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Bureau of Land Management Campgrounds

Grand County Fire Restrictions


The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) maintains 26 campgrounds in the Moab area. Individual campsites are available on a first-come/first-served basis. No reservations are accepted.

Did you know: All Moab BLM campgrounds are supported soley by user fees – not tax dollars!  

  • All individual sites are $20/night. Pay at campgroundexact cash or check only.  (Camping in the Sand Flats Recreation Area is $15 per night per vehicle.)
  • Campgrounds and camping areas have picnic tables, vault toilets and fire rings. Firewood gathering is not allowed. Bring your own wood (available at convenience stores in Moab).
  • Campsites are limited to 10 people and two vehicles (or one vehicle and a trailer).
  • RV Sites have no hook-ups. Generator hours are from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.
  • Camping at all sites is limited to 14 days within a 30-day period.
  • Group Campsites – Several campgrounds feature reservable group sites, which are suitable for large groups. All BLM group campgrounds are reserved through recreation.gov.

Please note that drinking water is NOT available at these campsites and plan accordingly.

Please do not drive through campgrounds when "Full" signs are posted. The campgrounds are full and the noise and lights disturb fellow campers!

COVID-19 Updates







RV Length


Group Sites

Picnic Tables

Boat Launch

Horse Corral

Highway 128 Campgrounds

Click on each campground name for exact location on Google Maps.

Goose Island Campground

Hwy 128, 1.4 miles from Hwy 191


Grandstaff Campground

Hwy 128, 3 miles from Hwy 191


Drinks Canyon Campground

Hwy 128, 6.2 miles from Hwy 191


Hal Canyon Campground

Hwy 128, 6.6 miles from Hwy 191


Oak Grove Campground

Hwy 128, 6.9 miles from Hwy 191


Big Bend Campground

Hwy 128, 7.4 miles from Hwy 191


Upper Big Bend Campground

Hwy 128, 8.1 miles from Hwy 191


Upper Onion Creek Campground

Hwy 128, 21 miles from Hwy 191, then 0.7 miles southeast on gravel road. Has corral for up to 8 horses.


Lower Onion Creek Campground

Hwy 128, 21.5 miles from Hwy 191 then 1 mile northwest on graded road.


Fisher Towers Campground

Hwy 128, 21.5 miles from Hwy 191 – Dirt Road access.


Hittle Bottom Campground

Hwy 128, 22.5 miles from Hwy 191


Dewey Bridge Campground

Hwy 128, 28.7 miles from Hwy 191


Highway 279 Campgrounds

Click on each campground name for exact location on Google Maps.

Jaycee Park Campground

Hwy 279, 4.2 miles from Hwy 191


Williams Bottom Campground

Hwy 279, 6 miles from Hwy 191


Gold Bar Campground

Hwy 279, 10.2 miles from Hwy 191


Highway 313 Campgrounds

Click on each campground name for exact location on Google Maps.

Lone Mesa Group Sites

Utah 313, 9 miles from Hwy 191


Horsethief Campground

Utah 313, 12 miles from Hwy 191


Cowboy Campground

Utah 313, 14 miles from Hwy 191


Kane Creek Road Campgrounds

Click on each campground name for exact location on Google Maps.

Kings Bottom Campground

Kane Creek Rd, 2.8 miles from Hwy 191


Moonflower Campground

Kane Creek Rd, 3 miles from Hwy 191


Hunter Canyon Campground

Kane Creek Rd, 7.8 miles from Hwy 191 – Dirt road access.


The Ledge A, B, C, D, & E Campgrounds

Kane Creek Rd, 10 miles from Hwy 191 – Access to the Ledge Campground is down a tight, steep switchback and over several creek crossings on a gravel/dirt road. It is not recommended for vehicles over 22′ or vehicles pulling long trailers.


Ken’s Lake Campground

Click on campground name for exact location on Google Maps.

Ken’s Lake Campground

8.5 miles south of Moab off Hwy 191, then follow signs south on Spanish Valley Dr.


Mill Canyon (North of Moab)

Click on campground name for exact location on Google Maps.

Courthouse Rock

16 mi north of Moab on Hwy 191, then approximately 1 mi on the graveled Mill Canyon Road (turn left at first “Y” on road). Large graveled parking area suitable for large RVs and/or trailers


Sand Flats Recreation Area

Click on campground name for exact location on Google Maps.

Sand Flats Recreation Area

Sand Flats Road, 2 miles east of Moab



  • Sand Flats Recreation Area – Most sites accommodate up to a 26 foot RV. Campground A has 6 sites that will accommodate RVs up to 40 ft.
  • Goose Island – All sites accomodate RVs up to 40 ft.
  • Horsethief – All sites accomodate RVs up to 40 ft.
  • Ken’s Lake – Numerous sites accommodate RVs up to 40 ft.
  • Big Bend – 5 sites will accommodate RVs up to 40 ft.
  • Hittle Bottom – 5 sites will accommodate RVs up to 40 ft.
  • Gold Bar– Reservable group sites that accommodate several large RVs.
  • Lone Mesa– Reservable group sites that accommodate several large RVs.


There are three reservable BLM group sites that accommodate horses (have horse corrals) in the Moab Area. These are reservable on recreation.gov six months in advance and up to eight days before the arrival date. No water is available and feed must be weed-free. As a courtesy to fellow users, please consider removing animal waste from the corrals/campground:
  • Upper Onion Creek Group Site A
  • Ken’s Lake Group Site A
  • Lone Mesa Group Site A

BLM Camping Map

Where to get a shower in Moab.

Dispersed (Primitive) Camping On Public Lands

Grand County Fire Restrictions

Within 20 miles of Moab, camping is only allowed in developed campgrounds.

Primitive camping is available in certain areas outside of Moab (see map & legend below): These regulations apply to all primitive sites:

  • Vehicles must stay on roads
  • Human waste carryout required (portable toilet or human waste bags)
  • Pack it in; pack it out
  • Do not build new fire rings or leave trash in existing ones.
  • No wood cutting or gathering.
  • Do not mark on rocks

Dealing with Human and Pet Waste While Dispersed Camping

Due to high use, human and pet waste is a serious health issue at dispersed camping sites. All solid waste must be packed out in approved waste bags or portable toilet systems. These may be purchased at the Moab Information Center and Moab outdoor retailers.

Human Waste

To reduce damage to natural and cultural resources and to provide for public safety, the following ordinances have been passed. Compliance is mandatory for all dispersed campers.

Human Waste

No person shall dump or otherwise deposit human waste, or wastewater contaminated by fecal matter, on Public Lands except in a Sewage Facility. All persons are required to carry out solid human body waste and must possess and utilize a Sewage Facility that allows for the disposal of solid human waste through an authorized refuse container or sewage systems.

No compliance will result in a violation of Title 17 and guilty of a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.

Here is the link to the Grand County, Utah Ordinance 604 (2019)

Pet Waste

Grand County Title 6 Animals

6.16.030 Animal waste. The owner of every animal shall be responsible for the removal of any excreta deposited by his or her animal or animals on public walks, recreation areas, or private property. (Ord. 129 Art. IX, 1977)

Except as otherwise specifically provided in this title, any person who shall violate any provision of this title shall be deemed guilty of a Class B misdemeanor and shall be punished by a term of incarceration in the county jail not to exceed six months and fined in the sum not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) or by both such term of incarceration and fine. (Ord. 329 § 4 (part), 2000; Ord. 129 Art. XII, 1977)

Here is the link to the Grand County Ordinance Title 6

Waste Disposal Bags

The areas with designated sites (marked with green hatch lines) are summarized below:

  • Dubinky Well Road – 12 sites on the east side of the road
  • Gemini Bridges Road – 6 campsites located in Bride Canyon.
  • Cotter Mine Road- 10 sites located just off HWY 191 and north of SR 313
  • Dripping Springs Area – 6 large campsites near Tenmile Wash
  • Black Ridge Area – 6 sites located in the camping area.
  • Picture Frame Arch Area – 4 sites located in the Behind the Rocks area located six miles southwest from Moab off Hwy. 191

There are several areas in which no sites are designated and camping is not allowed (orange). The Shafer Basin, which forms the viewshed of Dead Horse Point State Park and is important bighorn sheep habitat, has no sites. Long Canyon, which is subject to extreme flooding and is also important bighorn habitat, has no sites. No camping is allowed in the Mill Creek area immediately east of the city of Moab, or on the west side of Spanish Valley. No camping is allowed within one mile of developed recreation sites in the Canyon Rims Recreation Area. If you have any questions about primitive camping restrictions please contact the Moab BLM Office at (435) 259-2100.

Moab Outdoor Adventure Guide

The Moab Outdoor Adventure Guide is a new comprehensive guide to adventures and activities that are available on the public lands surrounding Moab. If you are interested in hiking, off-road driving, river activities, scenic byways, dark sky observing, mountain biking, e-biking, rock art tours, camping, dinosaur trails, or traveling with pets, this guide will set you on the right path. The Moab Outdoor Adventure Guide is NOW AVAILABLE for free at the Moab Information Center (corner of Main & Center Streets in Moab). The ebook version is also available for download. Click here to view the Moab Outdoor Adventure Guide online.

Rock Climbing and Canyoneering

Discover why people from around the world come to experience rock climbing and canyoneering in Moab, Utah. Moab has many professional guides and outfitters to help you find the perfect trip to match your pace and skills. Moab rock climbing and canyoneering are one-of-a-kind adventures you don’t want to miss!


Moab’s beautiful water carved canyons, inaccessible without technical skills, await your discovery. Moab’s experienced canyoneering guides will teach you the skills required for adventurous hikers to explore Utah’s remote red rock canyons. No previous climbing or rappelling experience is required. Anyone who is reasonably fit can experience the adventure of a lifetime. Hire a local guide to expedite an introduction to Moab’s canyoneering areas. A complete list can be found on our Guides & Outfitters page.

