Unforgettable Things To Do In Moab, Utah

Red rock canyons cut through the earth as sandstone spires stretch into the stary skies of Moab, Utah. This place – simply put – is GORGEOUS. There is no lack of things to do in Moab.

In fact, you can visit countless times and still find something new to explore. With this list of amazing things to see in Moab, you’ll have plenty of inspo to plan the perfect Moab adventure.

Even though I hail from Colorado, I’ve been to Moab more times than I can count. Throughout the five years of coming to this magical landscape, I’ve amassed a wealth of near-local knowledge you can’t find anywhere else.

About this Guide of the Best Things to Do in Moab

It doesn’t matter if you’re a hard-core crack climber or looking for that Insta-worthy desert backdrop, there’s something for everyone in Moab.

I’m giving you the inside scoop on things to do in Moab to itch that adventurous scratch. Inside you’ll find:

  • Info about how may days to spend in Moab during your Denver to Moab road trip
  • When is the best time to visit Moab?
  • Incredible things to do in Moab
  • Free things to do in Moab
  • Dog-friendly things to do in Moab
  • Prices and durations for each activity
  • Info on Moab’s national parks
  • Tips on the best time for each activity
  • Quick tips for visiting Moab
  • Additional planning resources
Things to do in Moab

How Many Days Should I Spend in Moab?

You’ll want to spend at least 2 full days in Moab if you plan on visiting both national parks. Ideally, 3 to 5 days will let you experience almost all of the best things to do in Moab, including a few guided splurges.

You can visit Moab over a weekend, but be prepared to skip a lot and be dying to return.

Pro Tip: Visit at different times of the year. I come to the Moab area at least 6 times a year and every season offers different activities.

When is the Best Time to Visit Moab?

The absolute best times to visit Moab are from about mid-October through early May.

Summers are crowded and so hot that you really can’t do much in the afternoons. Not to mention, daily monsoon rains frequently wash out roads and make hiking and climbing dangerous due to brittle rock and flash flood hazards.

Fall and spring are ideal times to visit since the weather is warm and generally drier (fall is drier and less windy than spring).

Winters in Moab are the ideal time to visit if you don’t plan on camping (or you can handle sub-freezing overnight lows) and you want to avoid the crowds and high tourist prices.

What to Do in Moab Besides Arches?

When many people think of things to do in Moab, they automatically think of Arches National Park. Arguably, Arches is the top attraction in Moab for a reason, but there are countless other things to do in Moab besides Arches.

In fact, this post only mentions Arches National Park a handful of times. Other top things to do in Moab that you can’t do in arches include:

  • Scenic off-road driving
  • 4×4 driving
  • mountain biking
  • rock climbing
  • visiting other parks in the area: Dead Horse Point State Park and Canyonlands National Park
Things to do in Moab Map
Grab the interactive version here.

Things to Do in Moab with Dogs

Although my old doggo Nina (she’s no longer with us) has been to Moab more times than I can count, Moab isn’t exactly the most dog-friendly place. You cannot bring your dog into Arches or Canyonlands National Parks. Not to mention, leaving your dog in the car or camping with your dog in the extreme heat of summer is hazardous to your pet’s health.

But spring, winter, and fall visits can certainly be dog-friendly. Here are some of the top activities for you and Fido:

  • Go for a hike that’s not in a National Park
  • Visit the dog-friendly Dead Horse Point State Park
  • Go for a scenic drive

Top Free Things to Do in Moab

One of the best things about Moab is that there are plenty of absolutely free Moab activities to enjoy. A few favorites include:

  • Go for a scenic drive at sunset
  • Stargazing on the night of a new moon
  • Hiking one of the best Moab hikes that aren’t in state or national parks.
  • Find free camping outside of Moab city limits
  • Hit up a mountain biking trail
free things to do in Moab

Unforgettable Things To Do In Moab, Utah

Don’t visit the adventure capital of the desert without checking out these top Moab attractions. Get your adrenaline fix or have a relaxing day taking in the stunning red rock scenery with these things to do in Moab.

Go For a Hike

Home to two of the most beautiful national parks in Utah and endless epic vistas to match, hiking in Moab is as dramatically beautiful as it gets.

