Moab is a ridiculously photogenic place to the point that, it’s hard to take a bad picture among the epic red rock canyons and beautiful rock formations.
And while the National Parks are great (and I definitely have them on this list), there are so many beautiful canyons, amazing natural arches, and scenery in general to explore all around Moab as well!
The Best Places to Take Photos in Moab
Arches National Park
Delicate Arch – If you’ve seen any photo of Moab, this is probably it. Not only is it an iconic spot for photos, it’s also plastered all over Utah on everything from signs to their state license plate. It’s a beautiful spot to be sure, but with all that fame come the crowds. I’d suggest going for sunrise for fewer people and that beautiful soft light. I’d also like to make a note to be real careful, the viewing area is a large horseshoe-shaped bowl with a drop off at the center. Cell phones slide real fast down that slick rock into the abyss. Not that I know from experience or anything :).
Devils Garden – There are eight arches along the eight-mile Primitive Trail loop, so plenty of opportunity for epic photos under arches. The Landscape Arch, the longest arch in the park is a little over a mile in on the trail and super easy to get to. Going past the Landscape Arch is a bit more difficult with steep drop offs and scrambling. But if you are feeling up for a challenge you’ll be rewarded with the Double O, Navajo, Partition, and Dark Angel Arches.
The Windows – It’s one of the first sections in the park with arches and the easiest to get to. Wander the mile long path to see the Turret Arch as well as the North and South Windows. You can climb up into the Turret Arch and North Window for some epic looking pictures too! You can also take an easy hike down to the Double Arch from the Windows parking lot for some more Arch photo options.
Canyonlands National Park
Mesa Arch – As another iconic spot, it tends to get quite crowded at sunrise because you can see the sun rising through the arch. I went mid-morning and it was still beautiful without a ton of people. The hike down to the Mesa Arch is an easy half mile walk and the trail is well worn and easy to follow.
Shafer Switchbacks/Shafer Canyon Overlook – From this overlook, you can see way down into Shafer Canyon as well as the epic looking dirt road switchbacks that meander down the canyon walls. If you have an offroad vehicle it’s worth a little adventure down the switchbacks, they take you to the bottom(ish) of the canyon and you can actually make your way back to town via the dirt roads and get some amazing views of the Colorado River from much closer than up on top of the canyon walls.
The Devils Kitchen – If you have an off-road vehicle and are into off-roading, don’t miss the Devils Kitchen! This beautiful area in the backcountry of the Needles District is filled with amazing rock formations, caves, and awesome hikes, as well as a backcountry campground.
However, getting out there is not for the faint of heart. Elephant Hill Trail is the 4×4 trail that takes you out there and it requires a backcountry permit from the park. It is rated ‘difficult’ according to most off-roading guides and has a lot of technical terrain to navigate. It’s definitely a full-day endeavor but, if you take on this adventure, the scenery will not disappoint.
Dead Horse Point State Park
It’s one of those Insta-famous spots, but for a reason, it’s amazing looking. Honestly, if I didn’t know any better I’d have thought I was looking at the Grand Canyon. The points sits above the Colorado River and looks over the expansive canyons and it’s epic!
If you’re wondering about the morbid name for such a beautiful spot, there’s a story behind it. In the late 1800s, cowboys would herd wild mustangs out to the point and corral them there using the landscape as a natural pen. With steep cliffs on three sides, it made keeping the horses fairly easy. At some point though, the herd got left there, with the small entrance to the point blocked off the horses couldn’t escape and eventually died from hunger and dehydration within sight of the Colorado River. Sad, yes, but it’s still a beautiful area.
The Corona Arch is not in the national parks and is an easy to moderate three-mile hike. I say moderate because there two sections that might be a little more than you bargained for. There is a spot where you have to climb up a ladder and then another area that you have to follow a rope lead up a steep incline. Neither of these sections is technically difficult but if you are a little squeamish with heights it’s good to be aware. Once you are at the arch you are able to walk right up to it and stand underneath the massive rock formation, which is pretty magnificent. There are also amazing views of the canyon as you look back towards the trailhead.
Greeting from Moab
A lovely little piece of street art in downtown Moab. It’s located on 200N and Main Street. It’s totally the quintessential Instagram pic to let everyone know where you are.
Kane Spring Road
Just outside the town of Moab, you can take Kane Spring Road out into the desert. There are epic vistas and canyons and desert scenery everywhere. It does turn into a dirt road but we were able to drive for quite a while on it without any special off-road capabilities on our vehicle. Just watch out for the occasional rut or pothole! All the scenery along the road is gorgeous, I think I made us pull over every ten minutes or so to get out and take photos.
This work of nature is two natural bridges sitting above a deep canyon. When you walk out to it you’d hardly realize there was anything there until you look down and realize you are on top of the bridges with amazing views all around. There are two ways to get to Gemini Bridges, there is an off-road trail starting off of Highway 191, this trail is rated easy and is used by mountain bikes, dirt bikes, 4x4s, and off-road vehicles. If you are not so keen on off-roading or don’t have the vehicle for it there is also a graded dirt road to the bridges off of highway 313. It is definitely at least a half-day trip so make sure to set aside some time for it.
Where ever you are in Moab you are sure to see some beautiful scenery. If you have any favorite places for photos let me know in the comments!
Some of my Favorite Camera Gear
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