Granary Canyon

  • Technical, but what Canyoneering route isn’t?
  • 45 minute drive from Moab
  • 6 rappels (120’, 70’, 60’, 40’, 20’, 200’)
  • 6 miles hiking
  • Located along the Longs Canyon Road off of Hwy 313

Did You Know

The Bureau of Land Management recommends not utilizing the Granary Canyon route from April through August due to Big Horn Sheep in area. (All commercial permits are restricted from utilizing this route from April through the end of August to allow wildlife room to roam.)

Morning Glory

  • 2 rappels (95’ and 120’)
  • 3.5 miles hiking
  • 10 minute drive from Moab
  • Located off of the Sandflats Road


Moab’s Climbing Landscape

With easy access to thousands of routes on hard, high quality sandstone—not to mention soaring red cliffs, out-of-this-world rock formations, and enough variety to keep all levels of climbers engaged, Moab is a must-visit destination on your climbing bucket list. Several of the best-loved climbing areas in the West are just a stone’s throw from downtown Moab. Whether your specialty is splitter cracks, clipping bolts, or desert towers, there’s something in the Moab area for you.

Unfamiliar with Moab?

Hire a local climb guide to expedite an introduction to area routes. A complete list can be found on our Guides & Outfitters.

On Your Own

Wall Street
Located along Hwy 279

River Road Dihedrals


With Children

Moab Climbing
Moab Climbing

Proficiency is paramount supervising children in climbing. Do not expect to climb at adult limits with children. Moab has terrific climbing companies and their familiarity with the region is worth the investment.

School Room

Located on Hwy 279 in the Wall Street vicinity

Ice Cream Parlor

Located on Kane Springs Road

Slabs on Hwy 313

Located 2 miles from Hwy 191 on Hwy 313
Two anchors are set 80 ft up and can be walked to from the left.

Camping Near Climbing Areas

Wall Street

Bureau of Land Management sites Jaycee Park and Williams Bottom Campgrounds are close by on Hwy 279.

River Road Dihedras

Bureau of Land Management sites Goose Island and Granstaff campgrounds are close by on Hwy 128.

The National Parks

Arches National Park

Canyoneering and rock climbing activities in Arches National Park will be actively managed and monitored according to the “August 2013 resulting Climbing and Canyoneering Management Plan”. It is the responsibility of the visitor to be aware of new regulations and updated Superintendent compendiums.

NPS Laws and Policies

While establishment of new routes will be allowed, installation of new fixed gear on new and existing routes will require a free special use permit. In order to minimize resource impacts, the park will actively seek input and assistance from the climbing and canyoneering community in assessing the suitability and quality of new fixed gear placement proposals, and replacement of existing fixed gear.

For details about group limits, obtaining required permits and regulations use the following links.



Canyonlands National Park

Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park has the best quality rock and some established climbing routes. Permits are only required when staying overnight in the backcountry.

Climbing is prohibited into cultural resources, on arches or natural bridges of Canyonlands or the Orange Cliffs Unit adjacent to the MAZE District of Canyonlands. No altering rock by any means. Power tools are prohibited. Colored or Non Marking Chalk is required in the Parks. Be familiar with Regulations and exceptions.

NPS Laws and Policies


Map courtesy of Sharp End Publishing

  • Bouldering across Hwy 128 from Big Bend Campground has been established for visitors with the appropriate gear.
  • Bouldering along the Moab Canyon Pathway north of Arches National Park entrance is park property and prohibited.

Personal Safety

Caution: Extreme weather, becoming lost, and falls are among the possible mishaps. Anticipate these dangers with thorough planning and realistic evaluation of abilities and personal limits.

  • Heat and Sun – Protection from the desert and heat related illnesses can be countered by covering up skin to prevent sunburn and drinking water to prevent dehydration. Muscle cramps could be a sign to drink more water or replenish electrolytes, not just muscle fatigue from climbing. Bring more water than is normally used. To stay hydrated, drink before feeling thirsty. In hot months, avoid direct sun as much as possible.
  • Lightning – The southwest averages 8-10 inches of rainfall a year, however, sometimes that precipitation is torrential and violent. Since lighting hits high points to ground itself climbers should be watchful of weather to avoid this dangerous situation. To learn more visit lightningsafety.com. Also, recognize the signals of flooding so you can reach high ground to get out of canyons.
  • Gear – Know the condition of your equipment, have the skill to use that specialized equipment and replace damaged items. Cam placement in sandstone is tricky. Moab has a number of shops with climbing gear to purchase. For remote access to climbs, have maps, compass and GPS units in working order and the skills to use them. Do not rely on GPS units only. Be aware of your surroundings and have the ability to travel safely.
  • Travel – Leave a general itinerary and include a contingency plan with one or more people. Include trailheads, exit points, if not a map, the names of the maps with grid coordinates, and the phone numbers of the destination’s organizations like land managers – National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management or Sheriff Department to activate Search and Rescue (if it comes to that). Get permits if required for the climbing activity or resulting camping required for more remote access to climbs. Cell phone service is not dependable. Consider utilizing a personal locator beacon like The SPOT Satellite messenger, DeLorme Inreach, or SARLink device to call for help in an emergency situation. However, do not depend solely on this technology.

Minimum Impact Practices

  • Water in the backcountry is scarce and to be protected. Leave potholes undisturbed. Camping 300 feet from water enables wildlife access. Maintain distance away from wildlife. Be quiet around wildlife; keep pets and children under control.
  • Pets are not allowed in the National Park backcountry. Pets may accompany you on Bureau of Land Management lands. For the safety of your pet (there are many shear drop-offs in Canyon Country) and other hikers, pets should be kept under verbal control at all times. For heavily trafficked areas, please pack out pet waste.
  • Admire ruins, artifacts, historic sites from a distance. Do not touch. Tread lightly.
  • Marking up stone surfaces is prohibited and unlawful.
  • Travel on designated roads. Walk on established trails, on rock or in washes. Avoid disturbing vegetation.
  • Pack out your trash. Clean up after less thoughtful users. Use a toilet system that is washable and reusable, necessarily promoting sanitary transfer to sewage treatment facilities, or a toilet EPA approved for disposal in landfills designated for human waste (for example, wag bags). It is prohibited to empty theses toilets and wag bags into vault or flush toilets.
  • Gathering firewood for campfires is prohibited. Campfires are prohibited except in pre-existing fire rings or utilizing an accepted fire pan system comprised of a durable, metal fire pan at least 12-inches wide, with at least a 1.5-inch lip around its outer edge and sufficient to contain fire and remains. Cold coals are to be packed out as trash. Fire blankets under fire pans are recommended to facilitate total ash removal. The desert undergoes fire bans seasonally. Phone 435-259-8825 for an update.
  • Utilize sandstone colored chalk. Or use toothbrushes or Metolius cleaning brushes (no metal brushes, of course!) and clean holds after the climb or bouldering. Consider not using chalk at all. Using brushes can alter existing holds on this fragile sandstone.
  • Climb when the rock is completely dry. Climbing the day after a rain deteriorates the rock. It may take more than two days to dry.
  • Guidebooks on the Moab area can be purchased at Gearheads, Back of Beyond Books, Pagan (Climber) Mountaineering, and the Moab Information Center stores in Moab or online.

Photo courtesy of Hunter Imagery & Moab BASE Adventures

Be Familiar With Regulations

Kid Fun in Canyonlands National Park

Kid Friendly Hiking

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 Roc.

Island in the Sky District

Mesa Arch

Length: 0.5mi / 0.8km round trip

Whale Rock Trail

Length: 1 mile round trip

Difficulty: Easy

Whale Rock 1.0mi / 1.5km 1hour 100ft / 30m Bare Slickrock – Good views.

Whale Rock is a rounded, eroded sandstone fin that is fun to climb. Handrails are provided to help people reach the top, where you are rewarded with impressive views out over Upheaval Dome.

The trailhead is located near the end of the Upheaval Dome Road, in the Island in the Ski District of Canyonlands National Park. From the trailhead you can see the rock, which does somewhat resemble a beached whale.

Base of Whale Rock
Follow the wide, sandy trail to the eastern edge of Whale Rock. From there you will see the recommended route up the rock, using the handrails. You’ll also see that people have walked along the base of the rock, looking for spots where they can climb to the top.

Viewpoint on Rock
The rock is rounded, but it is easy to walk along the top. The best views are found about half-way along the rock, but you can continue along the top to the western edge. When you are ready to return, just retrace your steps back to the trailhead.

Upheaval Dome Overlook

Length: 1.6 mile round-trip, Elevation gain: 50ft / 15m

Time: 30 minutes round trip

Difficulty: Easy

Description: Upheaval Dome is a geographic oddity, an anticline where rocks have been pushed up and then eroded to produce interesting strata. Surrounding the dome is a downwarp in the rock layers, a feature called a syncline. The overlook provides a spectacular view of these interesting features.

The trailhead is located at the end of the Upheaval Dome Road, in the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park. The trail is wide and easy to follow.

First Overlook
It is an easy 0.3 mile hike to a vista overlooking the dome. The views are impressive, but an even better view can be had by following the trail along the rim to a Second Overlook.

Second Overlook
The second overlook is about 0.5 miles farther along the rim. From either viewpoint, just hike back the way you came to your vehicle at the trailhead parking area.

Needles District

Cave Spring

Length: 0.6 miles round trip

Difficulty: Easy

Description: This short, easy hike provides great scenery plus glimpses into the past, as you view a historic cowboy camp and also prehistoric Native American rock art. The trail is wide and easy, but you do have to climb 2 wooden ladders placed to make it easy to get up cliffs.

This hike is in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. To find the trailhead follow the main road (Route 211) into the Needles area. As you enter the park, just past the visitors center, the road forks. Stay left and follow the signs to the trailhead.

