Moab is a destination for adventure enthusiasts and a starting point for exploring the beautiful landscape of eastern Utah, including Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, Dead Horse Point State Park, and the Colorado River. Learn about the local geology, culture, and history at the Museum of Moab, and see life-size replicas of dinosaurs at the Moab Giants Dinosaur Park. Here are the best things to do in Moab.
1. Dead Horse Point State Park
2. Corona Arch Trail
3. Hell's Revenge
4. Moab Giants Dinosaur Park
5. Museum of Moab
6. The Needles
7. Red River Adventures
8. RedRock Astronomy
9. Moab Adventure Center
10. Potash Road
11. La Sal Mountain Loop Road
12. Paddle Moab
13. Solfun Mountain Biking
14. Dan Mick's Guided Jeep Tours
15. Moab Horses at Hauer Ranch
16. Sand Flats Recreation Area
17. Colorado Riverway Recreation Area
18. Utah Scenic Byway 279 Rock Art Sites
19. Moab Museum of Film and Western Heritage
20. Spanish Valley Vineyard and Winery
21. Under Canvas Moab
22. Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail
23. Moab Brewery
24. Moab Rock Shop
25. Bird Watching in the Scott Matheson Wetlands Preserve
What is Moab known for? What to do.
What are the top attractions to visit in Moab?
The top attractions to visit in Moab according to local experts are:
- Dead Horse Point State Park
- Corona Arch Trail
- Hell's Revenge
- Moab Giants Dinosaur Park
- Museum of Moab
- The Needles
- Red River Adventures
- RedRock Astronomy
- Moab Adventure Center
- Potash Road
- La Sal Mountain Loop Road
- Paddle Moab
- Solfun Mountain Biking
- Dan Mick's Guided Jeep Tours
- Moab Horses at Hauer Ranch
- Sand Flats Recreation Area
- Colorado Riverway Recreation Area
- Utah Scenic Byway 279 Rock Art Sites
- Moab Museum of Film and Western Heritage
- Spanish Valley Vineyard and Winery
- Under Canvas Moab
- Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail
- Moab Brewery
- Moab Rock Shop
- Bird Watching in the Scott Matheson Wetlands Preserve
Glamping in Moab, Utah
Glamping, which is a term that originated in the United Kingdom and blends together the words ‘glamor’ and ‘camping’ is becoming increasingly popular all around the world. It offers a lot of benefits, letting people appreciate the thrills of getting out in natural areas and enjoying the freedom of camping while also taking advantage of modern amenities and services like comfortable beds, running water, electricity, Wi-Fi, and more. Glamping is a great alternative to camping, providing the same fun experiences without any of the inconvenient sides like having to set up your own tent or try to get some rest in an uncomfortable sleeping bag.
There are plenty of great locations to enjoy glamping around the United States, and the city of Moab in the state of Utah is definitely one of the best. Highly popular with outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds, especially those interested in hiking, climbing, and mountain biking, Moab is perfectly situated in close proximity to two major national parks: Arches and Canyonlands. The area around Moab is known for its distinctive, beautiful rock formations, and there are countless trails and natural sites to enjoy and discover. In short Moab is a prime spot for glamping and has a couple of great glamping sites to choose from.
Glamping in Moab can be enjoyed at any time of year, as one of the best advantages of glamping is that your accommodation is safe against the elements, with warm beds and electricity at all times of year. The most popular times to visit are from early spring through to late fall, with temperatures during this period ranging from mild to very hot. The area doesn't see much rainfall through these months either, so it’s a great time to get outdoors and take in the beauty of the local parks and natural spaces.
Glamping is growing in popularity and we can expect to see more and more glamping sites in Moab in the future. For now, there are two key locations to choose from if you’re looking to enjoy some glamping in this location. Read on to learn some key details and brief overviews of the best glamping locations in Moab, Utah.
Right near the city of Moab is Dead Horse State Park. It's not quite as big as the nearby Arches and Canyonlands national parks, but it still has a lot to offer and is a beautiful spot to enjoy some Moab glamping. The Moenkopi Yurts offer an exciting, authentic way to enjoy the stunning scenery of this location. With dramatic views of the Canyonlands National Park and Colorado River, Dead Horse Point is a must-visit Moab location.
