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Utahraptor State Park

The Utah Division of State Parks has implemented overnight camping fees for areas within the boundaries of Utahraptor State Park.

Beginning on May 15, 2022, the Division implemented a $15 per night fee for each vehicle. This includes all overnight lodging including but not limited to tents, RVs, trailers, and vehicles. Overnight visitors who do not pay the fee may be issued a citation. Visitors are permitted to camp in the same manner that has historically been permitted at existing dispersed sites.

The park will not be charging day-use fees at this time. This $15 fee only applies to those staying after park day-use hours. Individuals can pay these fees via the iron ranger locations found upon entering the park or online by scanning the QR code featured on park signage.

Utahraptor State Park is located roughly 15 miles northwest of Moab in the Dalton Wells and Willow Springs area of Grand County — where Utah’s most famous dinosaur was discovered. The site is also home to the historic Moab CCC Camp and the Moab Isolation Center.

While it is still in the planning stages, visitors can look forward to a modern campground, restrooms, historical and paleontological displays, and trailheads for accessing nearby OHV and mountain bike trail systems. This will truly be a park that caters to a wide variety of outdoor enthusiasts.

Learn more about Utahraptor State Park by visiting the park’s website and following along with their new official Facebook Page.

Utahraptor Management Area

Arches National Park

National Park Service to pilot timed entry reservation system at Arches National Park in 2022

News Release Date: December 10, 2021
Contact: Kaitlyn Thomas, 202-763-3440

MOAB, Utah—The National Park Service today announced its intention to implement a temporary, timed entry reservation system at the highly visited Arches National Park in 2022.

“By implementing a temporary, timed entry reservation system, our goal is to better spread visitation throughout the day to reduce traffic congestion and visitor crowding. We believe this will create a higher-quality experience while maximizing access for our visitors,” said Arches National Park Superintendent Patricia Trap. “Additionally, we will use data gathered from this pilot to adapt and improve this system throughout the season, as well as to inform our future responses going forward.” 

The pilot will run from April 3 to October 3, 2022. Visitors can book reservations first-come, first-served on Recreation.gov beginning at 8 a.m. MST on January 3, 2022. The park will release reservations three months in advance in monthly blocks. On January 3, reservations will open for April 3 through April 30. On February 1, reservations will open for the month of May and any remaining reservations that have not been booked for April. Additional months will continue the same pattern according to following schedule:

  • April reservations (April 3–30) open January 3.

  • May reservations (May 1–31) open February 1.

  • June reservations (June 1–30) open March 1.

  • July reservations (July 1–31) open April 1.

  • August reservations (August 1–31) open May 1.

  • September reservations (September 1–30) open June 1.

  • October reservations (October 1–3) open July 1.

After booking a reservation, visitors will receive a Timed Entry Ticket. Timed entry tickets will be required to enter the park from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and will allow visitors to enter the park during a one-hour specified window of availability. After entering, visitors may stay in the park as long as they wish for the remainder of the day. Reservation holders may exit and re-enter the park on the same day with a correctly validated ticket.

For those without early reservations, a limited number of additional reservations will be available for purchase at 6 p.m. MDT the day before entry through Recreation.gov. Reservations must be purchased online or by calling Recreation.gov before entering the park and will not be available at the park entrance. Timed entry reservations will not be required for those with camping permits, backcountry permits, Fiery Furnace permits, special use permits, concessions contracts, or commercial use authorizations. All reservations are expected to sell out quickly, and visitors are encouraged to plan ahead.    

During 2009 to 2019, visitation to Arches grew over 66%, from 996,312 to 1,659,702. This high level of visitor use creates congestion and crowding that can negatively impact public safety, visitor experiences, and park resources. The National Park Service met with the public in two virtual meetings in September to discuss potential solutions to these challenges and solicited comments about congestion management during a 30-day comment period. Additionally, park leadership has been working to collaborate closely with the local community and other stakeholders in the implementation of this pilot.