In the early 1900s, this area was a popular range for sheep and cattle. A large camp was established here, next to a reliable spring, to accommodate the cowboys. Cooking and most activities were performed outside and many relics remain, including Dutch ovens, fry pans, tables and other implements. The camp is set against a rock, which alcoves where cowboys slept. The spring bubbles from the ground in the last alcove. Ancient pictographs can be seen on a blackened wall in this alcove.

Hiking Loop
If you hike in a clockwise direction, the cowboy camp is just a few hundred feet from the trailhead. From the camp, you can continue a loop hike back to the trailhead. Wooden ladders allow easy access to the slickrock above the camp. From there you will have extraordinary views out over the surrounding countryside.

Pothole Point Trail

Length: 0.6 miles round trip

Difficulty: Easy

Pothole Point is another popular hike, especially if the potholes are full of water and the creatures that live in these small ecosystems.

Description: This trail loops around an area of slickrock where there are numerous potholes. These basins in the sandstone retain water after storms. The trail offers great views of The Needles in the distance. Incredible photos can be taken with the canyonlands scenery reflected off the glassy surface of water in the potholes.

The trailhead is located along the Big Spring Overlook road in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, near the end of the road. Visitors can hike along the established trail, or just poke around the slickrock. The official hike is short and easy, but you may want to wander a bit and play on the rock.

CAUTION: You do need to be attentive when hiking with kids in Canyonlands as there are unfenced overlooks throughout the park.

Junior Ranger Program

There are a few ways to earn a Junior Ranger badge at Canyonlands. Free Junior Ranger booklets are available at park visitor centers. Filled with fun activities, these books reveal the wonders of Canyonlands to kids and parents alike. After completing certain exercises, participants earn a Junior Ranger badge and signed certificate. Activities are designed for ages 5 and up.

At the Island in the Sky, you may also earn a badge for attending a Family Program (in season) or completing three activities from the Explorer Pack

Family Programs

At the Island in the Sky, everyone in the family can get involved with fun, hands-on activities about nature. Kids who participate can earn a sticker or work toward a Junior Ranger badge. Activities are offered daily from June through August; check at the Visitor Center for a schedule.

Explorer Packs

Both the Island in the Sky and Needles districts offer a unique tool for kids eager to explore and learn about the area: Explorer Packs. These packs contain many useful items, including binoculars, a hand lens, a naturalist guide and a notebook. Before you set out for the day, stop by the visitor center and check one out (deposit required).

Canyonlands National Park

The largest national park in Utah, with diversity that staggers the imagination.

Moab Savings!


Canyonlands is the largest national park in Utah, and its diversity staggers the imagination. The easiest way to see the park is with a visit to the Island in the Sky district, only 32 miles (51.5 km) from Moab. The Island in the Sky offers many pullouts with spectacular views along the paved scenic drive. Hiking trails and four-wheel-drive roads access backcountry areas for day or overnight trips.

The Island in the Sky sits atop a massive 1500 foot mesa, quite literally an Island in the Sky. Twenty miles (32.2 km) of paved roads lead to many of the most spectacular views in Canyon Country. From these lofty viewpoints visitors can often see over 100 miles (161 km) in any given direction, resulting in panoramic views that encompass thousands of square miles of canyon country. Take a short day-hike or spend a relaxing late afternoon enjoying the sunset. Whether you have a few hours to spend or a few days, the Island in the Sky provides an unforgettable Canyon Country experience for the entire family.

Thank you for wearing a face covering in Moab.

Face coverings that completely cover the nose and mouth are now mandatory in Moab. They must be worn in public areas including indoor or outdoor space open to the public where consistent social distancing of at least 6 feet is not possible, reasonable or prudent. Free masks are available at the Moab Information Center, on the corner of Main and Center Streets, and at the national parks.

Distance from Moab
32 miles (51.5km)
Directions from Moab
Take Highway 191 10 miles (16 km) north to Highway 313, and then drive southwest 22 miles (35 km). Driving time to the visitor center from Moab is roughly 40 minutes.
Park Hours
Canyonlands National Park is normally open year-round, 24 hours a day.
Entrance Fee
$30/vehicle – Good for 7 days (Subject to change.) Note: Fee collections are suspended until June 15, 2020.
Visitor Center & Hours

Inside visitor services temporarily closed. (Visitor services available outside building.) Bookstore open.

Canyonlands is open year-round, 24 hours a day, however the park visitor centers close for the winter. Call (435) 719-2313 for park information.



COVID-19 Updates

  • Trails, overlooks and bookstore are open. Visitor services are available outside of the visitor center.
  • Island in the Sky and The Needles Campgrounds are open.
  • Nearby BLM campsites, RV resorts and hotels are open.
  • Backcountry and river permits are only available online until further notice.
  • Get more COVID-19 information here.


Island in the Sky Campground (Willow Flat) has 12 sites, first-come, first-served. The campground is open year-round. The spectacular Green River Overlook is nearby. Nightly camping fee is $15 per site. Sites fill quickly spring through fall. There are toilets, picnic tables, and fire rings in the campground. There are no hookups for RVs and no water at the campground. You can get drinking water outside the visitor center spring through fall.

In addition to the campground located within the park, there is a great selection of additional campgrounds in the surrounding area. Moab has many commercial campgrounds with RV hookups in addition to a huge assortment of BLM public campgrounds in extremely scenic locations. Click here for a complete list of all the camping options available in the Moab area.

Suggested Activities

A Few Hours
Drive the park’s 20 miles (32.2 km) of paved roads and enjoy the spectacular views. Sunrise and sunset are particularly beautiful times of day to enjoy these lofty panoramic views of canyon country.
1/2 Day
Drive the paved scenic drive and hike some of the shorter trails, such as the Mesa Arch or Upheaval Dome Trails. A recent theory suggests that Upheaval Dome was created by a meteor impact.
Full Day
Drive the paved scenic drive and hike some of the longer trails in the park, such as the 5 mile (8 km) round trip Neck Spring Trail. Those with high clearance/4WD vehicles can drive down the Shafer Trail to the White Rim and explore Musselman Arch, or drive all the way down to the Colorado River via Lathrop Canyon. Note that a Day Use Permit is required.
Several Days
Backpackers can experience the solitude of Canyonlands by hiking some of the trails from the mesa top to the White Rim (steep & strenuous) and spend the night in the backcountry. 4-wheel drive enthusiasts or mountain bikers may want to travel the 100 mile “White Rim Trail” which loops below the Island in the Sky mesa. Reservations for White Rim campsites and a Backcountry Permit is required.


Please note that food is not available within the park. The closest restaurants are either in the town of Moab, at Dead Horse Point State Park, or at the dinosaur museum at the intersection of Highways 191 and 313 (entrance fee is not required to access the restaurant).

Park Highlights

Green River Overlook

Green River Overlook

The Green River meanders beneath the Island in the Sky, as seen from the Green River Overlook. A paved walkway leads right up to the overlook.

Mesa Arch

Mesa Arch

A great hike for families with small children, the .5 mi (.8 km) round trip hike to Mesa Arch rewards visitors with a naturally framed view of canyon country.

Shafer Trail

Shafer Trail

The Shafer Trail descends from the Island in the Sky to the White Rim. A high clearance vehicle is strongly recommended. For current conditions check at the visitor center or call 435-259-4351.

Cataract Canyon

Cataract Canyon

Located in Canyonlands National Park, Cataract Canyon contains fourteen miles of rapids ranging in difficulty up to Class V.

Spring Wildflowers

Spring Wildflowers

Indian Paintbrush are just one of the many wildflowers that populate the Island in the Sky in the Spring (April-June).

Night Sky

Night Sky

Canyonlands National Park, which contains some of the darkest night skies in North America, is a popular destination for stargazers. Click here for the latest sunrise/sunset and moon phase information for Moab.



Canyonlands is famous for its mountain biking terrain, particularly for the 100-mile White Rim Road at the Island in the Sky. The Maze also offers some multi-day trip possibilities, though the logistics and roads are more difficult (for the support vehicles, not the bikes).

The Rivers

The Rivers

The Colorado and Green rivers wind through the heart of Canyonlands, cutting through layered sandstone to form two deep canyons. Both rivers are calm upstream of the Confluence, ideal for canoes, kayaks and other shallow water craft. Below the Confluence, the combined flow of both rivers spills down Cataract Canyon with remarkable speed and power, creating a world-class stretch of white water.

Biological Soil Crust

Help to keep all of our trails open. Protect this fragile, but crucial, soil by remaining on designated roads, routes and trails at all times.

Biological soil crust, also known as cryptobiotic soil, is the foundation of desert plant life. This black, knobby crust is made up of many different living organisms and plays a vital role in maintaining the desert ecosystem. However, this sensitive soil is extremely fragile and can take decades to grow. Even a footstep can damage the crust for decades, having lasting impacts on the desert environment. Please stay on the trials. Help to protect this fragile life by remaining on designated roads, routes, and trails at all times. Where hiking trails are not established, hike in sandy washes or on bare rock.


The Island in the Sky offers a wide variety of hiking trails ranging from short 30 minute walks on the mesa top, to overnight expeditions all the way down to the Colorado River.

Trails are marked with cairns (small rock piles). Please do not disturb existing cairns or build new ones. Signs are located at trailheads and intersections. All trails leading below the Mesa Top are primitive and rough; carry and know how to use a topographic map. No potable water is available along any of the hiking trails. During the warmest months always carry at least one gallon of water per person, per day.

Mesa Top – Easy Trails




Elev. Change

Mesa Arch

0.5mi / 0.8km

30 minutes

100ft / 30m

Mornings are best – Beautiful Arch on cliff edge.

Murphy Point

1.3mi / 1.9km

1 hour

100ft / 30m

Panoramic view with Henry Mountains.

