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:
- Incredible 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
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:
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!
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)
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)
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
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
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.
- 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. This is one of the best views of Arches National Park and 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
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.
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
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.
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
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
- Gemini Bridges
- Fins and Things
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
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.
- 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 Back in Time at Newspaper Rock
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: Half-day including driving (psst, if you come this far, go to the Needles District)
- Entrance fee: Free
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
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
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 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.
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.
Duration: 1+ days
Cost: Depends on activities
Quick Tips for Visiting Moab
There’s 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.
Additional Moab Travel Resources
Planning a trip to Moab? Get exclusive tips here:
- Moab’s Most Beautiful Viewpoints (coming soon)
- The Only Arches Itinerary You’ll Ever Need
- Incredible Hikes in Arches national park (coming soon)