After analyzing visitation patterns and considering comments from the public and stakeholders, the National Park Service determined that a temporary timed entry pilot could ease vehicle congestion and visitor crowding by proactively pacing visitation into the park. The park expects timed entry reservations to provide visitors with a more reliable and enjoyable experience while protecting the park’s extraordinary landscape. Additionally, data collected over the duration of the pilot will help determine timed entry’s viability as a component of a longer-term visitor access strategy.

For more information, please visit nps.gov/arch/planyourvisit/timed-entry-pilot.htm.

    How do I reserve a Timed Entry Ticket?

    Visitors must make a Recreation.gov account in advance of purchasing a Timed Entry Ticket.

    Reservations will be available online through Recreation.gov (recommended) or:

    Reservations will not be available at park entrance stations or park offices.

Ever wondered what is unique about each of Utah’s 29 counties? The Natural History Museum of Utah is helping spotlight natural and cultural history wonders in each of them with the Natural History Explorer Corps, launching Memorial Day Weekend.

Custom markers, designed and fabricated by Utah’s own O.C. Tanner, have been placed in every county to celebrate an iconic natural or cultural history location in that area, showcasing Utah’s diversity and richness. All summer long, Utahns and visitors will be encouraged to seek out the markers to inspire their own exploration of what makes each county—and Utah—so special.

“We are beyond thrilled to roll out the Natural History Explorer Corps program. It’s been designed to encourage and support learning about our amazing state,” said Jason Cryan, executive director, Natural History Museum of Utah. “It’s also a great way to encourage our friends and neighbors in Utah to safely get back out there in the spirit of education, adventure, and friendly competition.”

From members of state and county leadership to public works employees, librarians, historians and museum directors, Explorer Corps is the product of enthusiastic collaboration across both state and local levels, including Grand County.

Grand County’s Marker in Moab

The Grand County marker is in front of the Museum of Moab at 118 E Center Street in Moab. It highlights Utahraptor Ostrommaysorum, which was found in both the Dalton Wells Quarry and Gaston Quarry, near Moab. When you’re visiting the marker, you can see a cast of a leg of a Utahraptor at the museum! (Appointment required before June 1, 2021.)

Utahraptor lived about 125 million years ago during the Early Cretaceous. This was a time millions of years after the Allosaurus of Cleveland-Lloyd were stomping around and tens of millions of years before Tyrannosaurus. In fact, paleontologists hypothesize, the lack of huge, big-headed predators during this time in ancient Utah is what allowed Utahraptor to evolve and thrive as the apex predator of its ecosystem.

To date, Utahraptor has only been found in Utah. That’s distinctive enough that Utahraptor was honored at Utah’s State Dinosaur in 2018 and plans are currently afoot to establish a Utahraptor State Park in the vicinity of where the dinosaur was found. But paleontologists are still learning more about this dinosaur.

Site of the future Utah Raptor State Park.

About Utahraptor


  • Utahraptor is the largest raptor dinosaur ever found.
  • The killing claw of Utahraptor was over nine inches long.
  • Paleontologists have excavated a 9-ton block containing multiple specimens of Utahraptor from youngsters to adults.

Utah Raptor


When Jurassic Park hit theaters in 1993, some dino fans in the audience had a critique of the movie’s raptors – the pack-hunting dinosaurs were too big. No one had ever found a Velociraptor, or similar dinosaur, as big as a person. But just as the film was roaring through theaters, paleontologists working in the desert near Moab announced that raptors really could get that big, after all. They had discovered Utahraptor, the largest raptor of all time.

Utahraptor lived about 125 million years ago during the Early Cretaceous. This was a time millions of years after the Allosaurus of Cleveland-Lloyd were stomping around and tens of millions of years before the likes of Tyrannosaurus. In fact, paleontologists hypothesize, the lack of huge, big-headed predators during this time in ancient Utah is what allowed Utahraptor to evolve and thrive as the apex predator of its ecosystem.

The largest Utahraptor could grow to be more than 20 feet long and weigh more than half a ton. Their skulls were deep, with some of their teeth angled forward to deliver deadly bites that snagged prey on those sharp points. Recent finds of Utahraptor youngsters, however, have shown that these dinosaurs started life with a more slender build. As researchers continue to excavate a 9-ton block chock full of Utahraptor bones, we’ll be sure to learn more.