White Rim Overlook

1.5mi / 2.0km

1 hour

25ft / 8m

View of potholes & White Rim Road.

Grand View Point

2.0mi / 3.0km

1.5 hours

50ft / 15m

Panoramic view along cliff edge.

Mesa Top – Moderate Trails




Elev. Change

Neck Spring

5.0mi / 8.0km

3 – 4 hours

300ft / 91m

Springs – Evidence of ranching

Aztec Butte

2.0mi / 3.0km

1.5 hours

225ft / 69m

Steep slickrock to top – Granaries.

Whale Rock

1.0mi / 1.5km

1 hour

100ft / 30m

Bare slickrock – Good views.

Upheaval Dome to Main Overlook

1.0mi / 1.5km

30 minutes

50ft / 15m

View into crater

Upheaval Dome to Second Overlook

2.0mi / 3.0km

45 minutes

200ft / 61m

View of crater & upheaval canyon

Mesa Top to White Rim – Steep & Strenuous Trails




Elev. Change

Lathrop to White Rim Road

10mi / 16km

5- 7 hours

1600ft / 488m

Views of Colorado River & La Sal Mountains

Lathrop to Colorado River

17mi / 27km


2000ft / 610m

River access – Cottonwoods

Murphy Loop

9mi / 14km

5 – 7 hours

1400ft / 427m

Panoramic view from hogback.


6mi / 10km

4-6 Hours


Views of cliffs & La Sal Mountains.


10mi / 16km

6 – 8 hours

1600ft / 488m

Slot canyon across White Rim Road.

Alcove Spring

10mi / 16km

6 – 7 hours

1300ft / 396m

Large alcove, views of Taylor Canyon.

Syncline Loop

8mi / 13km

5 – 7 hours

1300ft / 396m

Canyon hiking – some shade.

Syncline Loop: Upheaval Crater Spur

3mi / 4km

2 hours

350ft / 107m

Some scrambling over rocks.

Syncline Loop: Upheaval Canyon Spur

6mi / 10km

2 – 3 hours

400ft / 122m

Sandy hike along wash bottom.


With hundreds of miles of four-wheel-drive roads, Canyonlands offers ideal terrain for multi-night mountain bike trips. Most groups travel with vehicle support to haul water and gear since there are few reliable water sources along these roads. For the truly adventurous, self-supported trips with panniers and trailers are also possible. Bikes must remain on designated roads: there are no single-track trails in the park.

Things to Know

  • Overnight Trips: You must have a permit for all overnight trips.
  • Day Trips: You must have a permit for day trips on White Rim, Elephant Hill, Lavender Canyon, and Peekaboo/Horse Canyon roads.
    Groups must camp in designated sites.
  • Reservations for White Rim campsites are very competitive. You may have to make a reservation up to four months in advance.
  • There are no shoulders or bike lanes. Be aware of passing vehicles.

Where Can I Ride My Bike?

You can ride a bicycle on any public roadway in the park. Some roads are better for cycling than others. Check at visitor centers for recommendations and road conditions.

Paved Roads

You can ride on paved roads at the Island in the Sky. You must must ride single file. There are no road shoulders or bike lanes; please be aware of passing vehicles.

Backcountry Roads

Canyonlands is famous for its mountain biking terrain, particularly for the 100-mile White Rim Road at Island in the Sky. The 100-mile White Rim Road loops around and below the Island in the Sky mesa top and provides expansive views of the surrounding area. Bicycle trips usually take three to four days. Overnight and day-use permits are required.

Do I Need a Permit?

  • Day Use: If you’re taking a day trip on the White Rim, Elephant Hill, Lavender Canyon, or Peekaboo/Horse Canyon roads, you need a day-use permit.
  • Overnight: If you’re going on an overnight trip, you need an overnight permit.

During the spring and fall, demand for permits frequently exceeds the number available. If you plan to visit Canyonlands during peak season, especially to bike and camp along the White Rim Road, we recommend making reservations well in advance. You can reserve overnight permits up to four months in advance of the start of your trip. Day-use permits are available up to 24 hours in advance of your trip.

Mountain bike groups must travel single-file, remain on established roads, and camp in designated sites. There is no single-track riding in the park. We recommend a support vehicle for all multi-day bike trips: there are no water sources along most of the roads. Guided trips are available for many destinations within Canyonlands.

Electronic Bicycles (e-bikes)

On August 30, 2019 the National Park Service announced a new electric bicycle (e-bike) policy for national parks, expanding recreational opportunities and accessibility. The policy supports Secretary’s Order 3376, signed by U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt on August 29, 2019, that directs Department of the Interior (DOI) bureaus to create a clear and consistent e-bike policy on all federal lands managed by the Department.

Beginning October 1, 2019, visitors to Southeast Utah Group parks (Arches and Canyonlands national parks and Hovenweep and Natural Bridges national monuments) will be allowed to use e-bikes where traditional bicycles are allowed. Bicycles and e-bikes are allowed on paved and unpaved roads that are open to the public. Bicycles and e-bikes are not allowed on any trails in the parks.

There are no charging stations in the parks. Generators are not allowed in the backcountry. This change in e-bike policy applies to private and commercial use in the parks.

The National Park Service announcement and the agency’s new e-bike policy are available online at www.nps.gov/orgs/1207/ebikepolicy.htm.


Canyonlands is a paradise for photographers. Under conditions of constantly changing light, the varicolored landscape provides limitless photographic opportunities. Often, the difference between an average photograph and an exceptional photograph is good lighting. Low sun angles at sunrise and sunset can add brilliant color to the rock. Scattered clouds can also add depth to an image and a passing storm can provide extremely dramatic lighting.

Arches National Park

Scenic Byway U-313

Dead Horse Mesa Scenic Byway


U-313 is a 22.5 mile (36.2 km) long State highway that winds its way through Grand and San Juan Counties. The highway is the access road for Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park.  U-313 was first built in 1975 in place of U-278.  

Construction crew severely damaged the U-313 while constructing the road into what is now Canyonlands National Park. In 1988 the route was rebuilt from its original state of steep grades and blind switchbacks to its current state. The reconstruction of SR-313 was done at the same time as the access road into Canyonlands National Park.

U-313 is currently called the Dead Horse Mesa Scenic Byway.  This Scenic byway leads you to one of the most photographed landscapes in the world.  Dead Horse Point makes you feel as if you are on top of the world, with some of the most amazing 360-degree views.  

At the highest viewpoint on a clear day, the La Sal Mountains can be viewed to the east, the Abajo Mountains to the South, The Henry Mountains to the west and the Bookcliffs to the north. 

Dead Horse Mesa Scenic Byway U-313

0.0 MILES (0.0 KM) – Beginning of Scenic Byway and Movie Location

The intersection of SR-313 and Hwy 191: mile marker 136.8 on US 191 and 11 miles (17.7 km) north of downtown Moab, Utah, 20 miles – 32.2 km (south of Exit 180 on I-70. This is the beginning of your journey to what seems to be the ends of the earth.

Before starting your journey you may want to travel .3 miles (.5 km) north on Highway 191 to fill your tank at the gas station located there.  This station was one of the iconic movie locations in the 1997 movie Breakdown, starring Kurt Russell and Kathleen Quinlan. The plot is basically about a man searching for his missing wife after his car breaks down in the middle of the desert.

Breakdown, with Kurt Russell
Kurt Russell gasses up his vehicle near the intersection of US-191 & U-313 in Breakdown.

Note: Don’t worry folks, reliable car service is just a phone call away in Moab.

Proceed back to the beginning of U-313 and set your trip odometer to 0.

0.01 MILES ( .02 KM)- Entrance to Moab Giants Dinosaur Park

This attraction has life size dinosaurs that walk the ground that they used to call home. https://moabgiants.com/

Moab Giants Dinosaur Park is the first of its kind world-wide. The perfect balance of adventure and science, Moab Giants has been the realization of a dream for both dinosaur park enthusiasts, and world renowned scientists. They have special expertise in the field of fossil footprints and a deep knowledge of the paleontology of the region. 

Moab Giants Dinosaur Museum
5D Paleo-Aquarium

Moab Giants

Not only is the park set among some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery, it is also a unique experience for all ages. Start your journey through time with a 3D cinema introducing you into the prehistoric world, and then venture outside and make your own tracks alongside over 100 state-of the art life-size dinosaurs. You will be roaming the extraordinary landscape dinosaurs once called home, as evidenced by the huge concentration of fossilized tracks found all around the area. The Tracks Museum is full of entertainment with interactive learning touch screens, games to play, and visually stunning exhibits that not only fascinate, but educate. The 5D Paleo-Aquarium gives you a realistic view into ancient life under the sea. Your time in the aquarium will end in the 5D room with an earth shattering experience you are sure not to forget!

Note: The Giant’s Cafe serves up a great selection of food items, and entrance into the park is not required.  Stop in for lunch before starting your journey.

0.6 MILES  (1 KM) – Cliffline Viewpoint & Information Kiosks

This roadside parking area contains information about Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park, along with information on travel and camping rules for the area.  In addition to great views of the area’s geology, abandoned uranium mining activity is visible to the north on the cliffside. 

2.3 MILES (3.7 KM) – Seven Mile Canyon (South Fork)

On the left is a parking area through a gate. This canyon is closed to vehicle traffic about 2.2 miles (3.5 km) up but is open to horseback riders and hikers. Follow the wash up the main canyon. Along the main canyon walls, you may catch a glimpse of a few petroglyphs (these are tricky to find so keep an eye out).  The canyon ends at a grotto that usually has water in a small pond (this is not for human consumption). 7.2 miles (11.6 km) round trip. 