There are five yurts in total for a truly private, intimate experience for you and your friends or family. These yurts are situated at high elevations that provide excellent views of the sunrise and sunsets in the area, and also come complete with private spurs to the Intrepid Trail System, offering the perfect base camp for your Moab outdoor adventures. Each yurt can house six people and comes with a bunk bed and futon. Outdoor grills allow you to cook up some tasty food and the yurts are also equipped with heating, air con, and electricity, with restrooms just a short walk away.
Dead Horse Point State Park, UT-313, Moab, UT 84532, Phone: 800-322-3770
Attraction Spotlight: Museum of Moab
The Museum of Moab is dedicated to exploring, preserving and displaying artifacts and information about the natural and cultural history of the Moab area. Founded in 1958, the Museum of Moab explores over 250 million years of Moab's natural and cultural history through an array of galleries, exhibits and displays across several fields, including geology, paleontology, archeology, mining and the pioneers of Moab, Utah.
The Geology of Moab
The Geology of Moab reveals the 500-million-year-old multi-layered history of the surrounding desert environment and how it was once a marine environment and dense green swamp that was home to dinosaurs. The exhibit features the Virginia Fossey Room which presents the various stages of the region’s geology and climate with samples of fossils and rocks; an incredible 55-square foot, a three-dimensional topographical map of the area carved by John Urbanek; and displays of the collapsed salt anticlines of the Moab Valley and Castle Valley.
The Paleontology of Moab
The Paleontology of Moab features an exciting collection of items found in the rock formations of the Moab area, including a full cast skeleton of Gastonia, an armored dinosaur that inhabited this area during the Early Cretaceous Period, and the real tail and pelvis of a 40-foot-long plant eater known as a Camarasaurus, that lived in the area during the Late Jurassic Period. Other fascinating displays include cast hind leg of a carnivorous dinosaur referred to as an Utahraptor, imprints of dinosaur tracks, and petrified sections of cycads and conifer trees from the Late Triassic and Late Jurassic Periods.
Other exhibits in the Virginia Fossey room include a display dedicated to the Mesozoic Era, the age of dinosaurs with beautifully illustrated panels and a partial section of vertebrae bones from a sauropod, Camarasaurus.
The Archeology of Moab
The Archeology of Moab features evidence of 12,000 years of continuous human occupation in the Moab region across five human cultures, namely Archaic Hunter/Gatherer, Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi), Fremont, Ute cultures, and Navajo cultures. Interesting pieces include arrowheads, baskets, clothing, pottery, and other artifacts.
The Museum of Moab shows how mining has touched and had an influence on all areas of Moab, ranging from the 1950’s uranium boom to the massive salt deposits which are three miles thick and radiate outwards for hundreds of miles from Moab and has a maximum thickness of three miles.
The Pioneers Gallery explores the history of Moab’s first permanent settlers who arrived in the region via the Old Spanish Trail in the mid-1870s and showcases how they lived in the early years of the town. Interesting artifacts and items on display include a 19th-century wood-fired cook stove, an old rocking cradle, a treadle-style sewing machine with old patterns, and beautiful steamer trunk with handmade quilts. Musically-inclined visitors can try their hand on an old Pickering upright piano, which was first piano to be brought into the Moab Valley.
The Museum of Moab offers a variety of educational programs for both adults and students, including workshops, classes, lectures, symposiums and other special events. The Museum also offers Experiential Education Centers (EEC) for grades kindergarten through six grade, which provides an interactive, hands-on approach to local history through fun-filled educational lessons, games, and activities.
The Museum of Moab features a collection of over 15,000 documents, artifacts, photos and other historical items from southeastern Utah, some of which are on display or stored in the library or the collections room.
The Museum is also home to an extensive library of books from fictional to historical relating to the history of the Moab Area and the surrounding South West. These books are for research purposes only and can be viewed by appointment only. The Museum also preserves over 50,000 slides, negatives, and photos in its Photo Archives section, which is also available for research by appointment.