Hiking trails are aplenty, but if you don’t have an entire year to spare, here are the best hikes in Moab you absolutely cannot miss:

Corona Arch

Also known as Little Rainbow Bridge, Corona Arch is one of the largest and most striking arches in Moab. To get to it, you’ll get to hike through a 3-mile long trail above the Colorado River Canyon. 

Along the trail, you’ll get to see two bonus arches, which makes it the perfect way to get a taste of the jaw-dropping landscapes that Moab has to offer.

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Cost: Free!

Delicate Arch

If you’ve ever seen a picture of Arches National Park, it probably was a picture of Delicate Arch. This arch is the most quintessential landmark of Utah (so much that it’s pictured on its license plates!).

The trail to reach Delicate Arch is 1.5 miles long (or 3 miles round trip). The hike is considered of moderate difficulty, but especially strenuous during the summer (avoid hiking during the midday heat and bring plenty of water).

  • Duration: Half-day
  • Cost: $30 per vehicle to enter Arches National Park (good for 7 days)
things to do in moab

Mesa Arch

Sitting on the edge of a cliff, Mesa Arch is considered one of the most beautiful landmarks in Canyonlands National Park. The sun rises directly underneath the arch, making it one of the most picturesque spots to get a glimpse of the surrounding canyons. 

The trail to reach Mesa Arch is short and light. It’s also considered one of the best hikes to do if you’re visiting Moab with children. 

  • Duration: 1 – 2 hours
  • Cost: $30 per vehicle to enter Canyonlands National Park (good for 7 days)

Go Horseback Riding

If you really want to get in touch with your wild west side, consider exploring Moab on horseback. At just a 35-minute drive from downtown, Hauer Ranch offers incredible backcountry trail riding opportunities that take you up close and personal to the best scenes in Moab. Partake in this long-time tradition and see what Moab has to offer on hoof!

  • Duration: half day
  • Cost: $110 per person for a group ride

Grab a Pint at the Moab Brewery

Arguably the best watering hole in town, the Moab Brewery has a variety of beers on tap to satisfy your thirst. And if you’re hungry, be sure to check out some of the menu offerings to fuel your upcoming adventure. No trip to Moab is complete without a stop at the Moab Brewery.

  • Duration: varies
  • Cost: varies
  • Test Your Limits With Rock Climbing

    Rock climbing in Moab is almost an other-worldly experience. It boasts thousands of routes on sandstone, red cliffs, desert towers, and insane rock formations that you could go on a different climb every day for months on end and never get bored!

    If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the choices, here are what I consider to be the best climbing areas in Moab:

    • Indian Creek
    • Six Shooter Peaks
    • Wall Street
    • Castleton Tower
    • Looking Glass Rock
    moab attractions

    See Moab From Above With a Scenic Tour

    There’s a saying that goes “if you haven’t seen Moab from the air, you haven’t seen Moab.”

    Even locals agree that seeing the national parks from up above is an experience like no other.

    If you’re keen to give it a go, you can book a scenic flight over Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, or you can hop on a hot air balloon to float over the Moab region at sunrise.

    • Duration: Half-day
    • Cost: Hot Air Balloon ride: $299 per person // Scenic Flight: $109 – $229 per person

    Explore a Slot Canyon

    Dreaming of heading into the great, mysterious world of slot canyons? Admittedly, Moab does not offer a wide array of the best slot canyons in Utah to explore, unless you’re very well versed in technical slot canyoneering. For that, you want to plan some time in the San Rafael Swell – a worthy day trip from Moab.

    So if you’re new to this favorite Moab activity, hire a guide before heading out. You’ll need specialized equipment for one of the few slot canyons in the area and local knowledge is a must.

    But the rewards of seeing how unique these tiny squeezes are is well worth the effort! A few of the top slot canyons near Moab include:

    Get Prehistoric at Moab Giants Dinosaur Park

    If you’re looking for exciting things to do in Moab with kids, this attraction is a must! The stars of the show at Moab Giants are the life-sized dinosaurs, but there’s so much more to do on-site that you can easily spend several hours here.

    After exploring their outdoor desert trail in search of dinosaurs, you can hit up the 5D PaleoAquarium to get close and personal with prehistoric sea creatures, head over to the 3D Theater to learn about the Big Bang Theory, or spend a few hours at the Tracks Museum.

