The BEST things to do in Moab (+ where to stay & eat!)

Visiting Moab, Utah? In this guide we’re sharing the best things to do in Moab, Utah including dog friendly hikes, national parks, delicious food to eat, where to stay, and more!

We’ve visited Moab several times since hitting the road in our self-converted Sprinter van, but due to weather (either extremely hot or snowing!), we hadn’t had a chance to fully explore the area until our most recent trip to the area in late April 2021.

With two national parks, plus so many activities outside of the parks, wild nature around every corner, and a cool small town with lots of shops and restaurants, Moab is the definition of an “adventure capital.” There is so much to see and do in this desert town that you could spend months here and still have tons to do!

Dead Horse Point State Park

While the area became famous because of its two national parks, Arches and Canyonlands, what surprised us the most on our last visit is how many amazing things there are to do outside of the parks, many of which are dog friendly, which is a huge perk since the parks do not allow dogs in most areas.

Watch how we spent two days in Moab outside of the national parks!

And in this guide, our goal is to share all of the best things to do in Moab, with a big focus on spots outside of the national parks, so you can experience as much of what this area has to offer as possible! 

Before embarking on your adventure, please review the Leave No Trace principles to ensure you leave every place better than you found it, so that others can enjoy these beautiful places for many years to come!

These seven principles include planning ahead and preparing, hiking and camping on durable surfaces, disposing of waste properly (pack out what you pack in!), understanding campfire rules and always fully extinguishing your fires, respecting wildlife, and being considerate of other visitors. 

Note: this guide contains affiliate links, which means that if you use the links provided and make a purchase, we get a small commission at no extra cost to you. We will only ever recommend products we truly love, actually use during our adventures, and think you can benefit from too!

About Moab, Utah

Dead Horse Point State Park

Moab is located in southeastern Utah, just south of I70, and close to the Colorado border. The area is home to stunning orange and red mesas, buttes, arches, and unique rock formations. And its outdoor activities bring visitors from all over the world and there is something for just about every outdoor adventurer, whether you want to hike, bike, or go offroading, canyoneering, or rafting…there is no shortage of adventure here! 

Beyond the adventures, the small, but growing, town is home to many restaurants and shops, making it the perfect homebase to explore. However, due to its popularity, Moab is growing pretty rapidly and every time we visit, it has become significantly busier and more developed than the previous visits. So please explore Moab responsibly and leave it better than you found it, so both the locals who call it home, as well as future visitors, can enjoy the beauty for years to come.

When to visit Moab, Utah

Moab Weather

Due to its desert environment, Moab is a year round destination, but there are some seasons that are better to visit than others. 


With average temperatures between 20-50 degrees, winter in Moab is cold, but typically bearable and it’s the best time to visit to beat the crowds.

However, you may run into the very occasional snow and ice shutting down the roads or making trails unsafe. During one of our quick visits in November, two hikers slipped at the Delicate Arch due to icy conditions and unfortunately died, so please make sure you’re safe if visiting during icy or snowy weather.

Another very important thing to know about visiting Moab in the winter is that a good amount of businesses shut down or limit their hours for the winter season, which typically starts in November and goes until Spring Break. You’ll definitely still be able to get groceries and eat out, but you will have less options and may not get the full experience.

Spring & Fall

The most temperate and popular seasons to visit are April-May and mid-September-October, when the daytime highs average between 60-80ºF. We visited in April and the mornings were VERY cold, but the afternoons were super nice, with lots of sunshine and perfect temperatures. 

If you choose to visit between mid-March through mid-April, keep in mind that schools across the US will be on Spring Break, making the area busier. And Memorial Day in May also brings more crowds to the area. This year during Memorial Day, Arches National Park had to shut down at least once, sometimes twice, per day, as it reached capacity. What this means is that they did not let anyone in for hours, until others had left and opened up more parking.

And to be honest, even at the end of April, during zero holidays that we know of and on weekdays, we found the crowds in Moab to be insane, some of the worst we have seen anywhere. So whenever we go back, we’d love to visit in October, when crowds have died down some, kids are in school, the weather is still nice, and spots in town are still open.


While many people visit in the summer, we’d highly suggest visiting during the other times of the year, as the temperatures routinely climb over 100ºF in the summer, along with frequent afternoon thunderstorms.

