Moab Utah is where adventure begins for all ages. While mention of Moab often conjures visions of the extreme activities, you will find an adventure level to fit every age group, both inside and outside of the National Parks.
Moab’s National Parks & State Park offers great family hikes suitable for tots as well as teens. Guided hikes, interpretive programs and the Junior Ranger Program add additional fun for kids. Check out the fun things your family can do together.
- Arches National Park - Arches is a great family park. From the Visitor Center with its interpretive exhibits, orientation video and animal statues at the Visitor Center, to the rock formations, the Park will delight kids as well as adults, and hiking trails provide many opportunities for children to get out of the car and explore the arches up close.
- Canyonlands National Park - Both Island in the Sky and the Needles have several short trails great for children. At the Island, kids enjoy peeking through Mesa Arch and climbing the back of the whale at Whale Rock.
- Dead Horse Point State Park - The legend of Dead Horse Point in itself puts young imaginations to work as they explore this amazing park.
There is also large variety of hiking trails outside the National Parks suitable for families, especially those with canine members. Below are a few to consider:
- Corona Arch – Highway 279 - Few hikes culminate with such wow as the Corona Arch Trail, but because of its proximity to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks it often gets overlooked.
- Negro Bill Canyon – Highway 128 - Negro Bill Canyon is a lovely canyon, cut into the Navajo Sandstone by a small, perennial stream that begins about six miles from the southern shore of the Colorado River.
- Fisher Towers - Highway 128 - The Fisher Towers Trail is a great trail for any family because unbelievably amazing views are seen right from the parking lot. You don’t have to complete the entire trail to see incredible sights. The Fisher Towers Trail passes through an amazing array of rock formations from 4-foot tall goblin like formations to the 900-foot Titan.
The wide selection of biking trails make it possible to include the entire family, no matter the age or ability level. You can rent bike trailers for your baby, or a trail-a-bike for toddlers. The following are deemed family friendly:
- Bar M Loop - is a fairly easy ride technically. Elevation change is modest at about 300 feet. Many families ride this trail, including baby trailers and trail-a-bikes.
- Intrepid Trail – With slickrock sections, looping singletrack, sandy washes, and incredible scenery, the Intrepid Trail System provides a great taste of what Moab mountain biking is all about. This is the perfect ride for families and offers spectacular views of the Colorado River and Canyonlands National Park.
- Other Bike Trails – For more family fun biking, contact one of Moab’s fine tour operators for one of the following tours or to have a them customize a bike tour for your family.
Photo courtesy of Rim Tours
- Mill Creek Parkway - A pedestrian and bicycle path that follows Mill Creek
- Goose Island to Bike Pedestrian Bridge over the Colorado River.
Pedestrian Bridge over the Colorado River
Children as young as seven years can learn rappelling and climbing techniques with one of Moab’s trained tour companies.
Photos courtesy of Desert Highlights
When you hear the term white water, you probably get nervous about taking a trip with youngsters, but here are some great ways to enjoy the Colorado River during your visit:
- Half-day and full day raft trips with experienced guides cost surprisingly little and are great for the entire family from toddlers (must weigh 40 lbs) to grandparents.
Rafting the Colorado River
- The "Daily", located northeast of Moab along Utah highway 128, is also known as the Fisher Towers' section. The Daily is Utah's most popular river trip and is ideal for a short adventure, a group outing, an overnight camping trip, or a first river trip.
The Daily section of the Colorado River
Simple Pleasures - A mother and daughter rafting adventure
makes for the experience of a lifetime in Moab!
Moab Recreation and Aquatic Center
This new state-of-the-art 24,000 square-foot facility features an indoor six-lane competition pool with both one-meter and three-meter diving boards, a shallow-water area and slide, an outdoor lap pool with adjoining current channel, and a large outdoor leisure pool with a play structure and slides. A fitness area with weight and cardio machines is also available.
Other Water Fun
Ken’s Lake Recreation Area. Ken’s Lake, an 82 acre manmade reservoir provides cool fun for the entire family with swimming, canoeing, rafting and kayaking, as well as fishing (must have license) and is available for free day use. (links to canoe & kayak rentals and fishing license info.)
Relaxing by Ken's Lake
- Jet boat rides – This is a great way to experience the river with your toddlers.
Jet boat ride on the Colorado River
Family Dinosaur Field Trips
With so many dinosaur resources in one place, Moab is the perfect place to design your own Family Dinosaur Field Trip!
Start your Dinosaur Field Trip in downtown Moab, at the Museum of Moab Check out a full cast skeleton of Gastonia, one of the armored dinosaurs that lived in this area during the Early Cretaceous. The museum also features numerous dinosaur displays, including a cast of the leg of the terrifying Utahraptor.
Continue your journey at Paleosafari Moab Giants, where you can journey back through time with a 3D cinema introducing you to the prehistoric world of dinosaurs. You can also make your own tracks on a half mile hiking trail populated with state-of the art life-size dinosaurs! The Tracks Museum features interactive learning touch screens, games to play, and visually stunning exhibits that not only fascinate, but educate.