    • Duration:  Half-day
    • Cost: From $20

    Go on a Mountain Biking Adventure

    Ever wondered what it’d be like to go biking on Mars? In Moab, you’ll get as close as it gets to it!

    Moab offers a huge variety of mountain biking trails for any experience level.

    You can opt for a relaxing day spent riding at Dead Horse Point State Park, or you can shred the single-track classics such as Captain Ahab or The Whole Enchilada.

    Push yourself to the limit by signing up for the Slickrock Bike Trail (which is world-renowned as the ultimate mountain biking challenge!).

    Experienced riders can easily book shuttles to the popular one-way trails, while those with no experience can opt to book a guided day out. A few must-see trails include:

    • The Whole Enchilada
    • Slick Rock Complete Ride
    • Dead Horse Point State Park
    • White Rim Road multi-day ride
    • Captain Ahab
    • Porcupine Rim
    • Duration: Depends
    • Cost: Depends

    Gawk at the Beauty of Arches National Park

    Visiting Arches National Park is a must on any Moab itinerary. Not only does the park boast over two thousand arches, but you’ll also find gigantic mesas, sandstone rocks, and insane-looking rock formations. 

    Here are just a few of the best things to do in Arches:

    Devil’s Garden – A difficult, but super rewarding hike. It’ll get you scrambling over several rock formations as you make your way through six different arches along the way.

    Double Arch – A easy hike, 30-minute hike that features two of the most popular arches in the park. They look small from afar, but as you get closer, you’ll realize how massive they actually are!

    Delicate Arch – This is the main attraction in Arches National Park and the reason most visitors travel to Moab. Try to get here before 9:00 AM to avoid big crowds.

    Balanced Rock – One of the park’s most famous non-arch attractions. You’ll drive past it on the road, but if you want to get a closer look, there’s a parking lot from where you can walk.

    Fiery Furnace – Named after the fiery red glow it gets when the sun goes down. Fiery Furnace has one of the best views in Arches National Park and is a perfect sunset spot to end the day. You can either see it from a viewpoint or go on a guided ranger hike if you want to get a closer look.

    • Entry fee: $30 per vehicle (good for 7 days)
    • Duration: 1+ day
    best things to do in Moab

    Spend a Day at Dead Horse Point State Park

    Dead Horse Point State Park is often outshined by the nearby Canyonlands and Arches national parks. Not to mention this is one of the top things to do in Moab with dogs, thanks to the dog-friendly hiking options

    That said, though, a visit is one of the best views in Moab, especially if you’d rather avoid crowds while still getting to experience the epic canyon views this slice of Utah has to offer.

    Dead Horse Park offers several easy hiking trails that are perfect if you’re traveling with children, as well as options to go mountain biking!

    • Entry fee: $20 per vehicle for a 3 consecutive-day pass
    • Duration: Half-day to a full day

    Visit The Epic Canyonlands National park

    Filled with arches, mesas, canyons, and sweeping vistas, visiting Canyonlands National Park is another of the best things to do in Moab. Here’s a quick overview of what you absolutely cannot miss during your visit:

    Island in the Sky District

    This is the most visited section of the park, and offers the best viewpoints of the Colorado River. (Psst, don’t miss Mesa Arch for sunrise or Grand View Point for sunset)

    A day here is enough time to get a good overview of Canyonlands through short hikes and insane viewpoints, but there are longer trails available if you feel like lingering a while longer.

    Local Tip: You’ll find some of the most scenic drives in Moab in and out of the park.

    Needles District

    If you’d rather avoid the crowds of Island in the Sky, you can head to the Needles District of Canyonlands instead.

    Here, you’ll find several of the best hikes in Canyonlands, including the famous Druid Arch hike.

    It’s further away (1.5 hours from Moab), but absolutely worth the drive – which is GORGEOUS by the way. You’ll get sweeping views of canyons and great hikes – sans the crowds.

    • Duration: Full day to see the highlights, but two days will give you the chance to backpack in Canyonlands
    • Cost: $30 per vehicle
    photography mesa arch

    Go on a Off Road Driving Adventure

    Moab is home to a wide array of trails that provide a unique opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the area. Hit up one of the many scenic drives in Moab.