If you do plan to visit in the summer, pack LOTS of water, get started early, stay somewhere with a pool to cool down, and wear tons of sunscreen. We did get a bit warm in Moab even when the temperatures were in the 80s, so we cannot imagine hiking in 100 degrees.

Getting to + around Moab, Utah

Despite Moab being a very popular destination in Utah, it’s not the easiest of places to get to and requires a bit of a drive, whether you fly or drive to the area.

Flying to Moab

If you plan to fly to visit Moab the best major airport would be Salt Lake City (SLC), but Denver (DEN) or Las Vegas (LAS) could also be decent options depending on where else you plan to go. All major airlines fly into these airports, so getting a flight should be pretty easy and affordable. 

Depending on which city you fly into, here’s how long you can expect to drive:

Salt Lake City, Utah: 3 hours 42 minutes, 234 miles
Denver, Colorado: 5 hours 27 minutes, 355 miles
Las Vegas, Nevada: 6 hours 26 minutes, 457 miles

Some of the smaller towns in Utah and Colorado offer daily connecting flights from Salt Lake City and Denver, which would get you closer to Moab. Moab also has its own small airport, Canyonlands Field Airport in Moab (CNY), which has flights from United and Delta, but these will be harder to find, require layovers, and potentially more expensive.

Here’s how long you can expect to drive if you were to fly into one of these cities:

Canyonlands Field Airport (CNY): 21 minutes, 18 miles
St. George, Utah (SGU): 5 hours, 352 miles
Grand Junction, Colorado (GJT): 1 hour 43 minutes, 114 miles 

Driving to Moab

If you plan to drive to Moab, here’s how long you can expect to drive from other popular destinations nearby.

Capitol Reef National Park: 2 hours 25 minutes, 145 miles
Salt Lake City, Utah: 3 hours 42 minutes, 234 miles
Page, AZ: 4 hours 24 minutes, 273 miles
Bryce Canyon National Park: 4 hours 25 minutes, 253 miles
Zion National Park: 5 hours 5 minutes, 345 miles
Denver, Colorado: 5 hours 27 minutes, 355 miles
Grand Canyon National Park (South Rim): 5 hours 27 minutes, 325 miles
Las Vegas, Nevada: 6 hours 26 minutes, 457 miles
Grand Canyon National Park (North Rim): 6 hours 33 minutes, 399 miles

Getting Around Moab

Between the national parks not offering shuttles and some activities in Moab being spread out, you’ll definitely want to have a car to explore the area properly. If you fly to Utah, you will need to rent a car to get around the Moab area, or hire a tour to show you the top sites. And if you want to do any of the 4×4 trails, we recommend getting a Jeep (Twisted Jeep Rentals in Moab is a good option!). 

Where to stay in Moab, Utah

Best Western Moab

One of the best things about Moab is that while being a smaller town, it offers many amenities, like shops, restaurants, and places to stay! 

Moab is home to a variety of lodging options, from Airbnbs/VRBO, hotels, and free and paid campsites. Here are some of the spots we would recommend!

Airbnbs + VRBOs

Bright & Charming Home Right in Town (1 bedroom, 1 bath): This cabin has high cathedral ceilings, tons of windows, a washer and dryer, and patio, making it a great place to relax after long days of exploring.

Casa Moab Casita (1 bedroom, 1 bath): This super cute casita is in a complex located in downtown Moab, with a full kitchen, great living area, and shared sauna, grill, and fire pit.

Kayenta, Westside Flats (1 bedroom, 1 bath): This apartment has a queen bed, full kitchen, private covered patio, and is walkable to town!

West 9 Cozy Cabin (1 bedroom, 1 bath): This studio cabin sleeps 4, with a bed and bunk beds, making it a good option for families exploring. While it doesn’t have a full kitchen, it has a mini fridge and microwave, with a shared grill in the common area. This is a good hotel alternative!


Moab has all the standard hotel options you can think of, which can be a bit pricey, especially during the busier season. A handful of the ones we’d recommend are:

Campground in Moab

Devils Garden Campground
Devils Garden is the only campground in Arches National Park. The sites are reservable from March 1 to October 31 (the reservations open 6 months in advance) and are usually full every night during the high season. Between November and February the campground is first-come, first-served.