2.7 MILES (4.3 KM) – Rock Art

Intestine Man Pictograph

On the right side of the road is a pictograph panel called the Intestine Man, along with other petroglyphs.  The Intestine Man is named for a Barrier Canyon style pictograph that appears to show the intestines within an anthropomorphic image. Nearby this unique panel of pictographs are some interesting petroglyphs that contain 3 images of bighorn sheep with oversized rectangular bodies.

Continue up SR-313 to the top of switchbacks to find a vast landscape of pinyon pines, grassy meadows and red rock buttes. 

4.5 MILES (7.2 KM) – Monitor and Merrimac Viewpoint 

Monitor and Merrimac Buttes

These two buttes were named for their resemblance to the Monitor and The Merrimack, two American Civil War steamships. Although Merrimac, the larger of the two buttes, looks large it is actually very thin at  200-600 feet wide and 1,600 feet long.

Monitor & Merrimack Buttes

5.3 MILES (8.5 KM) – Navajo Rock East Parking Area

This parking area will give you access to a network of Mountain Biking trails. Navajo Rocks Chaco loop you can also access 7 up, Mag 7, and many other trails.

6.2 MILES – (10.0 KM) Big Mesa View Area 

Views of the surrounding cliffs, along with the Monitor and Merrimac Buttes.  This viewpoint is great for wildflowers in the spring.

7.3 MILES (11.7 KM) – Main Navajo Rocks Parking Area

This parking area is a great place to get some mountain biking, hiking and even four wheeling in. This parking area will give you access to some scenic easy four wheeling. This trailhead can take you up to a dramatic outcropping called determination towers. This is about an 8.8 mile up and back easy going scenic safari ride. 

You can also access Monitor and Merrimac, Seven Mile Rim Safari Trail. Wipeout Hill Safari Trail.

8.4 MILES (13.5 KM) – Plateau Viewpoint

Plateau Viewpoint

The roadside viewpoint has great views of the La Sal Mountains and the surrounding plateau country.  The La Sal Mountains are part of the Manti-La Sal National Forest and the southern Rocky Mountains. The maximum elevation is at Mount Peale, reaching 12,721 feet (3,877 m) above sea level. The range contains three clusters of peaks separated by passes. The peaks span a distance of about 10 miles (16 km). The name of the range dates to Spanish times, when the Sierra La Sal (meaning the "Salt Mountains") were a prominent landmark on the Old Spanish Trail between Santa Fe and Los Angeles.

8.5 MILES (13.7 KM) – Dubinky Well Road

  • Lone Mesa Group Campsites – Lone Mesa Group Sites are ideal for large gatherings such as school groups or family reunions. Read more…

Continuing down Dubinky Well Road leads to many four-wheel drive roads that lead to canyons and vistas including:

  • Hey Joe Trail, a site of some mining ruins, is a short tributary to Labyrinth Canyon of the Green River. 10 miles of good dirt road to the rim of Spring Canyon, where a spectacular ledge road winds down a 600-foot cliff to the canyon bottom. The trail follows the canyon about 2 miles to the Green River. It then turns upstream about 9 miles along the river to reach Hey Joe Canyon. The trail along the river is subject to rock falls from above and collapse from below.  4WD Required – Difficulty 4/10. Trail Details
  • 3D Trail tours the vicinity of colorful Hidden Canyon and Brink Spring, northwest of Moab. It visits the canyon bottom and canyon rim, and, finally, a higher overlook of the area (hence the name 3-D). A few of the hills have been known to challenge stock vehicles, but most of the tour is pleasant, scenic, family four-wheeling. 4WD Required – Difficulty 4/10. Trail Details
  • Secret Spire Trail rides the rolling mesa top between two of the Green River’s large tributary canyons, Hellroaring and Spring Canyons. It goes close to the deep portions of Spring Canyon, and it crosses the shallower upper Spring Canyon to visit a strange tower, dubbed the Secret Spire. It is a good trail for some mild four-wheeling through an interesting and scenic expanse of country. 4WD Required – Difficulty 3/10. Trail Details

9.7 MILES (15.6 KM) – Jewel Tibbetts Arch Trail

Turn right on an unimproved dirt road and continue to a parking lot in 1.3 miles (2.1 km). A high clearance vehicle may be required based on conditions. This trail offers spectacular views across Hell Roaring Canyon to a large natural arch. From the parking lot, the trail passes through a fence and follows a dirt road for about 0.1 miles (.16 km). The trail leaves the road and goes down several dry washes until it rejoins an old road (closed to vehicles). After a short distance, the trail leaves the old road, and follows a series of rock cairns near the edge of Hell Roaring Canyon (400 feet deep).

Jewel Tibbetts Arch Trail
View of Hell Roaring Canyon on the trail to Jewel Tibbetts Arch

After a short distance, the trail follows a short spur onto a slickrock platform, from which spectacular views of the arch and the canyon below can be had. The trail returns to the parking lot across a blackbrush mesa, where it rejoins the road. The arch is named after Jewel Tibbetts, a Moab resident who lived about 10 miles’ (16.1 km) distance at the Horsethief Ranch in the 1950 and 1960’s with her husband Bill. They often took ranch visitors to see the arch. Note: Hikers should exercise caution on those sections of the trail which are close to the edge of Hell-Roaring Canyon. The trail can be very warm in summer. Neither mountain bikes nor motorized vehicles are allowed on this trail, except for the first 0.1 miles (.16 km) where the trail follows an existing road. Length of Hike: 2.1 miles (3.4 km), round-trip (semi-loop); allow about 2 hours round-trip. 

11.9 MILES (19.2 KM) – Horse Thief Campground Entrance 

Campsites are tucked in the pygmy pinyon-juniper forest on the mesas above Moab, yet offer great views. Individual sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. One group site, Horsethief Group Site, is available for reservation through Recreation.gov. This campground is close to Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park. 

12.2 MILES (19.6 KM) – Mineral Bottom Rd

Mineral Bottom Road
Mineral Bottom Road

The road is well maintained and is rated as easy. It is about 13 miles (20.9 km) to the switchbacks that lead you down to the White Rim Trail and the Green River.  The steep switchbacks are scenic and easy as you descend about 500′ to the bottom. Although the road is suitable for high-clearance two-wheel-drive vehicles when dry, the unpaved sections of the road can be impassable when wet.  In any case, driving 4WD is recommended due to uneven surface. Once on the bottom, turning right will lead you to a dead end at Mineral Bottom, where rafting boats are launched. If you turn left you are on the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park. (A permit is required for the White Rim: https://www.nps.gov/cany/planyourvisit/dayusepermits.htm)

Mile 13.1  (21.1 KM) – Gemini Bridges Trail 

Gemini Bridges

Gemini Bridges is one of the most popular spots in Moab. The Gemini Bridges Trail is well known to local mountain bike riders for its scenery and long descents. Starting from U-313, the trail is nearly all downhill back to US-191. Approximately 5.5 miles from U-313, the spur route to Gemini Bridges is encountered. This route is a hiking route only and is a short 0.2 mile walk. After viewing the bridges, enjoy the rest of the marked trail down to Highway 191. This bike route utilizes a county road and is shared with jeeps, ATV/UTVs, and dirt bikes.

14.6 MILES  (23.5 KM) – Left Turn to Dead Horse Point State Park

19.1 MILES (30.7 KM) – Entrance Station to Dead Horse Point State Park

Dead Horse Point State Park

From the prominence of Dead Horse Point, 2,000 feet above a gooseneck in the Colorado River, an ever-changing landscape unfurls. Immense vertical cliffs meet with canyons carved by ice, water, and wind creating a visual masterpiece. 

Millions of years of geologic activity created the spectacular views from Dead Horse Point State Park. Deposition of sediments by ancient oceans, freshwater lakes, streams and wind blown sand dunes created the rock layers of canyon country. Igneous activity formed the high mountains that rise like cool blue islands out of the hot, dry desert.

An entrance fee is required.

The Main Overlook at Dead Horse Point

19.5 MILES (31.4) – Moenkopi Yurts

A perfect location for experiencing sunrise, sunset and a bit of seclusion, the Moenkopi Yurts offer a glorious camping experience up at Dead Horse Point State Park.  With sweeping views and a private spur to the Intrepid Trail System this yurt site can be your quiet spot of heaven while enjoying the Moab area. These Yurts can be reserved at https://www.reserveamerica.com/explore/dead-horse-point-state-park/UT/344161/overview

20.2 MILES (32.5 KM) – Grand and San Juan County line

21.1 MILES (34.0 KM) – Visitor Center/ Basin Overlook Parking Lot

A gift shop is located inside the visitor center and offers park visitors a variety of quality souvenirs including shirts, hats, postcards, cups, handmade knives, magnets, art work, pottery, snacks, etc.

The Amitheater at Dead Horse Point

22.1 MILES (35.6 KM) – Bottleneck viewpoint (Historical Marker)

On the road, about a quarter of a mile from the lookout point, you’ll pass the bottleneck which is only about 30 feet wide. Here, once the horses would be herded in, a fence and gate were placed trapping the horses. The cowboys could then pick out the wild horses they wished to keep. Unfortunately, as the story goes, once the cowboys picked the horses they wanted, they opened the gate at the bottleneck and left. It was said that the wild horses were so spooked that many didn’t leave the point, even though the gate was open, and being on top of a mesa, with no shade and no water, they died of thirst.

22.5 MILES (36.2 KM) – Dead Horse Point Overlook Trail

This is the main attraction of Dead Horse Point State Park. From the overlook parking lot, a short paved pathway leads to breathtaking views of the Colorado River and adjacent canyon country some 2,000 feet below. A large shelter at the overlook provides relief from both foul weather and summer heat. Paved pathways lead out in both directions from the shelter, providing additional viewpoints while linking up with both the East and West Rim trail systems.

Although the primary overlook and shade shelter are accessible, the eastern and western spur trails contain steeper inclines and short sections of slick rock interspersed with the pavement.

