its quickly becoming a popular tourist destination in the city, with its 3D cinema. The cinema shows documentary films showing the evolution and end of dinosaurs on our planet.
Of course, there are life-size installations of the replicas of different species of dinosaurs. Kids absolutely love this place, so if youre visiting with kids, do check out this park. The kids will enjoy the Tracks Museum and all the games and exhibits it has to offer.
This part of the town is actually known for dinosaur fossils. So you really feel and see what it was like when dinosaurs were around.
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Scenic Utah Byway 128
Monolithic Majesty! Scenic Byway 128, which is known by the locals as the River Road is one of the most interesting and breathtaking drives. On this 44 mile one way drive youll explore canyons carved by the Colorado River as you make your way through red rock country, with spectacular mesas, natural springs, and enough red rock to overwhelm the senses.
If youre looking for a quick hike along the drive hit up Grandstaff Canyon just 3 miles outside of Moab. This hike is a little over two miles one direction and leads to Morning Glory Natural Bridge. After your hike we recommend driving a bit further down Byway 128 till you hit Fisher Tower, a towering monolith famous in many western movies and a climbing spot for rock climbers. On your way back towards Moab the Red Cliffs Lodge makes for a great place to stop for lunch. While at the lodge check out The Moab Museum of Film and Western Heritage.
Interested in camping in Moab along Scenic Byway 128?
Our favorite river camping in Moab is at Big Bend Campground along the Colorado river on a beautiful white sand beach!
Afternoon: Cliffside Mountain Biking
Youll find Dead Horse Point State Park only about 35 minutes from Moab, and you cant miss it! There is a great campground here, too! We stayed a few days and loved being close to the magic.
Sure, you can take a scenic drive of the canyon here , but why go by car or even foot when you can BIKE it! This was one of our families Top 10 adventures in Utah!
Reserve your bikes from Bighorn Mountain Biking, and pick them up inside the park right near the trailhead. You have to be at the rental pick-up location before noon, and youve got three hours to enjoy on the trails. We fully planned to spend all three hours out there, but as novice riders we were spent after about 2.5 hours. But, we saw everything we wanted to see!
The team here will give you a trail map and guide you on the path that suites your experience level. For those who like to plan ahead, consider the route we took: Intrepid to Raven RollKeep going to Big Chief and then head back to home base via Pyramid.
I note for wary parentsthis biking adventure allows you to bike along the rim of the canyon. I was very nervous about it, especially because my guys are new mountain biking. The truth is that the trails are not too close to the edge. I felt safe the entire time along the trails I mention above. Anxious parent? You got this!
Now, before you leave the park after your mountain biking adventure, be sure to follow the main road to the end of the park for a view of Head Horse Point.
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Whats The Best Time To Visit Moab
Thanks to the incredible nature that surrounds this town, we would argue that the best time to visit Moab is spring and/or fall.
In spring, you will see plenty of flowers blooming everywhere, and the temperatures are quite comfortable, so its a great time to go hiking and just enjoy the great outdoors. Plenty of trails are all set for visitors, meaning you will have a great time no matter if youre on a bike or on foot.
Fall offers a similar experience, with mild temperatures, great trails, and beautiful nature, but the colors that come with the season give the area an almost surreal look. On top of that, there will be much fewer visitors afters summer.
Summers here are pretty hot, so you may not be able to hike as much as youd like, but Moab winters are absolutely magical! When the snow falls the whole scenery looks as if a fairytale has come alive, so if you dont mind the cold, by all means, visit Moab in winter.
Best Tours Of Arches From Moab
Camping in Arches National Park: The only campground at the Arches National Park is located in Devils Garden and as you might have guessed, its VERY hard to get a spot there. Your best bet is to stay in one of the campgrounds in Moab or go to a hotel.
PRO TIP: Check my guide on Utah National Parks, to help you plan your adventures after visiting Moab.
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Explore Canyonlands Islands In The Sky
Just north of Moab is Canyonlands. One section of this is called Islands in the Sky, and it is a spectacular place to visit. The first stop is the visitor center, where you can learn about the geography and geology of the area before setting out to explore. If you are there all day, then you should explore as much of the park as possible. However, if you only have a couple of hours to spare, then try the Mesa Arch trail. It is a short loop trail that leads to the Mesa Arch, which is one of the most photographed landmarks in Utah.