Things to do in
Moab

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

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Our most recommended things to do in Moab

From Moab: Colorado River Half-Day Rafting Trip

1. 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.

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Moab: Sound and Light Show with Dinner

2. Moab: Sound and Light Show with Dinner

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.

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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.

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

4. 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 on the trail with 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 4 vehicles for a more intimate and personal experience. If you don’t want to drive, sit back and relax as the guide does the driving (maximum 3 passengers per guide). Anyone over the age of 21 can drive one of the buggies if they have a valid drivers license, and each vehicle can accommodate up to 4 people.

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

5. 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.

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

6. 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. 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. In the afternoon, 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.

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From Moab: Canyonlands 4x4 Drive and Colorado River Rafting

7. From Moab: Canyonlands 4x4 Drive and Colorado River Rafting

Start your full-day tour with a pickup from your hotel in Moab. Drive to the stunning Canyonlands National Park, and spend the morning exploring the remote areas of the Island in the Sky district of the park in a 4x4 vehicle. Follow the White Rim Trail, and drive along the narrow switchbacks of the Shafer Trail. See incredible rock and fossil formations, and stop along the way for photos opportunities. After your driving tour, enjoy a picnic lunch on the banks of the Colorado River. Admire majestic views of the river and the surrounding canyons. Finish your tour with an adrenaline-filled rafting trip on the Fisher Towers section of the Colorado River. Enjoy some whitewater fun, accompanied by professional river guides. At the end of your rafting experience, relax on the beach as your guides prepare for the short drive back to Moab, where you'll be dropped off at your hotel.

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Moab: 3-Hour Jet Boat Tour to Dead Horse Point State Park

8. Moab: 3-Hour Jet Boat Tour to Dead Horse Point State Park

Start your 3-hour boat tour just 2 miles north of Moab, on the banks of Colorado River. After a safety orientation, you’ll begin your scenic tour. Relax and enjoy the ride. Your covered boat has plenty of shaded seats so you won’t get caught in the sun. Glide down the Colorado River, passing remote side canyons. You may be able to spot some wildlife and birds. Marvel at the 2,200 feet of canyon walls above you, a fossilized sea bed, wonderful views of arches, Indian petroglyphs, and a unique view of an Indian granary. Along the way, your guide will point out interesting sights and inform you of the areas past and present. Pass through the bottom Dead Horse State Park, the iconic Thelma and Louise Point, and a natural amphitheater. Travel 32 miles downriver until you reach the entrance of Canyonlands National Park, where the captain will turn back.

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Moab: Canyonlands National Park Airplane Tour

9. Moab: Canyonlands National Park Airplane Tour

This spectacular flight will carry you above the fantastic scenery of the northern district of the Canyonlands National Park, known as the Island in the Sky. Majestic 1,000-foot high cliffs rise above the Colorado and Green Rivers, which border it on either side. Serpentine drainage systems are carved into the terrain below the cliffs. Upheaval Dome can be seen at its northern end, the confluence of the two rivers form the district’s southernmost point.  Then, continue to Needles District, the most fanciful and colorful portions of Canyonlands. Pink and white bands can be seen in its many spires and cliffs. It is the home of some of the most remote and famous arches of canyon country. Difficult to reach by hiking and extremely beautiful, Angel Arch and Druid Arches are the best-known landmarks in Canyonlands. Elephant Arch, Kirk Arch, Wedding Ring Arch, and Castle Arch, hidden away in the backcountry, are also included in this one-of-a-kind scenic flight tour.  Hiking to these arches would take several multi-day permitted visits and are beyond the physical reach of many of us. On this flight, you will see them all, jewels among the many wondrous features of this national park. Unlike hikers, you will see their magnificent surroundings from a bird’s-eye view, in the vastness of this remarkable portion of this gorgeous earth. A unique and very special opportunity awaits you on this exclusive flight through the remote arches of Canyonlands.

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Moab: Ultimate Utah Combo Self-Driving Audio Tour

10. Moab: Ultimate Utah Combo Self-Driving Audio Tour

From the canyons of Zion to the gravity-defying formations in Arches, witness Mother Nature at her most impressive on this self-guided driving tour starting in Moab, Utah. Enjoy animated videos to visualize parts of the tour. Simply hop in your car, get the app set up on your phone, and get started. Visit Arches National Park and discover hidden life within this harsh yet beautiful desert. Marvel at impossible rock formations and towering arches millions of years in the making and learn how it all came to be. Learn the history of the Ute and Paiute tribes who lived at Arches for thousands of years. Hear their legends of the trickster god who brought them to the desert and the portals through time that lie dormant. Find out how these tribes survived and what they left behind. See Zion National Park and hear why early Mormon pioneers thought it was heaven on earth. This tour works by car, bike, or shuttle, so you can see the park however you want to. At Zion, see natural wonders like the Temple of Sinawava and the Weeping Rock. Learn the park’s history, from its geologic formation to the first people who lived here. See emerald pools, staggering mountain peaks, and much more. Next, marvel at the towering hoodoos that dot Bryce Canyon. Dive into the history and legends of the Native tribes who lived here, including the harrowing tale of a race of giants who were turned to stone and became the hoodoo formations we see today. Visit groves of Earth’s oldest trees and hear the spooky story of the supposed curse which afflicts anyone who chooses to study these ancient, gnarled plants too closely. Stop at the spot where Forrest Gump ended his famous run at Monument Valley. Then, head into the valley itself to get up close and personal with jaw-dropping mesas, buttes, and spires. Get the inside scoop on how Hollywood turned Monument Valley into the quintessential image of the American West. Learn about the mysterious Anasazi who vanished from this land centuries ago and the Navajo who still call the valley home. Then, unearth hidden secrets at the Grand Staircase. Hidden within this towering staircase are clues to the land’s long history. Learn about the dinosaur fossils people have found here, including a T-Rex skeleton. Before concluding your tour, explore a petrified forest, sparkling waterfalls, and sweeping vistas. Plus, hear the legends and tales of the tribes who once lived at Grand Staircase.

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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!

Frequently asked questions about Moab

What top attractions are a must-see in Moab?

Other Sightseeing Options in Moab

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What people are saying about Moab

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 1,148 reviews

Wow! Sometimes there are just no words. To see the amazing geological formations from 7000 ft was magnificent! Our skilled pilot was also our guide and shared a lot of interesting info! Made our trip to Moab most memorable. Thank you.

We had the best time ever! Our Guide was awesome!! The trail was thrilling and beautiful!! I would recommend this trip for anyone that wants a fun, exciting, thrilling time!!

What an awesome adventure! Definitely do this instead of the self drive. You get to experience the Hell's gate, Mickey's hot tub instead of watching others do it.

Best tour and specially with our tour guide jessy, he was awesome and very friendly Definitely will do it again

Well-run organization. Excellent supplement to seeing this area from the road. Great staff.