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Things to do in

Moab

An adventurer's mecca, the southeastern Utah city is an adventure playground for adults and kids alike.

Our most recommended things to do in Moab

Moab: Colorado River Dinner Cruise with Music and Light Show

1. Moab: Colorado River Dinner Cruise with Music and Light Show

Begin the evening on the banks of the Colorado River, just 2 miles north of Moab, Utah. Savor a delicious cowboy-style Dutch oven dinner in a dining room overlooking the water. After dinner, climb aboard a flat-bottomed boat and begin your river adventure. A knowledgeable and entertaining guide will point out things of interest and ignite your imagination. Once darkness settles in, the formal part of the evening begins when 40,000 watts of natural light illuminate the canyon wall. Watch as lights, shadows, music, and narration make the stories of the canyon's formation, creation, and history come to life on the walls above the river - as learned from the early settlers of the area (the Catholic conquistadors, Native Americans, and Mormon pioneers). This Sound and Light Show is a not-to-be-missed unique experience and a great end to a perfect day in Moab.

Moab: Hell's Revenge 4WD Off-Road Tour by Kawasaki UTV

2. Moab: Hell's Revenge 4WD Off-Road Tour by Kawasaki UTV

Climb aboard a Kawasaki UTV (Utility Terrain Vehicle) for an adrenaline thrill on the Hell’s Revenge Trail of Moab. Drive a specialized 4WD vehicle, with the confidence of knowing you are following a professional guide. Hell's Revenge is like a slow moving roller coaster; except it’s on slickrock! Drive across petrified mountains of rock that look like sand dunes. Although known as “slickrock,” it's actually gritty like sand paper; and unlike anything else you’ve experienced before. Along the way, stop for panoramic views from the Colorado River Overlook, and see authentic dinosaur tracks. Travel in convoys of no more than 5 vehicles for a more intimate and personal experience. Anyone over the age of 21 can drive one of the buggies if they have a valid drivers license, and are comfortable driving on terrain with steep slopes and cliffs. Each vehicle can accommodate up to 4 people.

From Moab: Half-Day Arches National Park 4x4 Driving Tour

3. From Moab: Half-Day Arches National Park 4x4 Driving Tour

After pickup in Moab, your off-road 4x4 tour through Arches National Park starts near Doc Williams Point. Climb up a steep, short rock wall in your vehicle, then cut across a valley through sandstone fins and dunes. Pass the famous 92-foot wide Tower Arch and the Eye of the Whale Arch. See the Marching Men, a group of 7 towers lined up in one row.   Stop in a few great spots to take amazing photos, and enjoy a few short hikes throughout the tour. Learn about the formation of the red rocks, take in the fresh air, and enjoy the silence while admiring the scenic views. Exit via an old cowboy trail and see Dinosaur tracks on your way back to Moab, where you'll be dropped off back at your accommodation.

Moab: Self-Drive 2.5-Hour Hells Revenge 4x4 Guided Tour

4. Moab: Self-Drive 2.5-Hour Hells Revenge 4x4 Guided Tour

Enjoy the basic route of Hell’s Revenge to the Colorado River overlook into Arches National Park. This safe, but thrilling adventure is great for all skill levels, from novice to expert. Meet your guide just outside of Moab. After safety instructions, load up and head right to the Hells Revenge Trailhead. Enjoy the thrill of the petrified sand dunes and beautiful scenery of red rock hills, and snow-capped mountains as you follow your guide. Every tour includes water and snacks, and is guaranteed to take your breath away! U-Drive tours are family friendly, with a minimum age of 3 years old. All drivers must be at least 18 years old and present a valid driver's license.

From Moab: Full-Day Canyonlands and Arches 4x4 Driving Tour

5. From Moab: Full-Day Canyonlands and Arches 4x4 Driving Tour

Take a 4x4 driving tour through Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. This thrilling adventure includes stops for short hikes and scenic views. Keep your energy up along the way with a refreshing picnic lunch. After pickup from your hotel in Moab, drive towards Canyonlands National Park high atop the Island in the Sky mesa. Descend via the steep switchbacks of the famous Shafer Trail and enjoy a brief stop to explore Native American rock art that was carved into the cliffs by the Ancestral Puebloans.   Continue through Canyonlands along a portion of the White Rim Trail over to Musselman Arch for incredible views of the Colorado River below. Enjoy a few stops with short hikes. Stop at Devils Garden for a delicious picnic lunch. After lunch, enter Arches National Park near Doc Williams Point. Climb a steep rock wall and drive across a valley through sandstone fins and dunes.   Pass the famous Tower Arch, the Eye of the Whale Arch, and the Marching Men — a group of 7 towers lined up in one row. Stop for some short walks to enjoy the fresh air and admire the views of the red rocks. Once you have explored both parks you'll be driven back to Moab, with a brief stop to explore dinosaur tracks along the way.