The opening rock climbing scene features Tom Cruise at Dead Horse Point.
Armie Hammer talks about his favorite Movie location (Moab) and the most spectacular sight he saw (Dead Horse Point).

corona arch

Moab COVID-19 Updates

Current Moab Status – UPDATED October 19, 2020

  • Arches National Park
    • Trails, Overlooks, Campground, Bookstore & Visitor Services (Outside) – Open
    • Fiery Furnace (Ranger-Led Hikes & Individual Permits) and Backcountry CampingClosed
  • Canyonlands National Park – Trails, Overlooks, Campground, Bookstore & Visitor Services (Outside) – Open
  • Dead Horse Point State Park – Open
  • Trails (OHV/Hiking/Biking) on BLM Land – Open
  • Developed Campgrounds on BLM Land – Open
    Note: A Fire Restriction Order is in effect.
  • Dispersed Camping on BLM Land – Open
    Note: A Fire Restriction Order is in effect. Human waste carryout is mandatory (portable toilet or human waste bags).
  • National Forest Developed Campgrounds: Warner Lake (excluding cabin), Oowah Lake, Mason Draw – Open
    Note: A Fire Restriction Order is in effect.
  • Commercial Campgrounds & RV Parks – Open
  • Overnight Accommodations (Hotels/Motels/B&B’s/Condos/Guest Homes) – Open
  • Restaurants – Open
  • Guides & Outfitters – Open
  • Equipment Rentals – Open
  • Vehicle Rentals – Open
  • Shops & Galleries – Open

Mandatory Face Coverings

Face coverings that completely cover the nose and mouth are now mandatory in Moab. They must be worn in public areas including indoor or outdoor space open to the public where consistent social distancing of at least 6 feet is not possible, reasonable or prudent. Free masks are available at the Moab Information Center, on the corner of Main and Center Streets, and at the national parks.

Thank you for wearing a face covering in Moab.

Grand County Fire Restrictions

Frequently Asked Questions

Are face coverings mandatory in Moab?

Yes, face coverings that completely cover the nose and mouth are now mandatory in Moab. They must be worn in public areas including indoor or outdoor space open to the public, where consistent social distancing of at least 6 feet is not possible, reasonable or prudent. Local businesses may pick up free face coverings at the Canyonlands Copy Center, 375 S. Main St., in Moab. The Moab Information Center (The MIC), on the corner of Main and Center Streets, and the National Park Service will distribute face coverings to area visitors. This Public Health Order will expire at 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 2020, unless extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended in writing, and shall be re-evaluated as warranted. Read the full Health Order here.

How many COVID-19 cases are there currently in Moab (Grand County)?

The Southeast Utah Health Department keeps an updated list here.

What is the current COVID-19 Transmission Index for Moab?

Moab is currently at the Moderate Level. For full details about guidelines and restrictions visit here.

Are the national parks open?

Yes. Arches and Canyonlands national parks are continuing to increase visitor services:

  • Open: All park roads, hiking trails, viewing areas, campgrounds, bookstores, and visitor centers (services are located outside)
  • Closed at Arches: Fiery Furnace and backcountry camping
  • Online only: Canyonlands backcountry and river permits

Are trails (OHV, hiking, biking) on public lands (Bureau of Land Management) open?

Yes. All trails on BLM land are open.

Can I camp on public lands (Bureau of Land Management)?

Yes. All developed campgrounds are open. Dispersed camping is also allowed. Note that a Fire Restriction Order is in effect. Human waste carryout is mandatory for dispersed campers (portable toilet or human waste bags).

Is Dead Horse Point State Park open?

Yes, the park is open to everyone.

Stay Safe to Stay Open

Stay Safe to Stay Open

Stay Safe to Stay Open is a statewide campaign to meet the critical imperatives of helping Utah address the health-related objectives to prevent and recover from the coronavirus while at the same time assisting the business community in an effort to appropriately strengthen our state’s economy.
Read more…


We care about you! We are asking everyone to follow the President’s guidelines:

  • Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people
  • Use restaurant drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options
  • Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits
  • Listen and follow the directions of your state and local authorities
  • If you feel sick, stay at home. Do not go to work, Contact your medical provider.
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Sneeze or cough into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow
  • Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible

We value all of our visitors and our local community. Please follow the guidelines above. You are all important to us! For additional prevention tips visit coronavirus.gov

Where can I find additional information on COVID-19’s impact on Moab?

For more information we encourage you to visit Moab City COVID-19 Info & Moab COVID-19 Task Force.

Guest Journalist: Mark Payne

Mark & Mya in Arches National Park

In 2017 I flew from Australia to North America for the trip of a lifetime, the only difference between me and thousands of other Aussies, is I choose to take my dog along for the adventure. Since then we have traveled almost 80,000 km throughout North America. We have been across Canada, explored almost 40 states throughout the USA, and even made it to Mexico for a day. Initially we found getting information about travelling with a pet really difficult, so now we share pet-friendly travel tips and show people you can have a dog and a life of adventure and travel too. Together we have been skiing, snowboarding, backcountry touring, snowshoeing, fat and mountain biking, paddling, white water rafting and hiking.

During our time in Utah, we made it to Moab and absolutely fell in love with how beautiful the area is and the adventure on offer. We did some things quite well during our time there, but also could have done some things better, and thought we would share our top five tips for visiting Moab with a dog.

1. Know what you can and can’t do

During our time, we explored Arches National Park during the day and watched the sunset from the Island in the Sky in the Canyonlands National Park. Often people talk about the limitations you have going into a National Park with your dog, and although they existed, we were still able to see and do plenty from the areas we were allowed.

There are some differences between the two parks, so we suggest you check the current requirements for each park from the National Park Service’s website (click here), but in general dogs must be leashed at all times and you can have your dog with you:

  • On all park roads
  • In parking areas
  • In picnic areas
  • In the main campground

You can’t have your dog with you:

  • At any overlooks on any hiking trails,
  • Anywhere off-trails
  • In the visitor centre

As in all National Parks you are expected to clean up after your dog & not leave them unattended.

2. Plan for the heat

When we were exploring Moab it was really hot during the day. Summer temperatures reach 100°F regularly, so it is really important to plan your days accordingly. I made sure I carried plenty of water for both Mya and I, and had a collapsible light weight dog bowl for Mya to drink from. I also had a set of Ruffwear hiking boots for Mya, to stop her paws getting burnt on the hot ground. A good rule is, if you can’t put your hand on the ground for five seconds without burning it, then it is probably too hot for dogs to walk on bare paw. Just remember that different surfaces such as asphalt, concrete and soil will have different temperatures.

3. Utilize doggy day care when required

I would have liked to have been able to check out the Delicate Arch, but sadly I wasn’t able to see it whilst I had Mya with me, as it is a 30 minute hike and dogs aren’t permitted on the trail. The National Parks recommend against leaving pets in your car when temperatures are above 68°F, even with the windows cracked. With the heat we experienced, I would also discourage this and instead suggest arranging for some doggy day care. A list of boarding services can be found here, or talk to the team at the Moab Information Center (corner of Main & Center Streets in Moab) who can help you with recommendations.

4. Book your accommodation in advance

Be sure to book your accommodation well in advance. Initially we planned to camp in one of the national parks or Dead Horse Point State Park, but when we arrived, all the camp sites were booked out (If you arrive early enough, you may be able to get a non reserved site, but they do fill up fast). Additionally, if your dog is the type that is going to bark whenever they hear a noise outside of the tent, you might want to be considerate of others and look at alternative forms of pet friendly accommodation. We ended up staying at La Quinta in Moab, which as most of you know has a fantastic pet policy with no pet fees. Other pet friendly options we would recommend would by the Hyatt Place and Homewood Suites By Hilton. A complete list of pet-friendly accommodations can be found here.

5. Make Sure You Have Enough Time

Sadly we didn’t allocate enough time during our visit to make the most of the area. I would have loved to have checked out the dog friendly hike to the Corona Arch (I’ve seen some incredible photos and this is our biggest regret from Utah), a dog friendly hike through Dead Horse Point State Park, the Negro Bill Canyon trail and a rafting trip on the Green River or San Jan River with the Moab Rafting & Canoe Company; yes the company offers dog friendly rafting tours. I’ve also heard the mountain biking in Dead Horse State Park is great, but as dogs aren’t allowed on the mountain bike trails, it’s one you would need to arrange doggy day care for in advance. To make the most of the area I would recommend spending at least five days there, but if for whatever reason you can’t, I guess it just gives you a reason to head back.

Exploring Moab with Mya, made the experience so much more special. With so many amazing opportunities, Moab is definitely one of our favourite places in the USA, and with enough time and planning there is no reason why people should have to leave their furry friends behind.

Mark & Mya in Canyonlands National Park

Follow Mark & Mya’s continuing Adventures here: facebook.com/markandmyasadventures/

A dog in front of the Corona Arch in Moab, Utah

If you’re anything like us, you probably think that a day spent exploring with your pup is as good as things get. Moab is full of stunning red rock views, great hikes, and charming local shops for you and your pets to visit. You could start off with a three-mile hike out to the picturesque Corona Arch, the Colorado River like never before from Dead Horse Point State Park, or spend a day in town at the off-leash Bark Park. Then consider stopping by Moab’s famed Quesadilla Mobilla food truck for a bite to eat, a chance to pick up a few local tips, and maybe a dog treat or two.
No matter where your adventure takes you, you’ll probably want a place to kick off your boots at the end of the day. Browse the 11 pet friendly hotels throughout Moab shown below, or explore campgrounds that welcome pets.

Aarchway Inn

$$-$$$ | Pet Fee: $75 | aarchwayinn.com

Just two miles from the entrance to Arches National Park, Aarchway Inn is a beautiful, amenity-packed resort hotel on the north edge of town, tucked just a bit away from the buzz of downtown Moab. The spacious grounds offer plenty of room to play with your pup, complete with access to nearby nature trails with incredible views of the surrounding landscape.

