Running through the heart of Moab is a pretty little creek that starts high in the La Sal Mountains then tumbles and twists down through the heart of Moab. The Mill Creek Parkway, a quiet recreational path designed for slow-moving bicycles, walkers, roller blades, or other non-motorized methods of transportation follows the meandering creek as it winds its way through town toward the Colorado River. The parkway is a lovely addition to downtown Moab and neighboring residential areas. June 4, 1999, marked the dedication of the parkway and it is already the destination of many visitors to Moab, and, of course, local residents. Locals use the trail system for shortcuts to work or on evening walks, for shady jogging or family bicycle (or stroller!) outings. Benches situated on the banks of the creek provide a shady, quiet respite from the desert sun. Along Mill Creek Parkway it is green and shady all the time. The trail follows the creek in the shade of cottonwood, hackberry, silver leaf poplars, catalpas and other shade trees. It’s a great bird-watching have, too, with many birds that frequent riparian areas, floating and singing overhead. Explorers on the parkway will find the trail infused with, shall we say…whimsy! Keep your eyes peeled for thrones carved from the trunks of old, dead trees, or little stools or chairs carved from the same. It’s as much fun as the furniture in Alice is Wonderland! The Dan O’Laurie Museum added even more interest to the parkway by creating an outdoor museum with its collection of antique mining and farming equipment. You’ll find it at various points along the trail along with interpretive text to help you figure out just what that big contraption is! You’ll spot ore cars, “one-man muckers,” threshers, and other vintage equipment. You can enter the trail at many different points throughout Moab. Once on the trail, you can explore the creek both directions. Several side spurs allow you to walk nearer the creek and at times you forget you are in the city at all.
Another sight along the trail is a small farm with sheep and goats & always a favorite with the kids. If you veer off the trail just for a moment at 400 East, you’ll also get to see a private ostrich farm and across the street (near the high school) you will encounter an outdoor pond, constructed by the Youth Garden Project of Moab in conjunction with Ameri-Corp. The pool and sitting area is shared by the school with visitors and local residents. The trail’s eastern end (depending upon your orientation) is at Rotary Park, a shady, quiet glen equipped with grills, picnic tables and shelters, as well as a children’s playground complete with giant xylophones locally known as “free notes.” Several instruments allow visitors to create their own music in the shady grove. Just past the park and at the trail’s end is a gazebo surrounded by a luscious native flower bed. The native plantings were contributed by the Bird Club and even in the early years of plantings, it is a botanical showcase. Nearby is the “tree deck,” which offers a new twist on a treehouse and is fun for all whether you want to read, picnic or just pretend you’re a bird! The tree deck was constructed by the Rotary Club and Varsity Scouts. All signs indicate the parkway will just keep getting better and better. Enjoy your walk, ride, or roll (under your own power, of course) along Mill Creek Parkway!
Moab Utah is where adventure begins for all ages. While the mention of Moab often conjures visions of the extreme activities, you will find an adventure level to fit every age group, both inside and outside of the National Parks.
Paleosafari Moab Giants
Intersection of Highways 191 and 313,
11 miles north of downtown Moab.
GPS: 38.671768, -109.686812
( 435) 355-0288
Moab Giants Dinosaur Park is the first of its kind world-wide! Not only is it set among some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery in Moab, it is also a unique experience of the ages. You will journey back through time with a 3D cinema introducing you into the prehistoric world. There you get to make your own tracks alongside state-of the art life-size dinosaurs! You get to roam the extraordinary landscape they 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. It’s the ultimate place to discover the past with the modern conveniences and cutting edge technology that feel like the future.
The perfect balance of adventure and science, Moab Giants has been the realization of a dream for both our dinosaur park enthusiasts, as well as our 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 has been actively engaged for many years in research, public education and exhibits and they are dedicated to being an educational and scientific resource for visitors from the local community, region, nation and the world, but not without some extreme fun along the way! It is Moab Giant’s mission to explore the beauty, adventure and scientific mysteries of the Moab area and share them with the world.”