To learn even more, visit nhmu.utah.edu/grand.

Moab's Dark Skies

In recognition of the partnership of federal, state, and local agencies, as well as Utah’s recreation, tourism, and education sectors, which make night sky opportunities in our state available for all to enjoy, Utah Governor Spencer J. Cox has declared April 2021 as Utah Dark Sky Month.

Stargazing, astronomy programs, star parties, dark sky photography and many other activities allow Utah residents and visitors to enjoy the physical and emotional benefits of the night sky. Dark skies are integral to the well-being of many animal and plant species, and they have positive health impacts on humans. The astrotourism industry is anticipated to generate nearly $6 billion and support more than 113,000 new jobs in the American Southwest over the next decade. The implementation of dark sky practices in land use, construction, utilities, and other aspects of community life actively promotes local governance, reduces energy-costs, and preserves Utah’s Western lifestyle.

Celebrate this special month by visiting several of Utah’s accredited International Dark Sky places. The city of Moab is centrally located to three of Utah’s most spectacular dark sky places – Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Dead Horse Point State Park.

The public lands surrounding Moab have some of the darkest skies remaining in the contiguous 48 United States. As few as one in ten Americans live in an area where they can see the estimated 2,500 stars that should be visible under normal conditions. Every visit to Moab should include some time under the stars.

Arches National Park

With its main entrance just a few minutes from downtown Moab, Arches National Park is one of the most accessible places near town to soak up the night sky in total darkness. Designated as an International Dark Sky Park in summer of 2019, Arches took careful measures to become dark-sky friendly, with shielded light fixtures that minimize glare, as well as bulbs that limit the amount of blue light generated—a major source of light pollution. On a clear night, you can get great views of the stars from just about anywhere in the park, though keep in mind that the further north (and away from town) you venture, the darker the skies will be.

On a clear night, you can see great stars just about anywhere in the park. Areas off the main park road with few obstructions of the sky are best. The farther north you drive, away from the lights of Moab, the darker the sky will be.

Try stargazing at these areas:

  • Balanced Rock Picnic Area
  • The Windows Section
  • Garden of Eden Viewpoint
  • Panorama Point
Arches National Park Dark Skies

Canyonlands National Park

Slightly more off the beaten path from Moab proper—which means further away from the ambient light that obscures the night sky—Canyonlands National Park was named a Gold-Tier Dark Sky Park by the International Dark-Sky Association in 2015. Nighttime views here are so incredible that people visit from all over the world to explore on their own or participate in park-ranger-led stargazing activities. Similar to Arches National Park’s dark-sky conservation efforts, Canyonlands National Park also utilizes special night-sky friendly lighting fixtures and bulbs to preserve its unique magic of total darkness after sundown.

Canyonlands National Park Dark Skies

Dead Horse Point State Park

Another International Dark Sky Park (with the status awarded in 2016), Dead Horse Point State Park is approximately a 45-minute drive from downtown Moab, and one of the best places in the state for stargazing. Its location atop a high plateau gives great lines of sight that offer a nearly full view of the celestial sphere, and it’s far enough away from surrounding development to stay incredibly dark at night. In addition to plenty of places to enjoy the night sky on your own, the park also offers ranger-guided night activities from full-moon walks to telescope-gazing sessions.

For a unique experience consider spending the night of one of Dead Horse Point’s nine yurts. The yurts provide the most luxurious accommodations that can be found atop the mesa. A perfect location for enjoying the dark skies, the yurts enjoy sweeping views of both the canyons to the south and the La Sal mountains to the east during the day. Each yurt contains sleeping space for up to six people, in the form of bunked double beds and a pullout futon couch. An outdoor propane grill allows for cooking on site, with the park providing propane free of charge. Heat, air conditioning, and electrical outlets are available, and comfortable seating areas both indoors and outdoors provide for a relaxing environment in any weather condition. Modern restroom facilities are located within easy walking distance.