Big Horn Lodge

$-$$ | Pet Fee: $10 per pet, per night | moabbighorn.com

An affordable option right off Main Street in downtown Moab, Big Horn Lodge offers multiple pet-friendly hotel rooms. You’ll have plenty of dining and shopping options nearby—and the off-leash Moab Bark Park is less than a half-mile walk away, giving your pups a well-shaded place to romp around (complete with a doggy drinking fountain during the warmer months).

Expedition Lodge

$-$$$ | Pet Fee: $30 per stay | expeditionlodge.com

Also within easy walking distance of Moab’s Bark Park and the paved Mill Creek Pathway, the pet-friendly Expedition Lodge keeps you close to everything in the center of town. You’ll have easy access to all of Moab’s world-class adventure offerings—like the dog-friendly Grandstaff Canyon Trail just off the Colorado River.

The Gonzo Inn

$$-$$$ | Pet Fee: $30 per night, up to 2 pets | gonzoinn.com

A one-of-a-kind, pet-friendly hotel tucked away one block off Main Street, The Gonzo Inn features plentiful grassy areas for your dog to play and explore. It’s also just steps away from the beginning of Mill Creek Pathway, a beautiful paved path where you can walk your dog in the shade alongside a beautiful creek winding through town. Added bonus: they’re open to all kinds of pets, in case you’re traveling with a feline friend as well.

Homewood Suites Moab

$$-$$$ | Pet Fee: $50, up to 35 lbs | hotelmoabut.com

With stylish, contemporary rooms and a convenient location right in the middle of downtown Moab, the pet-friendly Homewood Suites is an easy walk from Moab’s off-leash Bark Park. Enjoy free hot breakfasts and complimentary evening socials between your daily adventures—or grab the best breakfast burrito in town at the Love Muffin Café right across the street.

Hyatt Place Moab

$$-$$$ | Pet Fee: $75 per stay up to 7 days, 2 pets max | hyattplacemoab.com

A newly built hotel on the north side of town and very close to the entrance to Arches National Park, the Hyatt Place Moab features a small designated pet area on-site, and dog-friendly hiking trails just steps away from the front door. If you’re planning to settle in for a while, this could be a good option—the $75 pet fee covers two dogs (up to 50lb.) for stays up to seven days.

Moab Rustic Inn

$-$$ | Pet Fee: Call | moabrusticinn.com

Centrally located near downtown Moab and less than a block away from the shaded Mill Creek Pathway, the Moab Rustic Inn offers surprisingly roomy accommodations with a humble, unassuming vibe. All rooms and apartments also feature kitchenettes where more frugal travelers can prepare their own meals.

Motel 6

$-$$ | Pet Fee: None | motel6.com

Another great option for Moab visitors on a budget, the pet-friendly Motel 6 Moab doesn’t charge any pet fees. It’s also a little removed from the hustle and bustle of downtown, which makes for a quiet stay. It’s super close to the entrance of Arches National Park, as well as the Atomic Café—a great place to grab a burger and a beverage after a long day of playing in the sun.

Red Stone Inn

$-$$ | Pet Fee: Call | moabredstone.com

Centrally located in Moab close to restaurants, shops, gear outfitters, bike shops, and much more, the Red Stone Inn is also a short walk away from the Moab Bark Park and multiple paved paths with lots of shade. (Note that other than the off-leash Bark Park, dogs are not allowed in Moab city parks). But there are plenty of dog-friendly trails just a short drive away, like Professor Creek/Mary Jane Canyon and pretty much all of the Manti-La Sal National Forest.

Silver Sage Inn

$-$$ | Pet Fee: Call | silversageinn.com

Located toward the south end of Main Street and right next to local-favorite Mexican restaurant El Charro Loco, the Silver Sage Inn makes for a great pet-friendly home base for visiting adventurers. Be sure to bring your pooch by the reception desk for free dog treats and suggestions on dog-friendly hikes in the local area.

Wingate by Wyndham Moab

$$-$$$ | Pet Fee: $25 | wyndamhotels.com

Situated on the south end of town for easy access to nearby trails in the La Sal mountains, the Wingate by Wyndam is a pet-friendly hotel in Moab with well-appointed rooms and all the comforts you’d expect, complete with a small dog park/pet relief area. And of course, you’re just a few minutes away from famous Moab attractions like the Sand Flats Recreation Area and the legendary Slickrock Bike Trail.

Other Things to Know

While you’re in town, make sure to stop by the Moab Barkery to spoil your pup with fresh-baked gourmet treats. Afterwards you’ll be ready to head out on one of Moab’s many pet-friendly hiking trails and places to see. If you’ll be visiting one of the national parks there are a few rules to keep in mind. Pets are only allowed in designated campgrounds, on paved roads and scenic drives, and must be leashed at all times within the national parks (click here for complete Arches and Canyonlands National Park pet policies). Otherwise, pets are welcome on most public land and areas surrounding the national parks.

So round up your pup’s gear (they’ll need plenty of water), pack your daypack, and learn more about visiting Moab with your pets to finish planning.

Businesses Open in Winter

Look at all there is to do in Moab in the winter!

There is a lot to do when you visit Moab in the winter. This is a comprehensive list of all the businesses that are open during the winter season.

Note: Use http://udottraffic.utah.gov to see real-time road conditions across Utah.

Arches and Canyonlands National Parks

  • Arches National Park – Open year-round.
    • Arches National Park Visitor Center – Closed Christmas.
  • Canyonlands National Park – Open year-round.
    • Island in the Sky Visitor Center – Closes late December to early March.
    • Needles District Visitor Center – Closes late November to early March.
  • Moab Information Center – Open every day. Starting November 11th hours will be 9-5. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas. Bathrooms close daily at 5 PM in winter too.
  • Dead Horse Point State Park – Open year-round 6 am – 10 pm. Campgrounds and yurts open year-round. Heated restrooms and heated yurts. Visitor Center open daily 9 am – 5 pm. Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day, still park is open those days. Trails open all winter.
  • Museum of Moab – Open in spring of 2020.


Please note tour departures based on conditions. Businesses have alternative itineraries and reasonable cancellation policies in winter.

  • Adrift Adventure Jeep Tours – 378 N Main
    Open – Arches and Canyonlands National Park via the backcountry will be ran year-round, with breaks – Thanksgiving week (Nov. 19-26) & Christmas/New Year (Dec. 23 – Jan. 6); tours are weather dependent. (435) 259-8594
  • Barlow Adventures – 284 N Main St
    Open year-round 7 days a week:. Nov – Feb winter hours are 9 AM – 5 PM (435) 259-3195.
  • Big Iron Tour Company
    Open year-round (435)260-1981
  • Canyon Voyages – 211 N Main
    Open year-round for gear and Rentals Rafting is Seasonal (435) 259-6007
  • Canyonlands by Night – 1861 N Hwy 191
    Has purchased and are renting UTVs and will be doing so throughout winter. Boat rides end in October. (435) 259-5261
  • Chile Pepper Bike Shop – 702 S Main St
    Shall close for annual winter break December 23, 2018 – January 6, 2019. They will not be responding to inquiries or emails until after January 6th. The shop will be open every day starting Monday, January 7th, from 9 am to 5 pm. (435) 259-4688
  • Deep Desert Expeditions – 704 N 500 W
    Provides hiking, rock art tours, dinosaur track tours and photo/scenic tours all winter. (435) 259-1565
  • Desert Highlights – 50 E Center St #12
    Offers hiking, canyoneering and climbing tours all winter! (435) 259-4433
  • Dreamride – 124 W 200 S
    Offers road and mountain biking, hiking and photography tours for small private parties year-round. (435) 259-6419
  • Global Endurance Training Center – 4381 Heather St
    Open year-round (435) 260-1494
  • High Point Hummer & ATV – 301 S Main St
    Tours and rentals dependent on weather except for a mid-winter break from changes with school winter break December 15- January 7th. (435) 259-2972
  • Hike Moab
    Open for hiking and shuttles year-round. (435) 210-0761
  • Hole N” The Rock – 11037 Hwy 191
    Open year-round (435) 686-2250
  • Magpie Cycling Adventures – 550 N Main St
    Open year-round (435) 259-4464
  • Moab Adventure Center – 225 S Main St
    Provides all land-based tours throughout winter. Will shut down the week after Christmas and the first week of January. (866) 904-1163 (435) 259-7019
  • Moab Aquatic Center – 374 N Park Ave
    Open year-round (435) 259-8226
  • Moab Canyon Tours – 1090 S Main St
    Operates year-round as well! (435) 260-1822
  • Moab Cliffs and Canyons – 253 N Main
    Open year-round (435) 259-3317
  • Moab Cowboy – 97 S Main
    Open all year round doing OHV trail tours weather permitting (435)220-0746
  • Moab Cyclery Shop – 391 S Main
    Open except Thanksgiving, Christmas and December 31- January 2019. (800)559-1978
  • Moab Desert Adventures – 39 E Center St
    Open all year round weather permitting. (804) 814-3872
  • Moab Geo Tours
    Open all winter with tours and step-on services available for Needles, ISKY and Arches. (866)202-1847
  • Moab Golf Course – 2705 E Bench Rd
    Open year-round weather permitted (435) 259-6488
  • Moab Horses
    Open year-round for Horseback rides. (435) 259-8015 | (435) 260-1582
  • Moab In A Day
    Open for guided tours of Arches and Canyonlands weather permitting. (435) 210-8501
  • Moab Kids Club
    Open all year for babysitting. (720) 212-6328
  • Moab Side x Side – 854 S Main
    Open this winter (weather dependent and closed for a break in January). (435) 210-4153
  • NAVTEC – Expeditions 321 N Main
    Running all 4×4 tours into Canyonlands and Arches National Parks and canyoneering year-round. River trips are scheduled through November or as long as the weather holds out. We modify itineraries in Island in the Sky if the Shafer Trail is closed. (435) 259-7983
  • Outlaw Jeep Tours
    Available all winter. If it snows, trail tours will cancel. (435) 260-7451
  • Paddle Moab
    Will now be offering hiking and canyoneering throughout the winter. (435) 210-4665
  • Pinnacle Helicopters – CNY Airport
    Open year-round Schedules tours and charters all winter. (855) 359-6622
  • Poison Spider Bikes – 497 N Main St
    Open year-round 9 am-6 pm November-March (800) 635-1792
  • Raven’s Rim Zip Line Adventure – 998 N Main St
    Hummer tours available year-round (435) 260-0973
  • Red Rock Astronomy
    Open this winter, conditions permitting. Redrockastronomy@yahoo.com, (435) 210-0066
  • Red Tail Air Tours – 23 N Main St
    Open year-round WACO tour end in November and start back up in February these are morning flights only (435) 355-0889
  • Redrock Express – 121 E 100 S
    Operating 24/7 year-round, Reserve online or call 800-259-2869
  • Rim Tours – 1233 Hwy 191
    Open for Mountain Bike Tours through November and starting up in February. We may be available Dec. and Jan. based on the weather. (435) 259-5223
  • Sheri Griffth Expeditions – 2231 S Hwy 191
    Open March-October. November on charter basis minimum of 10 seats with advanced notice. (800) 332-2439
  • Twisted Jeep – 446 S Main St
    Open year-round for rentals and tours. (435) 259-0335
  • Ultimate UTV Adventures – 543 N Main
    Open all year. (435) 355-0911
  • Windgate Adventures – 25 E Center
    Open year-round (435) 260-9802
  • Xtreme 4×4 Tours – 1090 S Main St
    Moab Scenic Adventures and the Moab Reservation Center will be open for tours and reservations all year. Moab Reservation Center will be closed On Christmas Day through January (435) 260-8913