Plan to experience Moab Giants in its entirety by visiting all the attractions we have to offer. There is something for everyone to enjoy. Our exhibits include both indoor and outdoor experiences. Explore the park on your own and at your own pace, or participate in a more in-depth guided tour. Either way you will want to be sure you don’t miss a thing.
- The Museum – The indoor exhibits use interactive, cutting edge technology to highlight stories about fossil footprints and their impact on dinosaur science and geology. These exhibits also include insights into the history and prehistory of the Moab area, and windows into Moab Giant’s research labs, show-casing research activity in the community and region. They also have some hands on exhibits that let you experiment for yourself how tracks are made and fossilized.
- The 3D Theater – Experience the magic of the creation and early history of our Earth through 3D cinema. Visitors get the full effect of prehistoric life in 3D before being introduced into the open landscape where things really come to life.
- The Trail – Here you will travel in time along a half-mile-long trail with more than 130, state-of-the-art, full size reconstructions of dinosaurs and the tracks they made in the area. Children and adults alike can walk with the dinosaurs and enjoy a Mesozoic adventure blended with a relaxed outing into the desert landscape with its beautiful backdrop of dinosaur-bearing rock formations.
- The 5D Paleoaquarium – After your walk through the desert with the dinosaurs on land you will have the unique opportunity to cool off in the paleoaquarium. Enjoy the ambiance as you stroll past eight different 3D screens giving you a realistic view into ancient life under the sea. Your time in the aquarium will end in the 5D room with an all-encompassing experience you are sure not to forget!
- The Playground and “Dig it Out” Areas -The kids will love this hands on dinosaur-themed playground for guests only. The playground includes rock climbing, web equipment, swings, slides and more! Climb inside T-Rex’s enormous mouth full of teeth and try your hand at paleontology and discovery by exploring their camp uncovering the dinosaur bones beneath the sand!
- The Cafe – Plan to drop in to the Moab Giants Cafe for breakfast, lunch and tasty treats! The unique menu provides local favorites as well as dishes from around the world and are unlike any other in Moab. Everyone is sure to find something to satisfy their appetite. The menu is full of delicious food with names to contribute to your prehistoric adventure! It is sure to not disappoint!
- The Gift Shop – Stop by the gift shop on your way out for a Moab Giants branded souvenir. Enjoy a large selection of gifts including dinosaur toys and models of all kinds, fashionable custom designed apparel for all ages, and everything in between.
High Ropes Challenge Course
Wild West Challenge Course offers a High Ropes Challenge Course including a climbing tower, vertical high ropes elements, and horizontal traverses at 30 ft above the ground. Participants can choose from a variety of 17 different elements during a 2- hour program. Discover your own personal limits under professional facilitators’ guidance and experience an increase in self-esteem and confidence or enjoy an adrenaline rush on their giant swing.
Ages 7 and up, max. Weight 250 lbs. Minimum of three participants.
Wild West Voyages
422 Kane Creek Blvd, Moab, UT 84532
Children as young as seven years can learn rappelling and climbing techniques with one of Moab’s trained Climbing Guides.
Magic, Music and Comedy! Moab Backyard Theater, an open air venue, features family-friendly entertainment Wednesday though Saturday in downtown Moab.
Rick Boretti’s famous Comedy and Magic show appears Friday and Saturday evenings while Wednesday night features bluegrass and western music. Rick brings kids up on stage and they love it! For over 20 years, Rick has been performing close up and stand up for adults and children and everything in between. No show is alike and every show is catered to the audience. A family-friendly show that adults enjoy as much or more than children. Lots of laughs and audience participation and truly jaw-dropping magic. Shows start at 7 pm in spring and fall and 8 pm in the summer. The Moab Backyard Theater is located at 56 W 100 S (behind Zax restaurant). $10 for adults, $5 for kids, kids under three are free. Phone (435) 259-4050 or 435-260-0446.
