What's New in Moab

Three-Day Weekend In Moab

September 20, 2018

Planning a three-day weekend getaway to Moab can be a formidable task, considering the endless adventure and sightseeing opportunities there are to choose from. But anytime from mid-November on can be a perfect time to plan a trip, once the temperatures and crowds subside. Hotel, camping and restaurant accommodations are all easier to come by – and the Colorado Plateau’s changing scenic landscape, with rich autumn colors and snow-capped red rock peaks and cliffs, is spectacular. The southeastern desert is calling, and it’s time to consider these destinations and activities to help make your Moab weekend a success.

Hike the National Parks

No matter the season, no three-day weekend trip to Moab is complete without visiting at least one of the two stunning national parks within its borders, Arches and Canyonlands. The parks are open year-round, and while it is possible to take in the wonder of the wild attractions simply from your car window, you should opt to hike one of the many renowned trails, like to iconic Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, or through the winding paths of the Windows Area. You’ll enjoy cooler hiking weather, fewer crowds, and the feeling that you have a national park all to yourself (and, you really might).

Visit Dead Horse Point State Park

While Arches and Canyonlands, deservedly, stand out when it comes to must-see Moab destinations, Dead Horse Point State Park, located near Canyonlands, shouldn’t be overlooked. You should especially consider visiting the park if you are bringing your four-legged friend, as it is largely a dog-friendly destination. Dead Horse Point sits on a high plateau and features a vast canyon rim where you can sightsee for miles. At night, the state park transforms into a certified International Dark Sky Park, where you’ll more than likely lose track of counting shooting stars. It’s also worth taking advantage of park staff-guided events like full moon hikes and star parties that happen on a semi-regular basis, pending weather and other restrictions (be sure to check at the visitor center.)
Arches National Park HikerEnjoying the Windows section of Arches National Park

Take to the River

The Colorado and Green rivers are responsible for helping carve the winding landscapes that define the Moab terrain, and there’s no better way to see the sculpted walls of the Colorado Plateau than up close and personal in a river raft. While rafting trips on the Green River typically close by the fall season, guided trips on the Colorado don’t end until late October, once water levels get too low. Fall is a preferred time of year for many three-day weekend visitors to take a trip down the storied river, as the later months offer a more mellow experience, without the extreme thrills that can come with tumultuous summertime rapids. Enjoy a rafting trip at a (relatively) leisure pace, giving you more time to admire the red rock pinnacles, wildlife and petroglyphs visible near the river’s edge. Rafting tours vary in length from a few hours long to multi-day trips.

Cover More Ground on a Mountain Bike

There’s a lot to see in Moab’s immense wilderness and renting a mountain bike (at any number of outdoor retailers on Main Street) might be the solution to exploring as much backcountry as possible on your weekend getaway. Seasoned mountain bikers come from far and wide to enjoy Moab’s endless trail systems, but mountain biking is meant for people of all experience levels, particularly when visiting with such pleasant temperatures. Are you traveling with a group with varying mountain biking experience? Check out the Bar-M Loop, a scenic, accessible beginner trail that’s open year-round and connects to several more advanced trails, should the experienced biker in the group wish to break off to conquer more technical terrain.
Mountain Biking near MoabMountain Biking on the Mag 7 Trail near Moab

Follow the Cowboys

Saddle up! Choose to go off the beaten path and step back in time to experience the spiraling towers and river valleys of Moab’s sandstone vistas on a horseback riding tour – taking the same paths as some of history’s most (in)famous cowboys. Professional wranglers will guide you through these scenic, open-range trails, which meander through hallowed Western ground and take you everywhere from the vast Castle Rock and Castle Valley, to Fisher Towers, to the banks and creeks of the Colorado River. There are a range of tours available, from 90-minute rides to half-day adventures. It might be difficult to take your eyes off the infinite landscape as your guide points out historic desert hideouts, along with more contemporary Western movie sets. Most tours run through November. (Cowboy hats not provided.)

To find out more visit discovermoab.com.

Horseback Riding in Moab

Fine Dining to Food Trucks

September 20, 2018

Moab, UtahAfter a long day of adventures on the trails, on the river, or exploring the national parks, a satisfying meal is non-negotiable. Fortunately, Moab offers a plethora of great dining options that belie its small-town status. With offerings from breakfast to BBQ to food trucks to fancy fine dining (and just about everything in-between), these five Moab restaurants are all worth a visit.