Looking for a menu? Check out the Moab Menu Guide.


  • Arches Trading Post – 50 S Main – Open year-round.
  • Back of Beyond Books – 83 N Main – Winter hours: 9 AM – 6 PM, 7 days a week. Closed Thanksgiving Day.
  • Bike Fiend – 69 E Center – Open year-round
  • Desert Sun Ceramics – 1320 S HWY 191- Open year-round Tuesday – Sunday
  • Desert Thread – 29 E Center Street – Open year-round Closed on Mondays is open 10 am-5:30 pm, Tuesday-Saturday (year-round). Social stitch night every Wednesday is from 7-9 pm. Classes available on a monthly basis. 435-259-8404
  • Forget Me Knot Flowers – 40 N 100 W – Open year-round
  • Gear Heads – 471 S Main St #1 – Open 7 days/week, all year long. (Closed Thanksgiving & Christmas). Winter hours are 8:30 am – 6 pm from December to February during which there are snowshoes for rent.
  • Gravel Pit Lanes – 1078 S Mill Creek Dr – Open year-round Fall leagues start in August and start at 7 pm Limited lanes. (435) 259-4748
  • Images Of Moab – 78 S Main – Open year-round but limits hours
  • It’s Sew Moab LLC – 40 W Center – Open 10:00am – 4:00pm.
  • Lema’s Kokopelli Gallery – 70 N Main – Open all winter 9-5 this starts when daylight savings time changes. Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
  • Moab Gear Trader – 300 S Main – Open 7 days a week Closed Christmas and Thanksgiving Day.
  • Moab Made – 82 N Main – Open year-round
  • Moab Rock Shop – 600 N Main – Open year-round
  • Moonflower Market – 39 E 100 N – Open all winter normal hours (8 am – 8 pm).
  • Original Red Dirt Shirts – 50 N Main – Open 10 to 5 thru winter.
  • Pagan Mountaineering – 59 S Main #2 – Open year-round has ice axes, crampons, snowshoes, and poles for rent.
  • Red Rock Bakery – 74 S Main – Open year-round
  • Redtail Air Adventure Store – 23 N Main – Open till Dec then go to Limited Hours or may be closed.
  • Rim Cyclery – 94 W 100 N – Has x-country touring skis for rent.
  • Sandstone Gallery – 59 S Main #1 – Open year-round
  • The Rave’n Image – 59 S Main #5 – Open 7 days a week until Jan; open weekends in Jan. open (generally) Thursday-Sunday for first two weeks of Feb…then back to 7 days/week
  • The T-Shirt Shop – 38 N Main – Open year-round
  • Tom Till Tours – 61 N Main
    Open all year. The Tom Till Gallery is open until December 24 and again Presidents Day for our 21st season. Can Make Appointments in winter.
  • Wabisabi Thrift Store – 160 E 100 S – Open year-round.
  • Walker Drug True Value – 290 S Main – Open year-round

Accommodation Closures

Accommodations that are closed for the winter. All others are open year round.

  • Red Stone Inn – Closes January to February
  • The Launch Pad B&B – Closes for November 10-February 31st this year.
  • Rustic Inn – Closes December 1, opens February 1.
  • River Canyon Lodge – Closes November 12 to open for Presidents’ Weekend in February.

Campground Closures

Campgrounds that are closed for the winter. All others are open year-round.

  • ACT Campground – Will close for RV’s November 1st; Cabin Rooms and tents will close November 20 will reopen on March 1, 2018. Possibly open for Feb 15 for Valentines or maybe weekends in Feb.
  • Archview RV Resort – Opens March 1st and closes October 31st.
  • Desert Moon Hotel A Residence – Will have some rooms available for people overnight. The camp park will accept some RV traffic if it comes through in the winter months between December and January. Those spots are winterized because of lower temperatures water might be sketchy.
  • Moab Rim Camp Park – Has RV and tent spaces in December, January and February. The cabin water will be winterized for those months. Cabins still available in November.
  • Moab Under Canvas – Re-opens early March through the end of October 2018.
  • Portal RV Resort – Closes December 1st until mid-February.
  • Up the Creek – Closes on October 28th for the winter.

Visit Like a Moab Local

Visit Like a Moab Local

Moab locals have it figured out. They know the best rides, the best routes, the best places to hike and camp and eat—and a few other important things about the right way to enjoy the desert. While the Utah desert seems like a rugged place, you might be surprised to learn its environment is more sensitive than you might expect. To make sure everybody has the chance to enjoy our little slice of paradise for generations to come, residents of Moab are taking steps toward sustainability with the Moab First Sustainable Tourism Program. When you visit Moab, do it like a local by keeping the following tips in mind.

Stay on the Trail

Canyon Hikers

While the desert soil may look unassuming, it’s actually teeming with life. Biological soil crust (also known as cryptobiotic soil) is a major part of the desert ecosystem, and helps prevent erosion as well as trap nitrogen and other plant-friendly nutrients in the soil. Cryptobiotic soil is also incredibly sensitive, and can take decades to recover from even a few footsteps breaking through the crust. When you visit Moab, make sure to stay on established trails and roads—and if established routes aren’t available, do your best to walk through dry creek beds or on bare rock.

Leave No Trace

Most people with a conscience already know not to litter up the great outdoors, but there’s more to Leave No Trace than just packing out all your trash and recyclables. Due to high use, human waste is a serious health issue at dispersed camping sites. All solid waste must be packed out in approved waste bags or portable toilet systems. These may be purchased at the Moab Information Center and local outdoor retailers. When picking a campsite, use a pre-existing spot rather than placing your tent on top of vegetation, and make sure to stay at least 300 feet from water to avoid scaring animals away from critical sources of hydration. And speaking of wildlife, make sure to give them plenty of room in general—keep pets leashed, and teach children never to chase, approach, or pick up wild animals.

Respect the Rocks

Moab and the surrounding areas are home to an incredible number of ruins, artifacts, and ancient rock art. While it can be tempting to get up close and personal, make sure to admire from a distance—and look, but don’t touch. We want to keep these pieces of ancient history around for many years to come—so stay out of ruins, leave any artifacts you find in place, and encourage others to do the same, so everyone can appreciate the wonder of ancient civilizations well into the future.

Bring Your Own Bags

Bring Your Own Bags

Starting in January 2019, the city of Moab enacted a ban on single-use plastic bags. It’s part of Moab’s efforts to help curb the use of disposable plastic products. Besides being a major litter problem, plastic bags also tend to make their way into waterways and oceans where they can harm animals, as the plastic bits don’t biodegrade even as they become divided into tiny pieces. Remember to bring your own reusable bags for any grocery or souvenir shopping, or pick one up at a local shop.

Drive Electric

Electric Vehicle Charging Station

As part of its new sustainability strategy, Moab now features 10 electric-vehicle charging stations located throughout the city, as well as four additional Tesla supercharging stations that can charge Tesla vehicles halfway in about 20 minutes. A recent study by the Utah Department of Transportation estimates an average of 13,000 vehicles at the intersection of Moab’s Main and Center streets—if even a small fraction of those cars were electric, we could save hundreds of thousands of pounds of air pollution every year.

Eat & Shop Local

Downtown Moab

Another great way to visit Moab like a local is supporting local businesses that have made a commitment to sustainability. Keep an eye out for businesses with a Green to Gold sign—the Green to Gold program is a city-sponsored initiative encouraging establishments to take simple steps to reduce their environmental impact. In the summer of 2018 alone, Green to Gold businesses in Moab saved over 850,000 kWh—the same amount of energy used by 136 cars over the course of an entire year, or the annual CO2 emissions from 68 homes.

With these six tips in mind, you’ll be helping the cause of keeping Moab an amazing destination (and an amazing place to live) for years to come. For more helpful Moab insider info or to start planning your trip, visit doitlikealocalmoab.com