If you’re planning a trip to Moab, you’re likely aware of its status as an oasis for outdoor recreation. But the city of Moab has a lot to offer when it comes to dining, arts, and culture, too. Read on for your guide on how to make the most of a three-day trip to the Moab area.
DAY 1 – PARKS TOUR
Morning: Canyonlands National Park
Start your day at Canyonlands National Park. Roughly 30 miles outside Moab, the Island in the Sky District provides sweeping canyon views and stunning red rock panoramas. In a few hours’ time, you can drive the park’s 20 miles of paved roads to Grand View Point, Green River Overlook, and Upheaval Dome and hike the Grand View Point, Mesa Arch, and Upheaval Dome Overlook Trails. Get up early to beat the crowds and catch sunrise at the Mesa Arch or any of the viewpoints inside the park.
Green River Overlook
- Easy: Mesa Arch (0.6 mi/1 km) Recommended before sunrise.
- Moderate: Grand View Point (1.8 mi/2.9 km)
Lunch: Dead Horse Point State Park
On your way back from Canyonlands, don’t miss Dead Horse Point State Park. Head to Dead Horse Point Overlook to take in the view of the Colorado River and the surrounding pinnacles and buttes that make up one of the most photographed scenic vistas in the world. Enjoy a picnic lunch and stop in the Visitor Center.
- Easy: The Colorado River Overlook (1 mi/1.6 km)
- Moderate: The Bighorn Overlook Trail (3 mi/4.8 km)
Dead Horse Point State Park
Moab Giants Museum & Dinosaur Park
Afternoon: Moab Giants Museum & Dinosaur Park
Fun for the whole family, Moab Giants Museum & Dinosaur Park is the first of its kind worldwide! Take a journey back through time with a 3D cinema experience and a half-mile trail featuring more than 130 full-size reconstructions of dinosaurs and their tracks. Inside the Tracks Museum, you’ll find interactive learning touch screens, games to play, and visually stunning educational exhibits. These exhibits also include insights into the history and prehistory of the Moab area and windows into Moab Giant’s research labs.
Evening: Dinner in Town
After a full day of exploring, head into town to refuel. Moab is home to a variety of cuisines and local eats. For family-friendly dining, try Moab Diner or Moab Grill. To enjoy a local brew with your meal, visit Moab Brewery or Proper Brewing Moab.
DAY 2 – GET ACTIVE
During the Day: Choose Your Own Adventure
Spend the day recreating in Moab’s red rock wilderness. Thanks to the numerous local guides and outfitters, visitors of all ability levels can enjoy their favorite activity to the fullest, or try something new. Some popular options include:
- Mountain Biking: Cover more ground by hopping on a bike and hitting the trail. Moab offers some of the greatest mountain biking in the world, with a variety of trail options for any experience level. From the highly technical Slickrock Bike Trail to the easy-riding Bar-M Loop Trail, you’ll enjoy incredible scenery and a good work out.
- Colorado River Water Recreation: Whether you’re looking for an intense whitewater experience or a more leisurely float, there’s a section of the river for you. Choose from rafting, kayaking, canoeing, or paddle boarding, then start paddling to get a whole new perspective on the area from the Colorado River’s red rock-lined waters.
- Horseback Rides: For a truly authentic Western experience, nothing beats touring the rugged desert by horseback. Follow in the footsteps, or hoofprints, of cowboys as part of a guided trail ride to stunning landmarks such as Castle Rock and Fisher Towers.
- Scenic Flights: The wild and untamed landscape of southern Utah is so vast, it’s nearly impossible to see it all. However, even an hour-long scenic flight allows you to experience spectacular views over thousands of square miles of canyon country! No other mode of transportation will allow you to see so much in such a short period of time.
In the Evening: Wind Down
Toast to a day well spent at Moab’s own local winery. Visitors may be surprised to learn Moab’s long growing season, coupled with its fertile, sandy soils, has resulted in delicious white German-varietal wines. Spanish Valley Vineyards & Winery specializes in these single-vineyard estate-bottled wines, which means they grow the grapes, ferment, and bottle the wine all at their single location. Stop by to enjoy the sunset with a tasting or tour.
DAY 3 – MORE TO EXPLORE
Morning: Experience History
After back-to-back adventure-filled days, sleep in and grab a leisurely breakfast. For a full spread, visit Jailhouse Cafe. If you’re in need of a quick bite, grab coffee and one of the deliciously inventive doughnuts at Doughbird.
To learn more about Moab’s beginnings, join the historical walking tour led by Moab Museum staff. This one-mile guided tour focuses on Moab’s fascinating and seldom told pre-uranium history and delves into the agricultural history of canyon country.
Historical Walking Tour
Arches National Park
Afternoon: Arches National Park
Next, make your way to Arches National Park, home to the world’s largest concentration of sandstone arches located just five miles from downtown Moab. You can drive the entire park in three hours with 10-minute stops at each viewpoint and a short hike at the Windows section of the park. If you’re planning to visit between April 1 and October 31, plan ahead, as a timed entry reservation is required.
- Easy: Double Arch (0.5 mi/0.8km), Landscape Arch (2 mi/3.2 km)
- Moderate: Delicate Arch (3 mi/4.8 km) This hike is usually crowded; visiting at sunrise or sunset is best.
Evening: Art and Souvenirs
For a unique dinner option, visit the Moab Food Truck Park. With 14 different food trucks offering a variety of options, there’s something to please everyone’s palate. Spend the rest of the evening wandering the shops and art galleries on downtown’s Main Street, where you’ll find everything from landscape paintings and photography to jank art (sculptures made from desert finds) and locally made goods. Then, end your trip on a sweet note with dessert at Crystal’s Cakes and Cones.