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Delicate Arch

Arches National Park - Like Nowhere Else on Earth

Corona Arch

Moab Utah - Surprises Around Every Corner

Comb Ridge

Cedar Mesa - Feel the Wildness

The Great Gallery in Horseshoe Canyon

 

Moab Things to Do

There are so many ways to have fun and enjoy the public lands of the Moab area. And although Arches and Canyonlands are spectacular, there is so much to do here beyond the national parks! Hiking, mountain biking, auto-touring, 4-wheeling, ATV/UTV riding, and rafting the Colorado River are just some of the recreational opportunities available. You can also discover dinosaur tracks, stargaze under Moab's incredible dark skies, and see ancient rock art.

Moab Information CenterIf you have questions or need help deciding what to see and do, stop by the Moab Information Center. Our knowledgable staff will help you make the most of your visit! 

 

 

HIKING

Bureau of Land Management (BLM) 
Bureau of Land Management Hiking GuideThere are 1.8 million acres of public lands surrounding Moab that are managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Nearly 3 million visitors a year come each year to enjoy all kinds of recreation, including hiking. BLM developed trails offer opportunities to explore this amazing area beyond the parks, and without the crowds. Here is a link to the BLM Hiking Guide.

Recommended: Latitude 40's Moab West map, Trails Illustrated Moab North map, and Moab Hiking Trails.

La Sal Mountains, Manti-La Sal National Forest (roads and trails may not be open until May or June or after November 1st because of snow. Call the Moab Ranger district for current conditions: 435-259-7155).
Hiking trails on the west face of the La Sal Mountains offer a diversity of vegetation and elevation differences. In summer, the La Sals offer a cool respite from the heat in the Moab Valley. Fields of wild iris bloom in the spring. High mountain lakes shimmer, cool and inviiting in summer. Fall brings golden aspens and red gambel oak leaves. Wildlife such as elk, mule deer, bobcat, black bear, mountain lion, and grouse call the La Sals home. Leash your pet while hiking to protect it and the wildlife you may encounter.

Warner Lake to Oowah Lake Trail

Warner Lake to Oowah Lake Trail: Trail length: 1 mile (1.6 km)
Miners Basin to Warner Lake Trail:   Trail length: 2 miles (3.2 km)
Squaw Springs Trail: Trail length: 4.1 miles (6.6 km)
For more La Sal Mountain hiking trails, visit the Manti-La Sal National Forest webpage. Contact the Moab Ranger District if you have questions:  (435) 259-7155.
Recommended: The Manti-La Sal map and La Sal Hiking Guide

BIKING

BLM photo by Dave Jeppesen

Mountain Biking With nearly 100 trails, Moab's title as a mountain biking mecca is well deserved. You'll find trails for every skill level that twist and turn through the spectacular landscapes from the La Sal Mountains to the red rock desert outside of Moab to mesa tops with jaw-dropping views. Here is a link to a good online mountain bike trails: Discover Moab's Moab Mountain Biking Trail Guide
Recommended: Latitude 40's Moab Singletrack map, Mountain Biking Moab Pocket Guide

Road Biking There are lots of amazing skinny tire rides in the Moab area. Imagine cycling along the Colorado River, on the mesa into Canyonlands National Park, or up the La Sal Loop Road for fantastic views of the area. Visit Discover Moab's Road Biking webpage for details. Make sure to carry lots of water and high-energy foods with you on any of these remote routes.

AUTO TOURING

View of Castle Valley by Natalia JocsonLa Sal Loop Road: This National Forest Scenic Drive is a 63.3 mile (102 km) loop that begins and ends in Moab. Allow 3 hours. The road is paved and suitable for passenger vehicles. It travels up to and along the western flank of the La Sal Mountains treating you to fantastic views of the peaks, forested scenery, and expansive views of the area. After descending into colorful Castle Valley, the route travels along the Colorado River back to Moab.  In winter and spring, check with the Moab Information Center (MIC) in downtown Moab for current road conditions. There are no services on the La Sal Loop Road. Click this link for a map of the Loop Road. Visit the Manti-La Sal Website for more information.  
Recommended: Latitude 40's Moab East map

Fisher Towers view by Cindy Parrish

 Colorado River Scenic Byway (SR 128): 64 miles (102 km) round trip to Dewey Bridge and back to Moab. Allow 2 hours. From Moab, drive north on Highway 191 about 2 miles (3.2 km) to the intersection of SR 128. Turn right onto SR 128. This scenic route follows the Colorado River north through its spectacular canyon gorge. After about 15 miles (24 km), the canyon opens up to wild west views of buttes and mesas near Castle Valley. At 24.7 miles (39.8 km) look for the spires of Fisher Towers on the right. Continue on to Dewey Bridge, where you can see the remains of the historic bridge that unfortunately burned in 2008 when a child playing with matches set fire to the area. The scenic part of the road ends here. Turn around and return to Moab the way you came. Travel this route later in the day to catch the scenery aglow near Fisher Towers and Castle Valley as the sun sets. 
Recommended: Highway 128 - The River Road Experience.