Dead Horse Point State Park Dark Skies

When to Go & What to Bring

Once you’ve decided on a destination, there are a few things to keep in mind that can majorly enhance your experience. If possible, try to time your visit to coincide with a new moon, as the skies will be even darker. If you can’t, that’s OK—you’ll still have a window of dark-sky time before the moon comes over the horizon. If you’re interested in diving a little deeper than simply looking skyward, consider smartphone apps like Star Walk or Night Sky. And if you really want to get serious, you can look into star charts that correspond to individual dates and locations. Consider bringing a pair of binoculars, as they’re more affordable, portable, and user-friendly than a telescope. And while bringing a headlamp or flashlight is a good idea to safely make your way around the park, one with a red-light mode is preferred to preserve night vision, which can take nearly 20 minutes to adapt to the darkness.

Stargazing Tips

  • Plan – Even the light from a thin crescent moon can make it more difficult to see fainter stars or even the Milky Way. You’ll see the darkest skies during a new moon or when the moon is below the horizon. Check sunrise and sunset times and moon phases here.
  • Give Yourself Time – It can take 20-30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark. Spend enough time outside away from bright lights to allow your eyes to adjust.
  • Use a Red Light – White lights from flashlights, cell phones, or vehicle headlights can harm your night vision. A red light won’t impact your night vision as much. Many flashlights and headlamps have a red-light feature, or you can simply cover your white light with red cellophane.
  • Bring a Star Chart – A star chart can help you find the constellations and Milky Way.
  • Don’t Illuminate the Rocks – Please note that using artificial light sources to light up landscapes, rock formations, or other park features is prohibited. Artificial light sources may be used for personal route-finding or minimum impact camping only.

Our public lands are very fragile and have taken millions of years to develop. We ask that you recreate responsibly while visiting Moab to respect, protect, and preserve our incredible landscape. Recreating responsibly in Moab will ensure that future generations can have the same incredible experience you are enjoying. Click on the symbol below to learn more.

Recreate Responsibly


Daily Delta flights from Canyonlands Regional Airport (CNY) in Moab to Salt Lake City (SLC) are scheduled to begin May 5, 2021. These new flights, operated by SkyWest Airlines, will provide travelers with expanded travel options anywhere they want to go. Tickets are available now at delta.com.

“Timing is sometimes everything! In coordination with SkyWest, Delta Air Lines and the Department of Transportation, SE Utah is pleased for the return of Salt Lake City service,” said Andy Solsvig, Airport Director. “This route should be popular in supporting economic development, business, governmental ties to the state capital, tourism and other leisure travel.”

“Whether heading to Salt Lake City or beyond, these new flights provide travelers greater access and options for all their travel plans,” said Greg Atkin, SkyWest’s managing director of Market Development. “Passengers can also fly with confidence thanks to the multiple safety measures that are in place, including enhanced cleaning, mandatory face coverings and customer self-assessments with check-in.”

Each of the Delta flights will be onboard the 50-passenger CRJ200 regional aircraft. Flights are timed to provide maximum connection opportunities for both business and leisure travelers. From Salt Lake City, Delta operates 250 daily flights to 85 destinations. Customers flying Delta can look forward to more than 100 layers of protection offered through the Delta CareStandard, such as regularly sanitizing high-touch surfaces. Delta is also blocking seats and limiting capacity through April 30, 2021, providing more space and extra peace of mind on board.

Customers onboard the Delta flights from Moab will also have the opportunity to accrue frequent flier miles through the SkyMiles program. Every flight is another chance to get miles — and get closer to the next place on your travel wish list.

Customers may book flights immediately at delta.com or by calling Delta Air Lines reservations at 800.221.1212. Remember, the best fares are always available at delta.com.

For a Valentine’s Day to remember, discover all that Moab has to offer.

Moab, Utah

Arches Times Entry Reservations

After 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 and food trucks to fancy fine dining (and just about everything in-between), these are some of the best places to eat in Moab.

For Breakfast

Love Muffin Café

Open Daily 6:30AM-1PM
139 North Main St.

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.

Jailhouse Café

Open Daily 7AM-12PM
101 North Main St.