Moab’s National Parks & State Park offers great family hikes suitable for tots as well as teens. Guided hikes, interpretive programs and the Junior Ranger Program add additional fun for kids. Check out the fun things your family can do together.
- Arches National Park – Arches is a great family park. From the Visitor Center with its interpretive exhibits, orientation video and animal statues at the Visitor Center, to the rock formations, the Park will delight kids as well as adults, and hiking trails provide many opportunities for children to get out of the car and explore the arches up close.
- Canyonlands National Park – 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 Rock.
- Dead Horse Point State Park – The legend of Dead Horse Point in itself puts young imaginations to work as they explore this amazing park.
There is also large variety of hiking trails outside the National Parks suitable for families, especially those with canine members. Below are a few to consider:
- Corona Arch – Highway 279 – Few hikes culminate with such wow as the Corona Arch Trail, but because of its proximity to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks it often gets overlooked.
- Grandstaff Canyon – Highway 128 – Grandstaff Canyon Canyon is a lovely canyon, cut into the Navajo Sandstone by a small, perennial stream that begins about six miles from the southern shore of the Colorado River.
- Fisher Towers – Highway 128 – The Fisher Towers Trail is a great trail for any family because unbelievably amazing views are seen right from the parking lot. You don’t have to complete the entire trail to see incredible sights. The Fisher Towers Trail passes through an amazing array of rock formations from 4-foot tall goblin like formations to the 900-foot Titan.
The wide selection of biking trails make it possible to include the entire family, no matter the age or ability level. You can rent bike trailers for your baby, or a trail-a-bike for toddlers.
The following are deemed family friendly:
- Bar M Loop – is a fairly easy ride technically. Elevation change is modest at about 300 feet. Many families ride this trail, including baby trailers and trail-a-bikes.
- Intrepid Trail – With slickrock sections, looping singletrack, sandy washes, and incredible scenery, the Intrepid Trail System provides a great taste of what Moab mountain biking is all about. This is the perfect ride for families and offers spectacular views of the Colorado River and Canyonlands National Park.
- Other Bike Trails – For more family fun biking, contact one of Moab’s fine tour operators for one of the following tours or to have a them customize a bike tour for your family.
- Mill Creek Parkway – A pedestrian and bicycle path that follows Mill Creek.
- Goose Island to Bike Pedestrian Bridge over the Colorado River.
When you hear the term white water, you probably get nervous about taking a trip with youngsters, but here are some great ways to enjoy the Colorado River during your visit:
- Half-day and full day raft trips with experienced guides cost surprisingly little and are great for the entire family from toddlers (must weigh 40 lbs) to grandparents.
- The “Daily”, located northeast of Moab along Utah highway 128, is also known as the Fisher Towers’ section. The Daily is Utah’s most popular river trip and is ideal for a short adventure, a group outing, an overnight camping trip, or a first river trip.
- Rafting With Children
Read a mother’s experience with her daughter on the Colorado river.
Moab Recreation and Aquatic Center
This new state-of-the-art 24,000 square-foot facility features an indoor six-lane competition pool with both one-meter and three-meter diving boards, a shallow-water area and slide, an outdoor lap pool with adjoining current channel, and a large outdoor leisure pool with a play structure and slides. A fitness area with weight and cardio machines is also available.
Other Water Fun
Ken’s Lake Recreation Area. Ken’s Lake, an 82 acre manmade reservoir provides cool fun for the entire family with swimming, canoeing, rafting and kayaking, as well as fishing (must have license) and is available for free day use.
Family Dinosaur Field Trips
With so many dinosaur resources in one place, Moab is the perfect place to design your own Family Dinosaur Field Trip!
Start your Dinosaur Field Trip in downtown Moab, at the Museum of Moab
Check out a full cast skeleton of Gastonia, one of the armored dinosaurs that lived in this area during the Early Cretaceous. The museum also features numerous dinosaur displays, including a cast of the leg of the terrifying Utahraptor.
