Things to Do in Moab, Utah & Surrounding Areas
Moab's close proximity to Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse State Park, and home to the world famous Slickrock Bike Trail, has made Moab a popular travel destination, and a wonderful location to begin any adventure in southeastern Utah. Discover Moab, Utah attractions and surroundings that offers such challenges as mountain bike rides over Slickrock, hikes in the canyons, 4-wheel drives over sandstone, rafts down the whitewater rapids, or leisure scenic drives along Utah scenic byways, or playing a round of golf. Moab is the perfect base camp while you enjoy all the magnificent scenery, activities and unforgettable things to do in Moab. Please click below to check for lodging availability at our Moab event hotel.
EVENTS & ACTIVITIES
Each year, thousands of people flock to the Moab area with one thing on their minds: mountain biking. Mountain biking in canyon country can be anything from a challenging ride on the Slickrock Bike Trail to a leisurely ride along backcountry roads. Numerous primitive trails and abandoned roads in the desert and mountains combine with undulating sandstone to provide terrain for every ability. There are many guides and outfitters who offer guided cycling adventures, as well as, numerous places to rent bikes.
Slickrock Bike Trail
Lower Monitor & Merrimac
There are many who consider the best method of exploring the Moab area to be on foot. The region is filled with opportunities for hiking ranging from brief nature walks to full-scale backpacking expeditions in solitary backcountry.
Negro Bill Canyon
4 wheeling, ATV’ing and Dirt Biking
There are thousands of miles of jeep trails in Grand County. These routes now provide recreational opportunities for jeepers, ATV'ers and dirt bikers. Most are unmaintained relics from mining or prospecting for minerals. Some routes are used in current mining and grazing activities, and major access roads receive some maintenance from the county. Others are repaired just enough to get through, and provide every sort of route condition, from the easy to the extremely challenging. Moab's four wheel drive routes have great variety in scenery and provide a range of challenge to the off highway abilities of every type of motorized vehicle.
The following five routes have been chosen to indicate the variety and scope of the many four wheel drive routes in the Moab area.
Fins and Things
Shafer/Long Canyon Loop (street legal vehicles only)
The Moab Golf Course is one of the most visually appealing in Utah with its contrast of smooth, bright greens set amid rough, eroded red cliffs and boulders. The public course has 18 holes and a par of 72. It is open seven days a week, year-round. It has a pro shop, a driving range, and a snack bar open for breakfast and lunch. Cart rentals and lessons are available.
Whitewater rafting is found on both the Colorado and Green Rivers. On the Colorado River, Westwater Canyon, northeast of Moab, is a popular choice for a one or two day whitewater adventure. Westwater Canyon is the only river corridor in Utah which has been nominated for the Congressional Wild and Scenic Rivers designation. On this 17 mile stretch, the river flows through a deep inner gorge of Precambrian black rock, backed by 1,000 foot high canyon walls. This section of river, nicknamed the "Little Grand" of the Colorado River, boasts 11 whitewater rapids.
The Colorado River 'Daily' section, from Little Bottom to Take-out Beach is a 13 mile, day or overnight trip. Here, the river parallels the Colorado River Scenic Byway 128. This section of the river has 6 rapids.
Deep in Canyonlands National Park, Cataract Canyon is the most famous Utah stretch of the Colorado. Trips can take as little as one or up to seven days to travel the 112 miles from Moab to Hite Marina on Lake Powell. Most trips begin with the calm float from Moab to the confluence of the rivers. Beyond that, there are 26 rapids. Side hiking trips are as much a part of the experience as the wild water. This isolated area has rock art, cliff dwellings and stark, rugged beauty. Permits may be obtained by writing.
Although the words 'river running' generally conjure images of wild, churning rapids and heart-stopping near capsizes, the rivers of the Moab area have a softer side as well. For miles at a time they are simply wide, quiet streams that, on clear days, reflect a mosaic of rock cliffs and sky. Calm water float trips in canoes, kayaks and rafts are available. The river stretches are administered by either the BLM or the National Park Service. Individuals or groups may raft the river on their own or with a professional river outfitter. On any trip, calm or white water, special river rules apply to fires, campsites and sanitation. Permits and fees may be required for private use.
Touring the Moab area in an automobile? The following auto tours will take you through some of the most spectacular scenery in the area. Arches, canyons, the Colorado River gorge, mountain vistas, petroglyphs, dinosaur tracks - these routes have it all!
Scenic Auto Routes:
Colorado Riverway – Utah Scenic Byway 128 & LaSal Mountain Loop Road
Colorado Riverway – Utah Scenic Byway 279 (Potash Road)
Arches National park
Canyonlands National Park – Island in the Sky district
Canyonlands National Park – Needles District
Dead Horse Point State Park
Canyon Rims Recreation Area
Utah State Parks
Dead Horse Point
Utah’s Grand Canyon - Dead Horse Point State Park is perhaps Utah's most spectacular state park. Towering 2,000 feet directly above the Colorado River, the mesa that is Dead Horse Point provides breathtaking views of the canyon country of southeastern Utah and the pinnacles and buttes of Canyonlands National Park.
Goblin Valley State Park
The vast landscape of sandstone goblins may have visitors wondering if they’re in Mars or Utah. Galaxy Quest, the movie, was filmed at Goblin Valley State Park because of its space-like scenery. Scores of intricately eroded creatures greet visitors to Goblin Valley. Hike among intricately eroded rock formations in haunting coves. Adjacent to the park, off-highway vehicle enthusiasts will find hundreds of miles of dirt roads to explore.
Gooseneck State Park
Visitors experience profound solitude at Goosenecks State Park as they look down 1,000 feet into an entrenched meander created by the silt-laden San Juan River. It weaves back and forth, flowing more than five miles while progressing only one linear mile toward the Colorado River and Lake Powell. Experience the mystery and tranquility of the canyons, the excitement of the running river and the awe of viewing more than 300 million years of geologic history.
Above information obtained from Bureau of Land Management, Utah State Parks and Recreation and Moab Area Travel Council.