    Some of the best off-road trails to get started and perfect to spend half a day on the road are:

    • Shafer Trail
    • White Rim Road (multi-day recommended, advanced permit required)
    • Gemini Bridges
    • Fins and Things
    • Hell’s Revenge (advanced driver’s only)

    Make sure to choose your trail wisely. If you’re not sure what the best trail is for your experience level and equipment, you can head over to the Moab Information Center to get in touch with a trail guide.

    • Duration: Half-day
    • Cost: Depends on if you are renting a vehicle or not. Off-road Jeeps are for rent in town

    Nosh at the Food Truck Park

    Find a fun way to eat at the food truck park in Moab. Located at 39 West 100 North street, this round-wagon eating area features local food trucks with plenty of variety on offer.

    Shaded, lit eating areas give you a break from the heat while you enjoy your tasty treats. Open every day from 12-7 pm Sunday through Thursday and 11 to 8 pm Friday and Saturday, you can come here multiple times and never eat the same thing twice!

    • Duration: an hour
    • Cost: Depends

    Splash Around While White Water Rafting

    Rafting the mighty Colorado River is not only one of the best things to do in Moab if you love a good thrill, but it’s an epic way to get a different perspective of the nature that surrounds the area.

    Head out during the spring and early summer months for the best river experience.

    Paddleboarding in Moab

    For those that want a different kind of adventure, there are gentle parts of both the Colorado and Green Rivers that are suitable for stand-up paddleboards.

    • Duration: Length of rafting trips are varied, so take your pick from half-day, full-day, or even a multi-day rafting adventure
    • Cost: $74 half-day to $1000+ for a multi-day trip

    Go for a Sunset Drive (on Pavement)

    Don’t have an off-road vehicle? No problem! There are plenty of AWESOME scenic drives in Moab that don’t require a lifted 4WD vehicle. Consider heading out at sunset to get a real feel for the epic desert magic. A few must-do paved scenic drives include:

    • Arches Scenic Drive
    • Potash-Lower Colorado River Scenic Byway
    • Island in the Sky Scenic Drive to Grand View Point Overlook
    • Upper Colorado River Scenic Byway U-128
    • Time: Varies
    • Cost: Free unless you are in a national park (Arches or Island in the Sky of Canyonlands)
    Things to do in moab for free

    Scope Out the Moab Sand Hill

    Most people want to get all up in the sand when they visit the desert and the best place to do this is at the Moab Sand Hill. As one of the best things to do in Moab with kids, park at the obvious lot in front of the 100-foot by 100-foot patch of sand just across the entrance to Arches National Park.

    Bring a sled or hike the dune at this goofy, fund landmark.

    • Time: 1 – 2 hours depending on play time
    • Cost: free

    Go Back in Time and See Ancient Rock Art

    There are several different places you can scope out rock art in and around Moab. In fact, Moab was once home to a variety of different tribes and is rich with over 2,000 years of human history. Here are a few must-see spots.

    Pro Tip: DO NOT TOUCH OR ALTER PETROGLYPHS. This is a felony offense and extremely disrespectful to Native American history. Enjoy with your eyes only and visit with respect.

    The Birthing Scene is located right along Kane Springs Road on a fenced-off rock. This scene was vandalized in 2021 and is currently permanently closed.

    The Jug Handle Arch along the side of Highway 191 (signed stop near the Corona Arch trailhead) has petroglyphs on the cliff wall, you’ll need to hike up a bit to see them.

    Moonflower Canyon Petroglyphs can be found along the 0.6-mile hike starting on Kan Springs Road.

    Newspaper Rock is one of the best attractions in Moab for history buffs.

    It’s home to one of the oldest collections of petroglyphs records and contains engravings and drawings from Native Americans that date back to over 2,000 years ago!

    Continue down the road to check out the Needles District and take a scenic drive through Indian Creek.

    • Duration: A few minutes to a half-day including driving for Newspaper Rock (psst, if you come this far, go to the Needles District)
    • Entrance fee: Free
    Things to do in Moab

    Adventure at Sand Flats Recreation Area

    Set in the heart of the Colorado Plateau, Sand Flats is a must if you’re into outdoor activities paired with views of colorful mesas.

    From some of the most challenging mountain biking trails in Utah to 4×4 escapades, you’ll definitely want to spend a day or two here if you’re in the mood for some serious adventure.