Continue your journey at Paleosafari Moab Giants
, where you can journey back through time with a 3D cinema introducing you to the prehistoric world of dinosaurs. You can also make your own tracks on a half mile hiking trail populated with state-of the art life-size dinosaurs! The Tracks Museum features interactive learning touch screens, games to play, and visually stunning exhibits that not only fascinate, but educate.
After learning about the dinosaur species that once walked these lands, continue north of Moab to one or more of the Moab Dinosaur Sites
. A variety of hiking trails will take you to some of the best preserved dinosaur tracks and bones in the country.
Self guided trail guides are available for the following:
- Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail, contains traces (vertebrae, bone fragments and impressions) of a variety of dinosaur species. Visitors can also view the remnants of an old copper mill and the Halfway Stage Station, a rest stop for travelers during the turn of the century as they traveled from the railroad at Thompson to Moab.
Click here to download a brochure.
- The Copper Ridge Sauropod Tracksite discovered in 1989, reveals the first brontosaurus trackway reported from Utah, as well as trackways of four theropods of various sizes. The dinosaurs walked in several directions across a ripple-marked sand deposit that had accumulated in an ancient river channel.
Click here to download a brochure.
Other Outdoor Fun
The Matheson Wetlands Preserve located just a half-mile from Moab, provides some of the best wetlands wildlife watching in Utah. A well-defined, handicapped-accessible, mile-long loop trail exists in the southern portion of the preserve. A boardwalk, made from recycled train trestles, spans the trail’s wet areas and leads to a two-story wildlife viewing blind. Additionally, there is a wetlands teaching circle and map station where several brochures are available including bird and wildlife lists as well as brochures for self-guided tours. The preserve is open seven days a week, from sunrise to sunset.
For more information call (435) 259-4629
or visit the Nature Conservancy website
- Anonymous Park – dirt bike jumps and BMX racing – Located at the end of the Mill Creek Parkway, next to 500 West, Anonymous Park is a tribute to dirt jumping and BMX racing. A series of kickers lead into a fun course that’s been developed.
- Disc Golf Course – This new course plays through a beautiful red rock setting with panoramic views of sandstone cliffs and big mountain peaks. The course weaves through varied desert terrain and is dotted with pinyon pines and junipers. A few signature holes lead you out of the junipers in to the tight quarters of Russian Olive groves. Old City Park The course is outfitted with 18 DISCatcher® PRO targets, signs at each tee mapping the hole, directional signs to lead you at a confusing location for first-timers, and dirt tee pads (for now). Dogs are allowed on leash on the course (NOT in the park). PLEASE pick up after them. There is no fee to use the course. Traveling north on Spanish Trail Road, turn left onto Murphy Lane. Look for the park on the left.
- Public Skate Park – 400 North 199 West
The Moab City Skatepark is the result of a great deal of hard work by people in the community who believe that kids need a place to express their creativity on wheels. There was an impressive grassroots efforts by the youth of Moab to fund and establish the Park. The Park was constructed in 1999 and was an immediate success!Warning: Skateboarding, roller blading and bicycling could be hazardous recreational activities. Use of this facility may result in serious injury. Use at your own risk. The City of Moab does not assume responsibility for injuries. Emergency: Call 911 Moab Police 259-8938 A phone is located in the northwest corner of the Park. The hospital is located at 719 West 400 North (6 blocks west of the Park.)
Moab’s clear dark skies are considered one of the top spots for star gazing and perfect for astronomy lessons. With no big cities nearby, you can see thousands of glimmering stars as the Milky Way creates a luminous streak across the sky
Cool off after a day in Canyonlands with a cool treat from:
- MoYo – 331 North Main Street
- Crystals Cakes & Cones – 26 West Center Street
- Moab Diner & Ice Cream Parlor – 189 South Main Street