118 E. Center Street Moab, UT 84532 , Phone: 435-259–7985
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Attraction Spotlight: Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument
The Escalante National Monument, located in southern Utah, is one of the most recently mapped locations in the 48 contiguous states of the U.S., declared protected in 1996 and consisting of the Grand Staircase, the Canyons of Escalante, and the Kaiparowits Plateau. Visitors can view sweeping vistas of unique stepped erosion and ongoing excavations of previously undiscovered civilizations, stay in campgrounds of different levels of ruggedness and convenience, hike or take tours of Hell’s Backbone, Coyote Gulch, and Calf Creek Falls, go off-roading, horseback riding, and fishing.
The area of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument was formed over the span of at least 75 million years from various processes of erosion and tectonic shifts. Plateaus of the Grant Staircase, the ridge of the Kaiparowits and the Escalante Canyons all owe their formation to ancient erosion over millions of years.
Human settlement of the area began in prehistory in 500 AD, when Pueblo and Fremont peoples dwelled there. During this time the Fremont people will have been a hunter gatherer society and evidence was found that they lived approximate to the Escalante Valley. Ancestral Puebloans were a agrarian people and had their farms and homes in among the canyons. Rock art and ruins of brush houses and natural rock shelters are found in the area.
Following this, it was discovered again by Colonial explorers in 1871 and then again in 1879 by the San Juan Expedition, which famously traversed the length through the use of explosives and a pulley system for the transport of their animals and wagon.
Its cartography was not known by civilization until after being declared a national monument in 1996, after which began excavations, the mapping of trails, and tourism. Since then, excavations have uncovered both civilizational artifacts as well as paleontological findings of fossils dating back 75 million years.
The Grand Staircase is a natural museum of ancient geological, paleontological, and civilizational history. Erosion has created a great number of canyons and interesting formations, and enthusiasts will be at no loss for hiking options. Outdoor recreation strenuous and relaxing both are in abundance throughout this 7000+ square kilometers of preserved land. The whole of the national monument area encompasses three distinct areas: Grand Staircase, Kaiparowits Plateau, and Escalante Canyon.
Grand Staircase- A veritable collection of plateaus starting at Bryce Canyon and heading southward in the direction of the Grand Canyon, the Grand Staircase is a geologically progressive land formation including many high vertical drops. Herein is included the Pink Cliffs, White Cliffs, Grey Cliffs, Chocolate Cliffs and Vermillion Cliffs.
Kaiparowits Plateau- Also called the Fifty Mile Mountain, the Kaiparowits Plateau stretches from Escalante all the way to Glen Canyon and its Colorado River. This is the longest, most dominant ridge of the national park and is right in the center. Ascendable from the western and southern sides, the ridge is nine thousand feet off the ground and boasts a collection of fossils from the Late Cretaceous period, still in active excavation.
Canyons of the Escalante- A name for a collection of landforms carved by the Escalante River and its various tributaries, named Escalante River Basin. It is within the Escalante Canyons that the majority of hiking trails are found due to its many high canyon walls, slot canyons, rainwater sandstone depressions known as "waterpockets," domes, natural arches, hoodoos, and bridges. It spans 1,500 miles squared and reaches a height of over 11,000 ft in places, making it a major location for small ecosystems, excavations, and hiking trails for locals and tourists to get lost in.
Hiking Trails- along the GSENM, hikers have many trails of varying difficulty to choose from. Hikers can take tours along many of these trails or rough it on their own, stopping at basecamps and other campgrounds along the way to rest and rejuvenate.
- Golden Cathedral- Located in the aptly named Neon Canyon, the so-named Cathedral consists of three large arches carved by water runoff from a domed area above. The effect produces dramatic lighting and photogenic scenery and a pool below that is deep enough to wade and swim depending on the season.
- Calf Creek Falls- This was used as a calf pen in the end of the 1800s and beginning of the 1900s and is so named. It is a massive waterfall with lush with prehistoric art and beaver ponds leading into a hidden clearing of colorful pools.