From Moab: Colorado River Half-Day Rafting Trip

6. From Moab: Colorado River Half-Day Rafting Trip

Enjoy a guided rafting tour for all ages and levels of experience along the Colorado River. Depart from Moab and spend half the day navigating Class 1 or 2 rapids surrounded by impressive rock formations. Get picked up in Moab and meet your professional guide. Get outfitted with the necessary rafting gear and listen to your guide's safety instructions. Then embark on a wild adventure along the Fisher Towers and Professor Valley part of the river. The trip is about 7 miles and you're sure to get in some splashy rapids. Select the option including lunch to enjoy a buffet-style meal during your tour. At the end of the trip, the shuttle will take you back to Moab.

Moab: Arches National Park Self-Guided Driving Tour

7. Moab: Arches National Park Self-Guided Driving Tour

Begin your adventure into the stunning Utah landscape at the visitor center by the entrance to Arches National Park. As you set off on your journey, pass the towering formation of the Three Penguins and the geological Moab Fault, then pause at Park Avenue. Simply admire the formations, colors, and layers here or hike the trail into the park. Next, check out the distant snow-capped La Sal Mountains, the iconic Three Gossips, and the towering series of formations from the Courthouse Towers to Sheep Rock. Continue deeper into the park, admiring the petrified dunes and desert scrub while learning about the native Ute and Paiute tribes. Hear about their mythologies, way of life, and eventual struggle against Spanish invaders and Mormon settlers. Your journey into Arches will then bring you to the famous Balanced Rock formation, followed quickly by the two most popular stops: the Windows Arches and Double Arch. Enjoy jumping out and exploring these geological marvels up close. After, make your way through Arches’ unique Cache Valley to Delicate Arch, the unrivaled highlight of this park. Check out the nearby historic Wolfe Ranch and tribal petroglyphs, and decide if you want to see the famous arch from a viewpoint or hike closer for greater detail. Your adventure continues through the unique Salt Valley of Arches to stunning formations like the Fiery Furnace, Sand Dune Arch, Arches Forest, Skyline Arch, and Tapestry Arch. These are all optional stops and hikes. Finally, make your way to the farthest point in the park: the Devil’s Garden. Here, hop out to visit the famous Landscape Arch as the crowning vista of a surreal landscape.

From Moab: Half-Day Canyonlands Island in the Sky 4x4 Tour

8. From Moab: Half-Day Canyonlands Island in the Sky 4x4 Tour

Discover the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park on this exciting half-day tour by 4x4 vehicle. After pickup from your hotel in Moab, drive towards the national park, meandering alongside the river. Stop outside the park boundary to explore ancient Native American rock art that was carved into the cliffs by the Ancestral Puebloans. Continue to the jeep trail that leads up to the Island in the Sky district. Along the way, you'll stop at vistas such as Fossil Point and Musselman Arch. See the remarkable Gooseneck Overlook and travel along a section of the White Rim trail. Wind up the switchbacks of the famous Shafer Trail, and enjoy one last look out over the park before driving back to Moab.

Moab: Guided Full Moon Hike

9. Moab: Guided Full Moon Hike

On this full moon hike, admire the landscape and unique rock formations, illuminated by the glow of the moon. Gaze up to the sky as your guide points out satellites, planets, and constellations. When the full moon comes around each month, it provides enough light to read a newspaper near midnight. The canyons and arches take on a mysterious white glow as the landscape is illuminated in a different way. This easy to moderate hike provides a great opportunity to admire the stars. As you look up at the night sky, your guide, with the help of a laser pointer, will show you the different satellites, planets, and constellations that can be seen at this time.

Moab: Hurrah Pass 4x4 Driving Adventure

10. Moab: Hurrah Pass 4x4 Driving Adventure

This scenic tour explores the Wild West scenery of the Colorado River and historic Kane Creek. Hear about the geology, history, and ancient civilizations of the area from your experienced guide. Meet for this scenic 4x4 off-roading tour at the Moab Tourism Center. Once you check in, listen to a short safety briefing from your guide, so you feel prepared and ready to go. You will be provided with a 4x4 vehicle called a UTV. These machines with four seats are automatic and easy to navigate. Hop behind the wheel and drive towards the Hurrah Pass Trail, which is just 15 minutes away. Go on a scenic off-road tour following your guide’s instructions. Stop at the thousand-year-old Fremont and Ancestral Puebloan Petroglyphs to take in their detail and history. See rocks from different time periods in history as you make your way along steep dirt tracks. Finally, arrive at the Hurrah Pass Overlook, located near Canyonlands National Park, and admire the incredible views. Your tour ends with a ride back to the Moab Tourism Center.