Desert Bistro

36 South 100 West desertbistro.com While most Moab restaurants won’t give you a second glance if you come in covered in a fine layer of desert dust, you’ll definitely want to get cleaned up a bit before visiting this fine dining establishment. The menu puts a Southwestern spin on classic French cuisine, with nightly game specials and fresh seafood flown in from the coast. Desert Bistro also boasts an extensive wine and cocktail list, as well as fresh-baked bread and desserts, all made in-house. Reservations are recommended, especially during the busy season.

Sabaku Sushi

90 East Center St. sabakusushi.com If sushi isn’t the first food that springs to mind when you think of desert fine dining, you’re probably not alone. But one meal at Sabaku (the Japanese word for “desert”), and you’ll quickly realize that great sushi doesn’t have to be served anywhere near an ocean. With fresh fish overnighted in several times per week, as well as house-made tamago and anago, Sabaku will delight even seasoned sushi connoisseurs. Those with food intolerances will be happy to know about the gluten-free tempura batter, and thrifty tourists will want to take advantage of happy-hour pricing between 5:00 and 6:00 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
Fine Dining in Moab, Utah

Love Muffin Café

139 North Main St. lovemuffincafe.com If you’re looking for a quick stop for some pre-adventure fuel, you’d be hard-pressed to do better than coffee and a breakfast panini or burrito from the Love Muffin Café. With a seasonal, organic menu comprised largely of local ingredients, there are also plenty of lighter options like house-made granola and quinoa bowls. Though Love Muffin may be best known for its breakfast offerings, their lunch menu is just as delicious, featuring fresh sandwiches and salads made with house-made bread, sauces, and dressings. And while the line can often reach out the door, the friendly staff keeps it moving along at an impressive clip.

Spitfire Smokehouse

221 South Main St. spitfiresmokehousemoab.com Packing a serious post-adventure appetite? Stop by Spitfire Smokehouse for the best BBQ in town. Specializing in North Carolina style but dabbling in other disciplines, this food-truck-style BBQ trailer is open Wednesday through Sunday afternoons starting at 2:00, and serves hungry patrons the finest in carnivorous cuisine until they sell out—which happens on a regular basis. Whether you prefer pulled pork, brisket, ribs, or sausage, Spitfire combines finger-lickin’ flavor with nap-inducing heartiness. And of course, it wouldn’t be a proper BBQ joint without all the staple sides and fixins like house-made pickles, coleslaw, potato salad, and baked beans.

Moab Food Truck Park

39 West 100 North facebook.com/MoabFoodTruckPark OK, so technically this isn’t one restaurant so much as a collective of various mobile eateries, but the newly opened Moab Food Truck Park is not to be missed, especially if you’re part of a group that has a tough time settling on one place to please all palates. With a wide variety of mouth-watering food truck fare such as Red Wok Chinese Express, Tacos Gordo, Moab Waffle Company, Downtown Dawgs, Delicate Donuts, The Crusty Crab, and Big Don’s Pizza, there’s truly something for everybody. The shaded and misted seating area comes in handy during hot weather, and if you’re lucky, you might even be treated to some live music while enjoying your meal.
Food Trucks in Moab, Utah
Suffice it to say that Moab has no shortage of eating options; these are just a few of our favorites. For more information on places to eat, places to stay, or things to do, visit discovermoab.com.

Mountain Biking For Beginners

September 19, 2018

While Moab, Utah may have a well-deserved reputation for some of the most challenging and technical mountain bike terrain anywhere on Earth, it’s not all narrow, cliff-exposed routes and mandatory launches off rocky ledges. Recent years have seen the addition of scores of new mountain bike trails, built to help beginners (and riders of all ability levels) build skills and familiarity with the terrain before tackling more challenging rides. Whether you’re new to Moab, new to mountain biking in general, or looking for a relaxed ride to get your family, friends, or significant other hooked on off-road riding, consider these destinations that offer some of Moab’s best mountain biking for beginners.