View of Colorado River and Potash Road by Chris BairdPotash Road - Lower Colorado Scenic Byway (SR 279): 36 miles round trip (57 km). Allow 1.5 hours. Drive north from Moab on Highway 191 about 4 miles (6.4 km) to the left turn onto SR 279 (Potash Road). After about 2.7 miles (4.3 km) this scenic route turns into the portal of the Colorado River gorge. Enjoy the beautiful the views of the river. There are 3 BLM campgrounds along the road.  Along the route you'll pass "Wall Street", a favorite climbing area. Drive another .75 miles (1.2 km) to a marked pull off on the left. Stop to see the magnificent ancient rock art on the cliff walls. Further down the road, at about the 6-mile mark (9.6 km), you'll see a sign for the Poison Spider dinosaur tracks. The Corona Arch Trailhead is at the 10-mile mark (16 km) if you are in the mood for a great hike. Continue on to the 17.5 mile mark (28 km) to see Jug Handle Arch on the right. Return to Moab the way you came. 

MOTORIZED ROUTES

Jeep on Onion Creek Road - BLM photo by Bob WickThere are thousands of miles of 4-wheel drive routes on public land in the Moab area to explore and enjoy. ATVs, UTVs, and dirt bikes are welcome on any 4-wheel drive routes near Moab, except within Arches or Canyonlands National Parks. Whatever your mode of motorized transporation, always stay on the route. Visit Discover Moab's 4-Wheeling Trails, ATV Trails and UTV Riding webpages for route information.
Recommended: Moab Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive TrailsATV Trails Guide, Moab, UT; Moab Map Pack

STARGAZING

Night sky at Delicate Arch - NPS photo by Jacob W. Frank

The parks and public lands around the Moab have some of the darkest skies in the U.S. Here you can see the Milky Way pour across the night sky, and gaze at countless stars. The farther you drive away from the lights of Moab, the darker the sky will be. Tips: Bring a red light flashlight (or cover a regular flashlight with red cellophane) to protect you night vision), a folding chair or a blanket to sit on, and warm clothes.

Places to stargaze:
• Arches National Park: Check the Arches calendar for night sky events, or stargaze on your own at the Balanced Rock Picnic Area, the Windows Section, Garden of Eden Viewpoint, or Panorama Point.
• Canyonlands National Park: Check the Canyonlands calendar for night sky events, or stargaze on your own. Parking lots and pull offs along the Canyonlands Island in the Sky Road are great places to take in the stars.
• Moab Brands parking lot: (From Moab, drive north on Highway 191 about 9.8 miles (15.7 km). Turn right at the Bar M sign (across from the Gemini Bridges trailhead). This is a dirt road but is quite level and well-graded. Cross the cattle guard then turn right at the T intersection. Drive about .5 mile to the first left and turn. Drive .2 miles to the Moab Brand parking lot.
RT 313 (past the switchbacks): There are several paved pull offs on RT 313 that offer a good place to view stars.
• The La Sal Loop Road: Pull offs and parking areas along the La Sal Loop road (once the road gains elevation) offer great stargazing.
Recommended: The Night Sky Pocket Guide

ROCK ART

Rock Art image by Peggy McNeilRock art created by ancient people adorn many rocks and cliff faces throughout the Moab area. Petroglyphs were pecked or abraded into the rock and pictographs were painted on the stone. Please respect the sacredness of these sites to today's native peoples. Protect rock art by not touching it. Never carve graffiti into the rock. Do not disturb or collect artifacts or features at rock art sites. Take photos. Appreciate them, but leave them in place.

 A Sampling of Moab's Rock Art Sites

Moab Golf Course rock art by Glenn HauchGolf Course (Moab Man): From Moab, drive south on Highway 191 approximately 4 miles. Turn left onto Spanish Trail Road at the Shell gas station. Follow Spanish Trail Road to a traffic circle. Take the 2nd road (Westwater). Just past the fire station on the left, bear right to follow  Westwater Drive. Proceed .5 miles (.8 km) to a small pullout on the left-hand side of the road (please do not block the private driveway). Look for the famous Moab Man petroglyph - he's the one with the ear bobs!