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Moab

Making your way out to Moab? The stunning scenery of Utah makes for the perfect outdoor adventure. To help you make the most of your trip, we've enlisted the help of the travel experts at Archaeology Travel. Read the tips below for your next visit.

What should I do on my first trip to Moab?

The most striking thing about Moab is the red rock landscape. The shapes and canyons really are something out of this world. At the top of my list of recommendations for any first time in Moab is to explore the two national parks on the town’s doorstep. Of course, there are so many ways you can do this. But for me, sunrise at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park and sunset at Delicate Arch in Arches National Park take a lot to be beaten.

What are some hidden gems to see in Moab? 

The canyons and geological features are vast and striking, offering insight into the history and heritage of Moab. They also hold earlier signs of life on earth, as well as the signs of earlier humans in this part of the US. Often literally hidden amongst the rocks. At a number of places, you can see the fossilized tracks of up to 100 different kinds of dinosaurs that lived here around 66 million years ago. A little bit closer to us in time, some around 1,000 years old, are the petroglyphs and pictographs of the ancestors of Native Americans. Nothing beats seeing these sites in person.

How much time should I spend in Moab? 

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If seeking adventure and history in the great outdoors is your thing, then Moab is definitely the place for you. To get a feel for the area around Moab, four or five days is a good start. That is not to say you would not be able to see a lot in two days, or that you would be bored by day six. Exploring these landscapes takes time. Whether it is a day trip hiking to see the rock art in Horseshoe Canyon, or white water rafting on the Colorado River.

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What food is Moab known for?

Moab has a wide range of very good restaurants, serving food from all over the world. From Mediterranean-style cuisine to sushi, Thai to Italian. But the most common style of cooking is Southwestern, a mix of Native American, Hispanic and cattle-country Anglo. Grilled dishes are the order of the day, served with corn, beans, squash, and, of course, chilies.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Moab? 

Moab may be a small resort town, but it has a wonderful choice of accommodation styles to suit all budgets. Of course, there are some great hotels and B&Bs in the town itself. Even one, the Apache Motel, is on the national register of historical places. Surrounded by such stunning scenery, camping and glamping are very popular in the area. Or why not stay in luxury Western-style and choose a five-star ranch resort. This is the Southwest after all.

What is the best way to get around Moab? 

There is no public transport in Moab. Shuttle services will take visitors to certain points of interest in the national parks and surrounding areas. And of course, many activities include pick-ups from your accommodation. By far the best way to experience Moab is with your own car or a rental vehicle.

What are the best months to visit Moab? 

Both national parks are open all year round, but the most popular months in Moab are April to September. But everyone will agree the best time to visit Moab is in the spring. The cottonwood trees are getting their new shoots. The rocks are starting to get warm again. You can spend a day out without having to take into account extreme heat, or cold. And the crowds are still at work and school. Without a doubt, March to May.

What are the best neighborhoods for food? 

As popular a tourist destination as Moab is, the town is not huge. You will certainly experience the small town-friendly atmosphere. Whether you want to dine in style or eat outdoors most of the best restaurants are in the center of town. There are many restaurants worth considering that are away from the town center. But even they are within an easy walk from the main hub of the town.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

As a popular tourist destination, you will not be at a loss to buy souvenirs and good quality gifts in Moab. Of course, there are the gift shops typical of the American southwest. But Moab prides itself on its local arts and crafts scene. If you're looking for something special, you will have a lot of choices, from beautifully handcrafted silver and turquoise jewelry to genuine fossil fish and dinosaur bones. Downtown Moab is where it is at!

Other Sightseeing Options in Moab

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What people are saying about Moab

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 2,049 reviews

Our guide Jeff was great!! Very knowledgeable about the area and took us 14 miles down the river and made it a fun day! Highly recommend!!

It was a beautiful experience. Our guide gave us an extreme amount of history on the tour. He was also funny which made for a great time.

The guide was excellent. The process is one you will definitely love and do again on other vacation travels.

Great way to see both parks and learn some details, so one can focus further experiences while in Moab.

Had a great time and Brendon our driver was great, would definitely recommend this outfit