After learning about the dinosaur species that once walked these lands, continue north of Moab to one or more of the Moab Dinosaur Sites. A variety of hiking trails will take you to some of the best preserved dinosaur tracks and bones in the country.
Dinosaur tracks. Self guided trail guides are available for the following:
- Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail, contains traces (vertebrae, bone fragments and impressions) of a variety of dinosaur species. Visitors can also view the remnants of an old copper mill and the Halfway Stage Station, a rest stop for travelers during the turn of the century as they traveled from the railroad at Thompson to Moab.
Click here to download a brochure.
- The Copper Ridge Sauropod Tracksite discovered in 1989, reveals the first brontosaurus trackway reported from Utah, as well as trackways of four theropods of various sizes. The dinosaurs walked in several directions across a ripple-marked sand deposit that had accumulated in an ancient river channel.
Click here to download a brochure.
The Matheson Wetlands Preserve located just a half-mile from Moab, provides some of the best wetlands wildlife watching in Utah. A well-defined, handicapped-accessible, mile-long loop trail exists in the southern portion of the preserve. A boardwalk, made from recycled train trestles, spans the trail’s wet areas and leads to a two-story wildlife viewing blind. Additionally, there is a wetlands teaching circle and map station where several brochures are available including bird and wildlife lists as well as brochures for self-guided tours. The preserve is open seven days a week, from sunrise to sunset.
For more information call (435) 259-4629 or visit the Nature Conservancy website.
Self guided Auto Tour to art rock - Click here for brochure - The Moab Area has numerous examples of Indian rock art that can be enjoyed with a passenger car and short walk. Indian cultures can be explored through the stories found on the many rock art sites on cliffs and boulders. People, whose livelihood was based on the harvesting of wild resources, and later on of agriculture, populated this region. Petrogylphs and pictographs left behind help to tell their stories. Petrogylphs, are graphics pecked or abraded into the rock. Pictographs are representations painted on the rocks in one or more colors made from mineral pigments or plant dyes. Panels of both types, and panels which exhibit both styles, are found in the area, and plenty are accessible to passenger vehicles or very short hikes. The area around Moab also has some stone granaries.
- Night Skies - Moab’s clear dark skies are considered one of the top spots for star gazing and perfect for astronomy lessons. With no big cities nearby, you can see thousands of glimmering stars as the Milky Way creates a luminous streak across the sky
- Moab’s own scale model of the solar system was recently installed, allowing residents and visitors to take a stroll from one planet to the other.
Other Outdoor Fun
- Anonymous Park – dirt bike jumps and BMX racing - Located at the end of the Mill Creek Parkway, next to 500 West, Anonymous Park is a tribute to dirt jumping and BMX racing. A series of kickers lead into a fun course that's been developed.
- Disc Golf Course - This new course plays through a beautiful red rock setting with panoramic views of sandstone cliffs and big mountain peaks. The course weaves through varied desert terrain and is dotted with pinyon pines and junipers. A few signature holes lead you out of the junipers in to the tight quarters of Russian Olive groves. Old City Park The course is outfitted with 18 DISCatcher® PRO targets, signs at each tee mapping the hole, directional signs to lead you at a confusing location for first-timers, and dirt tee pads (for now). Dogs are allowed on leash on the course (NOT in the park). PLEASE pick up after them. There is no fee to use the course. Traveling north on Spanish Trail Road, turn left onto Murphy Lane. Look for the park on the left.
- Public Skate Park – 400 North 199 West
The Moab City Skatepark is the result of a great deal of hard work by people in the community who believe that kids need a place to express their creativity on wheels. There was an impressive grassroots efforts by the youth of Moab to fund and establish the Park. The Park was constructed in 1999 and was an immediate success!
Warning: Skateboarding, roller blading and bicycling could be hazardous recreational activities. Use of this facility may result in serious injury. Use at your own risk. The City of Moab does not assume responsibility for injuries. Emergency: Call 911 Moab Police 259-8938 A phone is located in the northwest corner of the Park. The hospital is located at 719 West 400 North (6 blocks west of the Park.)
Cool off after a day in Canyonlands with a cool treat from:
- Action Shots and Ice Cream – 331 North Main Street
- Crystals Cakes & Cones - 26 West Center Street
- Moab Diner & Ice Cream Parlor – 189 South Main Street
Moab Information Center
Once you arrive in Moab, your first stop should be the Moab Information
Center. Conveniently located at the corner of Main and Center Street in
Moab, the MIC offers information on recreational opportunities and visitor
services throughout southeastern Utah. Allow some time for the interpretive
displays and large gift shop featuring guide books, maps, videos, DVD's,
postcards, and much more.
GPS - Moab Info Ctr
38° 34' 22.4" N
109° 33' 0.1" W
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