    • Duration: 1+ days
    • Cost: $2 per person

    Stay in a Yurt

    There are several options for unique lodging in Moab. From VBROs to AirBnB in Airstreams to the famous Under Canvas Moab, you can opt to stay in an RV or yurt while you’re adventuring in the desert.

    Perfect for people who want more of a glamping experience, but don’t want to completely rough it, yurt stays are a great way to add some luxury to your Moab camping experience.

    • Duration: As long as you want
    • Cost: Varies, but definitely expect to pay up for this experience ($315 and up per night)

    Camping Under a Billion Stars

    Camping is one of the best ways to really experience Moab. Not only is stargazing guaranteed, but you’ll also get to sleep surrounded by some of the most insane landscapes in the world.

    The good news is that Moab is a camping haven, so you’ll never be short of options when it comes to choosing where to pitch your tent.

    Campgrounds inside Arches and Canyonlands National Parks abound. However, be sure to make reservations in advance when you can!

    If you want to be easier on your wallet, though, you can opt for a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) campground.

    Most BLM campgrounds in Moab are first-come-first-served and offer the easiest way to camp. Keep in mind, free BLM camping is mostly illegal near Moab.

    For free, dispersed camping info, check out the guide to Moab camping (coming soon).

    These are camping spots located just outside the National Parks, which means fees are cheaper and less crowded, but the views are just as spectacular.

    • Cost: Depends
    car camping packing list

    Experience The World’s Best Stargazing

    Moab has some of the darkest skies in the United States, and a night spent stargazing does not disappoint. 

    Arches, Canyonland, and Dead Horse Point are internationally praised for being some of the best spots in the world to go stargazing. This is thanks to a combination of altitude and clear skies.

    Pro tip: You’re pretty much guaranteed amazing night skies any day of the month, but the best stargazing usually happens during a new moon. If you want them to be extra epic, plan when to visit Moab accordingly!

    • Duration: Half-day (evening)

    Swim at Mill Creek Waterfall

    If you love hiking but hate breaking a sweat, a hike to Mill Creek Fall is the perfect way to get the best of both worlds. This is one of the best things to do in Moab in summer – when temps are sweltering.

    This 7.5-mile trail is pretty easy and features a stunning waterfall where you can take a swimming break for a few hours.

    Bring Fido, but remember to pack out dog poop, trash, and other items.

    • Duration: Half-day

    Hit the High Peaks of the La Sal Mountains

    See those mountains in the distance as you gaze at great sandstone arches? Those are the La Sals.

    La Sals is a mountain range in Moab famed for being the go-to mountain attraction in Moab. Another great way to beat the heat if you’re looking for things to do in Moab this summer.

    It’s a favorite among alpine lovers thanks to the wide array of activities on offer, including hiking, biking, camping, trout fishing, and off-roading. 

    Pro Tip: Be sure to drive the La Sal Scenic Loop, one of the top scenic drives near Moab

    Duration: 1+ days

    Cost: Depends on activities

    Top Things to Do in Moab with Kids

    Moab may be an adventure capital, but there are plenty of kid-friendly activities to enjoy. A few popular ones include:

    • Moab Dinosaur Park
    • Arches National Park
    • Dead Horse Point State Park
    • Moab Sand Hill

    Things to Do in Moab in Summer

    Moab in the summer is exceptionally hot. Many of the top things to do in Moab aren’t advised in the summer, simply because of the dangers of hiking in high heat, flash flooding from monsoons, and limited shade.

    If you do choose to bike or hike, go early in the morning (like before 6 am) to avoid the heat of the day.

    Looking to cool off? You’ll want to check out these Moab summer activities:

    • Rafting tours
    • Visit the La Sal Mountains
    • Check out the Mill Creek Waterfall

    Quick Tips for Visiting Moab

    There are plenty of things to know before you visit Moab. Remember these quick tips before you head out:

    Make reservations early. Especially during the busy spring, summer, and fall months. Permits for national parks are best made as soon as permits become available (varies by activity).

    Don’t drive or climb on wet rock or dirt. Roads often become impassable when wet, and climbing wet sandstone is extremely dangerous.

    Only camp in designated spots. There are several important things to know about desert camping. And don’t forget about practicing Leave No Trace.

    Additional Moab Travel Resources

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    Meg aka Fox is a 30-something who's born to explore. Her mission is to get you out on your greatest adventure. She'd rather be dirty than done up.