Moab Brand Trails

Moab Brand Trails View from the Moab Brand Trails A popular mountain biking spot just a few miles north of town, the Moab Brand trails are a great place to get your feet wet (or dusty, more accurately). While there are several trails in the network better left for more experienced riders, beginners are sure to enjoy the one-way Lazy/EZ loop that lets riders get a taste of Moab without getting in over their heads in technical terrain—or having to worry about oncoming traffic. If you’re looking for a step up difficulty-wise from Lazy/EZ, try your hand at the North 40 trail—the terrain is similar, but you’ll find more ups, downs, and bike-handling challenges through the twists, turns, and broken rocks. mountain biking for beginners Bar M Mountain Biking Trail near Moab, Utah. To get there, take Highway 191 about 9.5 miles north of town, and take a right on BLM 261. You’ll make another immediate right, then backtrack on BLM 261 for a half-mile before turning left on a well-worn gravel road that leads straight into the trailhead parking lot. In-shape riders who don’t mind adding some pavement miles can also pedal straight from town on the paved Moab Canyon Pathway, which connects to Seven Mile Flat a quarter-mile from the trailhead.

Klonzo Trails

Less than a 30-minute drive from downtown Moab, the Klonzo trail system offers a huge variety of mountain biking for beginners. Most of the trails are relatively short, which makes it easy to piece together loops of varying lengths to match your fitness and bravery levels (as well as easily redirect course, should you find yourself on a trail that’s a bit more of a challenge than you’re looking for). The Klonzo network spans across both sides of Willow Springs Road—the easiest trails are on the south side, while the trails on the north side feature slightly more technical terrain. Don’t be nervous, though—the vast majority of the north side is still rideable by a beginner who doesn’t mind dismounting their mountain bike for the occasional tricky section. The entire area is well-marked, with plenty of maps, signs, and color-coded lines designating the route on the slickrock sections of each trail. To access this trail network, take Highway 191 north of town for just over 12 miles, until Willow Springs Road branches off to the right. Stay on the main dirt road for about 2.5 miles, and you’ll see the main trailhead and parking area to your left. The first lot sometimes fills up—if that’s the case, stay on the dirt road for another quarter-mile or so and you’ll see an additional parking area, also on the left. A word of caution: the dirt road crosses Courthouse Wash, which may have deep, loose sand.

Dead Horse Point State Park

Dead Horse Point State Park The view from the main overlook at Dead Horse Point State Park is one of the most photographed vistas in Utah. Dead Horse Point has become a can’t-miss mountain biking destination—the moderate drive away from Moab (and the nominal park-entrance fee) mean it’s less crowded than other popular beginner-friendly riding destinations in the area. The park’s elevation is also about 1,500 feet higher than Moab proper, which keeps the temperature about 10 degrees cooler—a real bonus during the warmer months. Mountain bikers at Dead Horse Point State Park. The La Sal Mountains, Utah’s second highest mountain range, are clearly visible from Dead Horse Point State Park. Beginners will want to start on the trails on the east side of the main park road; the Great Pyramid to Raven Roll loop is a great place to warm up, and you can easily add the Big Chief trail onto your ride to introduce some confidence-building, lower-intermediate rock features into the mix. If Big Chief leaves you wanting more, connect to the west side of the park via Crossroads and try your hand at Whiptail, Twisted Tree, and Prickly Pair. Dead Horse point is about a 40-minute drive from downtown Moab—to get there, drive north of town 11 miles on Highway 191, then turn left on state highway 313. Follow the road for 14.5 miles before making a left to stay on the same highway (you will see signs directing you to the state park). Another 7.5 miles and you’re there—the trailhead shares a parking lot with the park’s visitor center. Mountain Bikers at Dead Horse Point State Park Mountain bikers take some time to enjoy the view. These areas offer a great taste of Moab mountain biking for beginners, and will help newer riders build skills and confidence (as well as their overall enjoyment of off-road riding). Just don’t be surprised if you find yourself daydreaming about your next trip—once you’ve ridden here, you’ll want to come back again and again. For trail maps and more information on mountain biking in Moab, visit discovermoab.com.

Introduction to UTV Riding in Moab

August 20, 2018

UTVs – Side by Sides – are an amazing way to explore the public lands around Moab, Utah. With their booming popularity comes a responsibility to be prepared when you hit the trail, to know trail etiquette, and to leave the land beautiful for the next generation to enjoy. Here’s a quick guide of what you need to know about riding UTVs in Moab, Utah. (Watch in 4K on compatible browsers.)

For more details on riding ATVs & UTVs in Moab click here.