There are 51 sites, which cost $25 per night and do not offer any water or electrical hookups, but do have drinking water, picnic tables, grills, and flush toilets. You can reserve your site on the website.

Kayenta Campground
The Kayenta Campground is located in Dead Horse Point State Park, which would make this a perfect spot to explore the Island in the Sky District and the state park, as well as a somewhat convenient location for Arches and the rest of Moab.

The 21 sites are $50 per night and are equipped for RVs or tents. All come with a lighted shaded structure, picnic tables, fire rings, and tent pads. Each site has RV electrical hookups and there are restrooms in the campground, but there is no water.

Wingate Campground”
The Wingate Campground is also located in Dead Horse Point State Park. There are 31 sites, 20 RV or tent camping and 11are hike-in only. The RV sites are $50 per night and the hike-in are $40. All sites have fire pits, picnic tables under a shaded shelter and access to bathrooms.

Horse Thief Campground
Horse Thief Campground is located along Highway 313 on your way to Canyonlands from Moab. There are 85 first-come, first-served tent sites at this BLM managed campground

Under Canvas
Located just north of Moab is Under Canvas, which is a luxurious campground complete with private bathrooms, fire pits, clean sheets, and many more amenities. It’s not exactly “roughing it” and it’s not cheap, but we bet it is a nice experience.

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Boondocking in Moab

BLM 144 Dispersed
On our most recent visit to Moab, we stayed mostly at this boondocking spot. It’s a little more of a drive out of town (30 minutes or so), but it definitely has the least amount of other campers so it makes for a quiet and reliable stay. Just be careful if it rains…it can get quite muddy!

Willow Springs Trail Dispersed
This is a very large and very popular boondocking spot. We have stayed a couple nights here during previous trips and it’s a good spot if you need a night to sleep, but it can get INSANELY busy! During our last visit, we drove in at night to try to sleep and it felt like the parking lot of a race track, with RVs crammed in everywhere and tons of people out.

Klondike Bluff
We slept here a couple times when we wanted to be closer to the parks than our favorite BLM 144 spot. It isn’t anything fancy, but it’s WAY less busy than Willow Springs, despite just being down the road (we always found a spot).

A couple other options along US 191:
Dalton Wells Road Dispersed
Lone Mesa
Strike Ravine Dispersed

Things to know before visiting Moab, Utah

Before visiting Moab, Utah, here are some of our top tips and things to know to ensure you have a safe and fun experience!

Start your days early

This is our top advice for anywhere we go, but it’s especially important in Moab…START EARLY! It isn’t fun to get up early on vacation, but between the heat and popularity, you’ll want to start right before or at sunrise to have some solitude and enjoyable weather.

Plan ahead and prepare

Many parks, campgrounds, hotels, and activities require planning or reservations, especially during the busy season. The beauty in and around Moab is no secret!

The National Parks have entrance fees

It costs $30 per vehicle ($25 for motorcycles) to enter both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, which covers 7 days in the park. However, this fee only covers you at the park you pay for, so if you plan to visit more than one park, we highly recommend getting the America the Beautiful pass which is $80 per year and will get you into any National Park, monument, or forest for free.

Cell Service

We found cell service to be solid in town, both on AT&T and Verizon, but once you leave town to explore the outdoors, you will likely lose service. We recommend downloading offline Google Maps and offline AllTrails maps to ensure you never get lost!

Want to get 30% off an AllTrails+ membership? Click this link or use our code aplusk30 (you must redeem this code on the website, not the app)!

We use AllTrails+ on every single hike and it is the most helpful hiking tool out there! Some of the features we love are offline maps (so we can navigate even without cell service), wrong-turn alerts, and its 3D maps feature, so we can get a feel for trails before we hike.

Dogs are not allowed in National Parks

Dogs are not allowed on any trails or in any buildings at both national parks, but there is still a lot to see and do with your pup in Moab! We will make sure to note which hikes are dog friendly on this guide so you can plan accordingly.

Learn what we do with Kona when she cannot join us

What to Bring to Moab, Utah

Delicate Arch Arches National Park

As always, we recommend having the 10 essentials on you when exploring the outdoors, but here are a few key items we want to point out that will especially help you during your time in Moab!