- Death Hollow- Known for its drama and flair, this hiking trail stretches all the way from Boulder, Utah to Escalante River, crossing 6.6 miles and requires shuttle pickup to get started. With its striking depiction, it is so named for sharp canyons, narrow gorges, and great length.
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- Coyote Gulch- An extensive hike that snakes along red rocks and reaches the Escalante River in a wending pass of switchbacks. It can be taken in a single day of intense marching or enjoyed leisurely with an overnight hike. There are arches and wetlands along the way for variety and photography.
- Forty-Mile Gulch- Just eastwards from Hole-in-the-Rock Road and southward from Coyote Gulch lies this mazelike trail. Full of smaller gulches and canyons that grow ever narrower, this hike has several different available routes to explore of varying difficulty. Many of the routes give an opportunity to wade and swim through the canyons and will be appealing to those who enjoy a variety of terrain to cross.
- Little Death Hollow- A hike through the 8-mile-long canyon, this trail starts in a Circle Cliffs spot southward from Wolverine Petrified Wood. This takes hikers through the nearby slot canyon and has many options for hiking on both there and back. It ends somewhere in the slot canyon and most travelers turn back once they reach it.
- Round Valley Draw- A slot canyon tucked away southeast from Cannonville and just inside the GSENM, this is a shorter trail that feels like spelunking for visitors, as it's partially enclosed for the bulk of the route. With high canyon walls that soar into the sky, the trail is darker and more relaxed, appropriate for a casual exploration.
- Peek A Boo Slot Canyon- Peek-a-Boo Gulch is in Dry Fork on Hole-in-the-Rock Road. A slot canyon shorter than most, it does not take long to traverse and can be a more casual experience. However, it will ask its visitors to climb across some easier chutes and twists, and this will need some navigation and basic rock-scrambling.
- Spooky Gulch- Not for the claustrophobic, Spooky Gulch is another smaller slot canyon that gets incredibly dark deep into the slots. For visitors who enjoy hiking through dark, short treks, this is a good one to hike along with Peek-a-Boo Gulch to create a cool, isolated loop.
- Escalante River- A tributary from the Colorado River, Escalante River makes for a good wading hiking trail in dryer months as it leads from Lake Powell to Glen Canyon. During the wetter months it is used as a tubing and kayaking destination spot.
Excavations- The Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument is often the site of new excavations and archaeological digs. Its discovery has yielded more ecosystem change information in relation to prehistoric eras than anywhere else on the planet. As a remote location of such immense magnitude and resources, it is an untapped frontier for education, research and exploration. Here paleontologists, geologists, historians, and archeologists continually find new discoveries.
The Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument is a wide-open sandbox for celebration and exploration, and local companies celebrate local and national holidays here every year. Local cattle ranches within the wide protected zone offer cattle drive vacations for adventurous visitors to experience the rugged west. In addition, tourists can book horse riding events in advance to create special events for groups upon visiting the GSENM.
Through local tour companies, visitors can book guided tours to help them find their way through the winding paths and complex trails. Tour guides are available for climbing help, navigation, and their survival and supply expertise on longer hiking trails. More informative and educational tours can be taken that take visitors through the local excavation areas where publicly viewable dinosaur fossils during excavation can be seen.
Dining and Shopping
Though the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument itself does not host specific dining options, it is surrounded by the nearby towns of Glendale, Kanab, and Big water to the southwest, and stretches all the way to Boulder and Escalante up northeast. Local towns to the GSENM benefit from hiking and historical tourism to the protected site and offer many restaurants with local cuisine.
At base camps, local tour companies, and within nearby towns, there are supply shops available. Here hikers can stock up on needed supplies, including the most current maps of the mazes of trails, for their long recreational journeys. In addition, fishing enthusiasts will find bait and tackle shops nearby benefitting from the tourism to the local Escalante River Basin, and Jeep rental is available for off-roading.
745 U.S. 89, Kanab, UT 84741, Phone: 800-444-6689