When I think of Moab I think of epic scenery and outdoor adventure. The small high desert town is flanked by two national parks, a state park, and tons of BLM land to explore. If you like getting into nature you are going to love Moab.
Here are some of the best outdoor adventures to have in Moab. From hiking to off-roading to white water rafting your adventure can be as easy or extreme as you want.
Moab has no shortage of hiking trails. There are tons of trails in the national and state parks. There are also plenty of trails outside the parks as well. If you’re looking to see epic sandstone arches, grand vistas, and deep canyons hiking is one of the best ways to do so. Here are a few of my favorite ones:
- The Devils Garden Loop Trail: In Arches National Park, about eight miles, rated difficult, loop trail, seven arches to see.
- Delicate Arch Trail: In Arches National Park, about four miles, rated moderate, out and back trail, ends at the famous Delicate Arch.
- Jeep Arch Trail: Not in a park, about four miles, rated moderate, loop trail, Jeep-shaped arch about halfway through the loop, dogs are allowed.
- Corona Arch Trail: Not in a park, about two and a half miles, rated moderate, out and back trail, ends at the Corona Arch.
- Fisher Towers Trail: Not in a park, about five miles, rated moderate, out and back trail, dogs are allowed, get to see epic red rock towers, and sweeping vistas.
Moab is home to some of the best mountain biking in the country. There are mountain bike trails for all skill levels and experiences. Whether you’re a total newb or a complete badass, Moab’s got trails for you. Moab is probably most known for its slickrock trails but there are plenty of other kinds of trails to ride as well. Here are a few:
- Slickrock Trail: Most famous trail, five miles, loop trail, rated beginner to moderate.
- The Whole Enchilada: Another very famous trail, 34 miles, point to point trail, rated difficult, there is a 1,000 ft climb.
- Klondike Bluff Network: Not just a single trail but a network, 50 miles of trail, rated beginner to advanced.
As you drive out highway 279 along the Colorado River you’ll notice climbers on the steep canyon walls right along the highway. Climbers come from all over the world to climb Moab’s unique sandstone. There are thousands of routes to choose from so unless you know the area super well I’d say your best bet is to grab yourself a guide and get out there and climb some rocks! Depending on your climbing experience there are companies that offer instruction for beginners or just guiding for more advanced climbers. Here are some good companies:
- Moab Adventure Center: Good for beginners or those needing a climbing refresher course.
- Moab Desert Adventures: Offer both beginner and advanced climbing classes as well as guiding.
- The Mountain Guides Utah: Offer both climbing classes as well as guiding.
- Moab Canyon Tours: Offer both climbing classes and guiding.
Off-roading might seem a little red-neck-y to the average city dweller, but it is a whole lot of fun! Moab’s got tons of 4×4 trails to explore depending on what you are comfortable driving, the difficulty of the trail, and where you want to go. There are plenty of ATV rentals and tours to do, my friends did a self-guided tour with ATV rentals from Moab Tour Company and had a blast. My 4Runner is set up for off-roading so if you have an off-road capable vehicle that is also an option. Rob and I took the 4Runner out on few trails, we used the Moab Backroads & 4-Wheel-Drive Trails guide book to plan our routes. The book was super helpful with trail ratings and mile by mile points of interest and obstacles.
Here are some fun off-roading trails:
- Gemini Bridges: About 13 miles, rated easy, can be a point to point or an out and back
- Hurrah Pass: About three and a half miles, rated easy, out and back
- White Rim: In Canyonlands National Park, permit required, about 70 miles, rated moderate, point to point.
- Hell’s Revenge: In Sand Flats Recreation Area, permit required, six and a half miles, rated difficult, loop.
- Elephant Hill: In Canyonlands National Park, permit required, 14.5 miles, rated difficult, loop.
Getting in a river is a great way to cool down from that desert heat. If you are feeling adventurous try white water rafting on the Colorado River. Adrift Adventures and Red River Adventures both have half and full-day rafting excursions. If you are looking for some river time that is a bit mellower try going for a kayak or stand-up paddleboard. Wild West Voyages offers both kayak and paddleboard rentals and tours for a good time in the water.
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