No matter what you’re doing and what time of year, be sure to bring and drink plenty of water. Even in the winter you can become dehydrated quickly in the desert and mountains. The air is super dry and our throats and noses were not fans! 

We love our Camelbak bladder for hikes because it stores a ton of water and it’s easy to drink from while moving.

Hiking Shoes

The trails in Moab are a mix of dirt, sand, and rock, so you’ll want to have a sturdy shoe for lots of terrain types. We almost always wear our Lowa Renegades (Kathryn) and Altra Superiors (Adam), but also love our Chacos, which are great hiking sandals for the warmer months and for sandy and smooth rock terrain.

Sun Protection

It is very sunny in Southern Utah and we may or may not have gotten a little sunburnt at first. Sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen are a must! We have been using Bare Republic, which is a “better for you” sunscreen, although it may give you a nice white, vampire-esque sheen. 


Make sure to pack warmer clothes! If you go in the spring or fall, temperatures in the high desert can swing up to 40 degrees in one day! At the end of April, we typically wore a jacket or pullover in the mornings and then shirts and tank tops by the mid afternoon.


We’d highly recommend downloading the Alltrails maps before you go. While most of the trails in the park are easy to follow, we like to use the map to track our progress along the trail. You will need an AllTrails+ membership to download maps, which is $35.99 a year and so worth it! (But you can get 30% off with our code aplusk30)

The Best Things to do in Moab, Utah

Now that you know a little bit about when to visit Moab and where to stay, it’s time to start planning!

Below are some of the best things to do in Moab, based on our experience and our to-do list for next time. As we’ve mentioned, the area is most famous for the national parks, which we’ll kick off this list with (and have detailed guides for if you want to learn more!), but the rest of this guide will focus more on the areas outside of these parks!

Arches National Park

No trip to Moab is complete without a visit to Arches National Park! This park is home to over 2,000 arches in the park, including the famous Delicate Arch, as well as other unique rock formations, fun hikes, easy overlooks, and more!

For a much more in depth look at Arches National Park, check out our guide for Arches National Park for all the best things to do plus itineraries to help you get the most of your time at the park! You can also watch our experience here!

Our favorite spots

During our 1.5 days at Arches National Park, we experienced almost everything the park had to offer, but by far our favorite spots were:

Delicate Arch Arches National Park

Delicate Arch at sunrise
Delicate Arch is the most iconic sight in the park and therefore the busiest. Visiting Delicate Arch at sunrise is less busy than midday and sunset and we did the 3.2 mile round trip hike to the arch in the dark, which was doable, especially with offline maps downloaded. Although it required a very early wake up call, seeing the arch glow as the sun hit it was incredible!

Devils Garden Trail Arches National Park

Devil’s Garden Loop
This 8 mile loop takes you to 8 arches, all of which are different from each other, making it an entertaining hike from the beginning to end. While you can just do a portion of the hike to Landscape Arch and see a few of the arches, we especially loved the primitive part of the trail, which required a little bit of scrambling and was so much fun!

Double Arch
A quick 0.6 mile (roundtrip) walk takes you to the stunning Double Arch, which was our favorite arch in the park! This arch is HUGE and gets its name because it consists of two arches, whose legs share the same stone foundation. Besides being two arches in one, this arch is also unique because it was formed by downward water erosion instead of side-to-side water erosion.

Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park is made up of four different districts that are home to colorful canyons, mesas, buttes, fins, arches, and spires. The two most accessible districts, especially from Moab, are Island in the Sky and The Needles, which are a must visit!

Mesa Arch Canyonlands National Park

Island in the Sky

This is the most popular district of Canyonlands because of its close proximity to Moab. With only a 40 minute drive from town, you will have amazing views of the Colorado and Green Rivers and some impressive canyons from the park’s easy and accessible overlooks and hikes. And the best part is you can experience it all in one full day!

We have a detailed guide for Island in the Sky with all the best things to see, tips for the park, and a one day itinerary. You can also watch our time in the Island in the Sky district!

The Needles

The Needles District gets its name from the colorful spires of Cedar Mesa Sandstone that jut up from the ground. This is a more remote area of the park and is much less visited than Island in the Sky, but was one of our favorite spots out of all of the Utah national parks!

