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Moab Area Hiking Trails

Corona Arch

Our national parks offer exceptional hiking trails through a wide variety of terrain. Arches National Park offers a diverse selection of hikes, from short 10 minute walks that go right up to several of the arches (suitable for all ages), to 7 mile hikes through some of the more remote sections of the park. The Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park offers trails ranging from 30 minute walks on the mesa top, to overnight treks all the way down to the Colorado River. Great hiking, however, doesn’t end with our national parks.

The Moab area contains a large number of pet friendly trails on public lands to suit any experience level. From cool stream-side hikes to spectacular sandstone arches, the Moab area is full of exciting day-hikes suitable for the entire family. What follows is just a taste of what Moab has to offer.

Trail Summary

The day-hikes described on this page are all located within a one-half hour drive of Moab. The closest trailhead to town is about 2 miles from downtown, while the farthest away is 23 miles. All of the trails are suitable for half-day outings. The Hidden Valley and Moab Rim Trails can be combined for a longer one-way hike. Hiking times described represent the number of hours needed to complete a leisurely round trip hike.

  Trail Highest Elevation Elevation Gain Length
(one-way)
1 Portal Overlook 4,940 980 2.0 Miles
2 Corona Arch 4,400 440 1.5 Miles
3 Fisher Towers Trail 5,300 670 2.2 Miles
4 Negro Bill Canyon 4,300 330 2.0 Miles
5 Moab Rim 4,900 940 3.0 Miles
6 Hidden Valley 5,270 680 2.0 Miles
7 Hunter Canyon 4,320 240 2.0 Miles

1. Portal Overlook Trail

Highlights
Panoramic views of the Moab Valley, the La Sal Mountains, the Colorado River, and the south portal.

Length
2.0 miles to Portal Overlook; allow 3 hours round trip

Trailhead
At JayCee Park Recreation Site on Utah Scenic Byway 279, 4.2 miles west of the Utah 279/U.S. 191 junction.

Description
From JayCee Park, follow the hiking trail up the Colorado towards the river "portal. " From the trailside visitor register box, the trail begins its climb to the viewpoint. After several switchbacks, the trail follows a cairned route up "ramps" of Kayenta sandstone to the overlook. Be cautious around the overlook as there are no safety fences. This trail is frequently used by mountain bikers riding down from the mesa top.

Note: During late afternoons in the summer, this trail is largely in the shade of higher cliffs.

2. Corona Arch Trail

Highlights
Corona Arch (140 by 105 foot opening) and adjacent Bow Tie Arch; also views of the Colorado River and a large slickrock canyon.

Length
1.5 miles to Corona Arch; allow 2 hours round trip.

Trailhead
On Utah Scenic Byway 279, 10 miles west of the Utah 279/U.S. 191 junction.

Description
From the parking lot on the north side of the highway follow the trial up to the visitor register box near the railroad; please register. Cross the railroad track and follow an old road bed up through a gap in the rim. From the gap, follow the cairns up the wash for about 100 yards where the trail swings to the left.

Follow the trail and cairns over a low sandy pass and then down towards the base of a large cliffs. Continue along the base of the cliff to the first safety cable and around to the second cable where steps have been cut into the slickrock. Corona Arch is visible from this point. From the top of the second cable climb up over a short ledge and follow the cairns up to the top of the large bench. From this point, it is an easy walk along the broad slickrock bench to the base of Corona Arch.

3. Fisher Towers Trail

Highlights
Close up views of the Fisher Towers and Onion Creek area. Distant views include the Colorado River, Castle Valley, Fisher Mesa, and the Book Cliffs.

Length
2.2 miles one-way to ridge at trail's end; allow 4 hours round trip.

Trailhead
Off Utah Scenic Byway 128. At 21 miles east of the Utah 128/US 191 junction, turn right and go 2.2 miles on an improved dirt road to a parking lot.

Description
From the parking lot (please sign in at register box), the trail goes down a short set of steps and then runs to the left out onto a small slickrock-covered ridge. Follow the ridge away from the main cliffs until just after it narrows and then go left down into the ravine through a small cut on the left side of the ridge. From the bottom of the ravine the trail, heads steeply up and then begins to wind directly beneath the Fisher Towers. After swinging around the largest tower, The Titan, the trail ascends and ends on a ridge with a panoramic view.

The Fisher Towers are composed of Moenkopi and Cutler sandstones, and have eroded into many fantastical shapes. Climbers occasionally scale these mudstone towers (be cautious of hiking directly below a climber!).

Note: This trail has a western exposure and can be exceptionally hot on summer afternoons. Mountain bikes are not allowed on this trail.

4. Negro Bill Canyon

Highlights
Perennial clear stream in scenic canyon and Morning Glory Natural Bridge, which is 243 feet long and the sixth-longest natural rock span in the United States.

Length
2 miles to Morning Glory Bridge; allow 4 hours round trip.

Trailhead
On Utah Scenic Byway 128, three miles east of junction with U.S. 191.

Description
From the parking area next to Utah 128, follow the trail that starts on the left side of the stream. Keep going upstream for about 1.5 miles. Morning Glory Natural Bridge is located at the end of the second side canyon on the right. Follow the trail to where it crosses the stream at the mouth of the side canyon. Cross the stream, then follow the trial up a steep slope into the side canyon. Morning Glory Bridge is located at the end of the trail about 0.5 miles up the canyon from the stream. Do not touch the poison ivy that grows below the pool under the bridge! Poison ivy plants have shiny leaves with serrated edges in dusters of three.