Pop into this cute, historic diner for delicious comfort breakfast foods and an atmosphere that instantly feels like home. Built in the late 1800’s, the Jailhouse was once Moab’s official County Courthouse, an office space, and a post office; but now it’s known as “Moab’s Breakfast Place”. Some of the can’t-miss dishes here are the chorizo scramble, swedish pancakes, and the eggs benedict (which have a reputation for being the best in town). Wake up early for a table at this popular breakfast spot, the coffee is hot and the friendly staff is ready to help you start your day off on the right foot.
Food Trucks in Moab, Utah

For Lunch

Trailhead Public House and Eatery

Open Daily 11:30AM-8PM
Corner of Main & 100 North

Trailhead Public House and Eatery is located in an historic building (constructed in 1886) on the northeastern corner of 100 North and Main Street in Moab. Trailhead serves American food in an ambiance influenced by European pubs. Fresh ingredients and high-quality Wagyu beef set Trailhead apart, along with homemade soups as well as vegetarian and gluten-free offerings. Currently, it features classic pub favorites like fish and chips and several varieties of chicken wings, plus a selection of one-third pound burgers served with house-cut french fries. The Hot Trails and Bacon burger boasts house fire-roasted hot peppers and ghost pepper cheddar for the adventurous, while the Whiskey Tango features a zesty whiskey tango sauce. Trailhead also serves salads made with seasonal ingredients and several types of grilled cheese. The on-site bar serves beer, wine and other spirits.

Moab Food Truck Park

Open Mon. to Fri. 11AM-8PM, Sat. 5-10PM
Closed Sunday
39 West 100 North

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 El Gordo, Hokulia Shave Ice, Downtown Dawgs, Delicate Donuts, The Krusty 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

Sultan Mediterranean Grill

Open Daily 11AM-8PM
574 North Main St.

The Sultan Mediterranean Grill is relatively new to Moab, and they’re on a mission to bring vibrant Greek and Lebanese flavors to the desert town. Stop in for any of the lunch specials after a busy morning playing on the red rocks, or end your day with an authentic mediterranean feast. The food is beautifully presented, fresh, and expertly prepared. Plus, the menu has a great offering of vegetarian options and lighter plates. You can’t miss the spicy hummus, a lamb kebab or gyro, or the falafel pita.

For Dinner

Desert Bistro

Open Nightly at 5PM
36 South 100 West

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

Open Tues. to Sun. 5-9PM
90 East Center St.

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.
Fine Dining in Moab, Utah

Josie Wyatt’s Grille

Open Daily 7AM-10PM
99 North 100 West

One of the newest restaurants in Moab, Josie Wyatt’s Grille puts a southwestern flair on fine western steakhouse dining. You’ll find the restaurant in Moab’s first 4-Diamond hotel, the Hoodoo, just off of Main Street. It’s ambiance pays homage to the namesake Western icons. The most popular plates pair locally sourced produce with premium quality steaks, which are expertly prepared and can be finished with a delicious sauce (like the horseradish crème fraîche). To top off the entire experience, spend some time talking over one of their wonderful cocktails on the patio.

Antica Forma

Open 11:00AM-9PM, Closed Sunday
267 North Main

The name Antica Forma means “The old form.” The restaurant features true Neapolitan pizza made in a wood-fired oven which burns at around 800-900 Fahrenheit. Head pizzaiolo Israel Hernandez trained under two of the top Neapolitan pizzaioli, or “pizza makers,” in NYC. Don Antonio Starita is a third generation master pizzaiolo whose family’s pizzeria in Naples is a local favorite. He, along with Roberto Caporuscio of Keste Pizza & Vino in NYC, trained Israel in the art of pizza Napolitano. Authenticity and quality are important to Antica Forma, so their ingredients are either imported from Italy or made fresh in house every day. Even the oven was flown in from Naples. Genuine Neapolitan pizza dough made with double zero flour (doppio zero ‘’00’’ caputo flour), fermented at a cool temperature for at least 24 hrs for better taste. Their pizza sauce is made with San Marzano tomatoes, grown on the volcanic plains to the south of Mount Vesuvius. Mozzarella is hand-stretched and made in house daily. This is pizza unlike any other in southern Utah.