Potash Road Rock Art photo by Glenn HauchPotash Road Rock Art: The cliffs along a portion of the Potash Road (SR 279) offer a chance to see a lot of fascinating rock art in one place. To get there, drive north from Moab on Highway 191 about 4 miles (6.4 km) to the left turn onto SR 279 (Potash Road). Drive SR 279 about 5 miles and look for a rock art sign and parking pullout on the left. Park here. Look for the petroglyphs on the cliff wall, up about 15 -20 ft.(4.5 m). Watch for traffic as this road can be fairly busy. Continue to another sign and pullout a little further down the road. Look here for the large bear petroglyph incised into the rock.

Sego Canyon rock art photo by Petra HeggerSego Canyon Rock Art Interpretive Site: Sego is about 40 miles from Moab, but well worth the drive. You will see rock art there from 3 distinct cultures, Barrier Canyon Style (red ghostly figures, pictographs), Fremont (petroglyphs), and Ute (white and red pictographs), representing at least a 2,000 years that this area has been significant to Native Americans. To get there, drive north from Moab on Highway 191 for 30 miles. Get on 1-70 East and drive about 5 miles. Take Exit 187 off I-70, drive through the small town of Thompson, and continue approximately 3 miles to the Sego Canyon site. The road is paved most of the way. the short portion of the road that is not paved is well-graded. Major rock art panels are visible from the road. There is a parking lot, vault tiolet and picnic table at the site.
Get CNHA's Moab Rock Art Driving Tour book for more sites and information.

DINOSAUR TRACKS

Mill Canyon Dinosaur TracksiteMill Canyon Tracksite Interpretive Trail: This is one of the largest and most diverse tracksites in the U.S. The self-guided .5 mile (.8 km) walk has interpretive panels along the trail and boardwalk. Each panel describes unique dinosaur tracks that can be seen at this site, including 8 different types of dinosaurs, and a crocodile resting trace. From Moab, drive 15 miles (24 km) north on Hwy 191. Look for the Mill Canyon sign and turn left onto the dirt road. Follow signs for the next 0.8 miles (1.3 km) to the parking lot for the trail, located to the right in the rock lined parking area.

Poison Spider Dinosaur Track (BLM photo)Poison Spider Dinosaur Tracks: Two rock slabs with dinosaur tracks are visible from the parking lot, one at the base of the cliffs and another halfway down the slope, just above the cliff that drops down to the road. The lower of these slabs contains the tracks of at least 10 different meat-eating dinosaurs. From Moab, drive north on Hwy 191 for 5.9 miles (9.4 km) and turn left on Hwy 279 (Potash Road). Continue 6 miles to the Poison Spider trailhead. Parking lot is up on the top of the hill. 

Bull Canyon dinosaur track by BLMBull Canyon Dinosaur Tracksite: This tracksite is in the Manti-La Sal National Forest. It features tracks made by large meat-eating theropod (three-toed) dinosaurs made about 165 million years ago. Part of this short hiking-only trail meanders through scrub oaks and pines. Another section goes to an overlook with a steep drop-off. Please be careful and keep track of children. From Moab, drive north on U.S.191 about 2 miles (3.2 km) to the intersection of SR 128. Turn right onto SR 128 and drive 15.5 miles (25 km) to the signed Castle Valley turn off. Turn right and drive 10.7 miles (17.2km). Remain straight on the Gateway Road, FR0207 (don't take the right turn onto La Sal Loop Rd) for another 5.4 miles (8.7 km) to a parking lot on the left,  just before the pavement ends.
Recommended: Moab Dinosaur Tracks will guide you to several tracksites and has information about each one.

COLORADO AND GREEN RIVERS

Duckies on the Colorado - BLM photoThe Colorado and Green Rivers near Moab offer water recreation for every skill level. Go white-water rafting on the Colorado River or float down the calm Green River. Get a thrilling ride in a jet boat or enjoy an evening boat ride and light show on the river, or stand-up paddle board or kayak. Commercial outfitters in Moab offer lots of different options, or you can self-guide your adventure. Just remember that all river recreation requires you to wear life vest. Visit Discover Moab's Guides Outfitters and Services web page for information. Recommended: Canyonlands River Guide.
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