5. Moab Rim Trail

Highlights
Good views of the Colorado River, the Moab Valley, and the sandstone fins of the Behind the Rocks area.

Length
3 miles to connection with Hidden Valley Trail.

Trailhead
On Kane Creek Boulevard, 2.6 miles northwest of its intersection with U.S. Highway 191 in Moab (.1 mile beyond the first cattle-guard).

Description
From the parking area, follow the 4-wheel-drive vehicle route up the slickrock ramps of Kayenta sandstone. After about 1.4 miles, the route reaches a viewpoint of the Moab Valley. Follow the vehicle route south and then down through a slickrock area located between two large domes of Navajo sandstone. At the base of the slickrock area, the route continues along a wash bottom and then up a large sand hill (several routes up). From the top of the sand hill, the route branches twice to the left. The first spur on the left leads to a viewpoint high above Spanish Valley. The second spur route ends after 200 yards at another view point. Ahead to the south, the view is dominated by a long ridge of massive sandstone fins. From the second spur, the main route drops down into a wash and then climbs in an easterly direction to its terminus just below the pass to Hidden Valley.

6. Hidden Valley Trail

Highlights
Good views of the Moab Valley and Behind the Rocks. Trail connects with the southern end of the Moab Rim four-wheel drive trail.

Length
2 miles to pass at north end of Hid den Valley; allow 3 hours round trip.

Trailhead
Drive 3 miles south from Moab on U.S. 191 and turn right onto Angel Rock Road. After two blocks, turn right onto Rimrock Road and drive to parking area.

Description
From the parking area, follow the trail up to the base of the Moab Rim and then ascend a series of steep switchbacks. At the top of the switchbacks, the trial heads north and enters Hidden Valley - a broad shelf between the top of the Moab Rim and Spanish Valley. Follow the trail to a low rise that separates the two halves of Hidden Valley and continue along through the northern section to a point where the trail swings to the left and goes over a low pass. At the pass, the hiker will be rewarded with a view of the large sandstone fins of the Behind the Rocks area. The trail continues down the west side of the pass for about 1/3 mile where it meets the Moab Rim four-wheel-drive trail. The hike may be extended to the Colorado River by following the Moab Rim four-wheel-drive trail to its starting point.

NOTE: During the late afternoon, in the summer, this trail is largely in the shade of higher cliffs.

7. Hunter Canyon

Highlights
Free-flowing stream during spring months with cottonwood trees and pools. A large arch is located high on the right-hand side of the canyon about a half mile from the trailhead.

Length
2 miles one-way; allow 4 hours round trip.

Trailhead
On Kane Creek Canyon Road 7.5 miles west of its intersection with U.S. 191 (Canyon is on the left, one mile beyond the switchbacks).

Description
From the parking area at the mouth of the canyon, follow the hiker-established path about two miles up the canyon until the route gets blocked by brush.

Download Free Hiking Guide

Moab Hiking Brochure

Detailed Maps

Moab Information Center

Once you arrive in Moab, detailed trail maps and guides are available for sale at the Moab Information Center (MIC). Located in the center of Moab, on Main & Center Street, the MIC staff is always happy to assist you.

GPSGPS - Moab Info Ctr
Lat/Long (WGS84)

38° 34' 22.4" N
109° 33' 0.1" W

Mail Order

Detailed trail maps and guides may also be purchased online from the Canyonlands Natural History Association, the company that stocks the information center. They can be reached on the internet at cnha.org or at 800-840-8978.

Pet Friendly Trails

Moab's Pet Friendly Hiking Trails

Pets are allowed on all of the hikes on this page. Please note that Grand County "Animal Care and Control" code does apply:

  1. All dogs must be kept under restraint.
  2. No owner shall fail to exercise proper care and control of his or her animals to prevent them from becoming a public nuisance.

In the backcountry a leash is recommended, not required, but dogs do need to be under verbal restraint and not chase or harass wildlife.

Public Lands

These lands are administered by the Bureau of Land Management. If you have any specific questions about current conditions or regulations, contact them directly:

Bureau of Land Management
Moab Field Office

82 East Dogwood
Moab, Utah 84532
435-259-2100
Website

Essential Equipment Checklist

Drinking water
This is a high desert environment. Bring one gallon per person, per day.

Food

Good Footwear
Tennis or running shoes with rubbery soles are adequate for short slickrock and stream hikes.

Sun Protection
Sun hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses

Route map or trail guide

First-aid kit

Insect repellent

Day pack

Cool season hikes:

  • Long pants
  • Sweater and gloves
  • Earband
  • Coat and/or gear

Canyoneering

If you are looking for something a little different to experience on your next vacation, try canyoneering. "Canyoneering" refers to exploring canyons which occasionally require the use of ropes and basic climbing skills to explore. As a result, canyoneers frequently find themselves in lesser visited canyons that are the hidden gems of southern Utah. Whether you are beginner or expert, Moab's Canyoneering Guides can take you into some of the most beautiful canyons in southern Utah. A complete list of all Moab Canyoneering Guides is included on our Guides & Outfitters page.

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