Suffice it to say that Moab has no shortage of eating options; these are just a few of our favorites. For more options, browse our complete list of restaurants in Moab.
Antica Forma

For most of us Moab conjures thoughts of warm days spent hiking, biking, floating, or simply basking in the sun perched on a red rock. It’s true, the summer months are the most popular time of year to visit; but the city is brimming with things to do year-round. New adventures ebb and flow with the desert’s long hot summer days and mild, incredible winter months. Explore the best aspects of each season below to discover the best time for your Moab vacation.

In the Spring | March – May

As days get longer and the red rock starts to warm, travelers from around the world visit Moab to shake off a cold winter. Midday temperatures generally reach 70ºF during the springtime, making it a perfect time of year to get outside! The trails come alive with wallflowers, paintbrush, and juniper, so have your camera at the ready for some incredible desert wildflower photography.

If it’s your first time visiting Moab (or far from it), be sure to pack your hiking boots. Trails like the Delicate Arch, Grandstaff Canyon, Corona Arch, and Fisher Towers Trails should be on every hiker’s to-do list. Mountain bikers can’t miss the famed Slickrock Trail or the Moab Brand trail network, both of which are usually in great condition come springtime. To add a little more adrenaline to your trip, schedule a four-wheeling tour with one of the guides in town.

Red desert flowers

Local’s Tips

We’re committed to protecting the natural lands and historic artifacts in the Moab region. As you plan your next trip, we ask that you explore these simple steps towards traveling more responsibly and help us preserve Moab for generations to come.

Do It Like a Moab Local

In the Summer | June – August

During the hotter summer months people tend to head for the Colorado River or the La Sal Mountains to cool down. Temperatures can reach over 100ºF, so it’s best to get the day’s activity in during the early morning or in the early evening. Plus, you’ll want to save some energy to stay up and gaze into Moab’s starry night skies, which are some of the darkest anywhere in the world.

Long summer days lend themselves well to packed itineraries; just make sure you have plenty of water and sun protection. Escape the heat by camping at Warner Lake Campground in the La Sal Mountains, where less-traveled trails are within easy access. Or, head down to the Colorado River for some kayaking, white water rafting, or a relaxing moonlight cruise.

Local’s Tips

  • Make your way over to Swanny Park for free summer concerts every Friday night, starting July 10th.
  • Summer is the busiest time of year for the national parks. Avoid some of the traffic by visiting during the early morning or early evening.

In the Fall | September – November

Once the fall months come around Moab is in full bloom. The river has had some time to warm, the higher elevation trails are thawed, and temperatures drop back down to a comfortable 70ºF. Fall is a great time of year to hit the trails, visit the national parks, and camp along the Colorado River under Moab Canyon’s commanding red cliffs. Plus, up in the Manti-La Sal National Forest the trees start to take on their vivid fall colors.

For an experience you can’t find any other time of year, be sure to take a scenic drive on the La Sal Mountain Loop Road. It’s 63 miles in length, and should take nearly two hours to drive. Pack a picnic and take your time, the forest is incredible during the fall months. It’s also a perfect time for hikers to take to the trails, and mountain bikers can generally access all of the popular Whole Enchilada Trail, along with other higher elevation trails.<

Local’s Tips

  • Every November the Moab Folk Festival and Celtic Festival bring great music, food, and tradition to the red rocks. Make sure to plan some time to unwind in town at either of these great festivals.

In the Winter | December – February

Winter in Moab may be one of the city’s best kept secrets. The crowds dissipate and the red rock looks spectacular under snow. With temperatures between 40ºF and 50ºF, you’ll find the crisp air invigorating as you ramble down a hiking trail that you’ll practically have all to yourself.

Winter weather travelers can’t miss Onion Creek, which is roughly 20 miles up Moab Canyon on Highway 128. Take the drive (a four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended) for unbeatable photo opportunities of snow capped red rock outcroppings and a handful of great day hikes. Afterwards, spend some time exploring both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks; it’s a great time to see the most popular landmarks without the crowds.

Local’s Tips

  • Did you know you can ski in Moab? If you’re visiting during the winter months, pack your skis for some peaceful cross country skiing in the La Sal Mountains.

To start planning your next Moab vacation, learn more about monthly weather averages or explore places to stay while you’re here.

Guest Journalist: Mark

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:

You can’t have your dog with you:

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.