Unlike Island in the Sky, The Needles District requires some difficult hikes to see its true beauty. We highly recommend the 11.2 mile hike to Druid Arch and Chesler Park if you’re up for it! While it is a long day and a lot of effort, it’s 100% worth it!

Check out our detailed guide about The Needles District for all the best things to do, tips, where to stay, and more. You can also watch our experience!

Hike outside of the National Parks

While the National Parks get a lot of the spotlight in Moab, we enjoyed the spots outside of the parks as much, if not more, than the parks! These areas, while not totally a secret, are still less busy than the parks and often provide just as great of scenery.

Corona and Bowtie Arch Trail

Dog friendly
Miles: 2.4 miles
Elevation: 482 feet
Reviews & Current Conditions

This is a short hike that packs a huge bang for your buck! We got up bright and early (right before sunrise) to check out these arches and we were the only ones at the Corona Arch on a Sunday morning! We were very surprised!

Along this hike you’ll get to experience four different arches, including the very impressive Corona Arch, as well as some unique features, like some cables and ladder for trickier spots. And the best part? Dogs can hike too! Some parts may be challenging for dogs, like the ladder, but we were able to scramble up the rock to the left and get by it without issue. 

Check out our detailed guide about hiking to the Corona Arch with everything you need to know before hitting the trail. You can also watch our experience!

Fisher Towers in Moab, Utah

Fisher Towers

Dog friendly
Miles: 4.2 miles
Elevation: 1,469 feet
Reviews & Current Conditions

Located just 25 miles up US 128 are the Fisher Towers, which are very unique rock formations that are actually massive towers of mud!

The trail is very undulating and takes you through and between the towers and when you are standing beneath them, it feels like you are standing beneath skyscrapers! And what is even crazier is that people CLIMB these towers!

One thing to be aware of is that there is a ladder and unlike Corona Arch, we couldn’t find a good detour to get Kona around it (and she wouldn’t have enjoyed going down it), so we had to turn around here. But we know some dogs successfully make it to the end! 

The trailhead isn’t huge, but has parking for maybe a dozen or so cars, as well as a restroom and campground. We hiked closer to sunset and it wasn’t terribly busy, but we hear midday can get busy, so we suggest going close to sunrise or sunset for solitude and to beat the midday heat.

Grandstaff Canyon Trail

Dog friendly
Miles: 5.7 miles
Elevation: 836 feet
Reviews & Current Conditions

The Grandstaff Trail takes you into Grandstaff Canyon to the Morning Glory Natural Bridge, which is 75 feet high and 243 wide! However, the bridge is pretty close to the rock behind it, so from some perspectives, it may not look impressive, but make sure to stand below it and look up to see how amazing it is!

The trail also has some river crossings, which can be very refreshing on a hot Moab day for both you and your furry friends!

Take a guided river trip

From half-day or full-day adventures to overnight or multiple night trips, rafting the Colorado River or Green River in the Moab area looks to be an amazing experience! We haven’t done this yet, but have friends who have and it is definitely on our list to do the next time we visit Moab.

Some popular guiding companies to check out in Moab are: 

Dead Horse Point State Park

Just before you get to Canyonlands Island in the Sky District you will see the turn off for Dead Horse Point State Park. This park is sort of like a mini version of Island in the Sky and we enjoyed it just as much as Canyonlands! 

We spent an afternoon walking the Rim Loop Trail (5 miles, 908 ft of elevation gain) and it was incredible! While the trail itself is mostly along a road or through areas with some trees, there are many different offshoot trails to overlooks with incredible views of the canyons, La Sal Mountains, and blue potash evaporation ponds.

Dead Horse Point State Park

You can do the trail clockwise or counterclockwise and park in different areas to start, but we highly recommend starting at Dead Horse Point, in the late afternoon, and going counterclockwise, so that you end back on the west rim near Dead Horse Point at sunset, which is AMAZING!

Check out the 4×4 Trails

Photo Credit: Powhusku on Flickr

Moab is a legendary place for offroading and since our van cannot go on these roads, we had to watch others enjoying them with envy!

There are miles and miles of old mining roads, backcountry trails, and scenic drives. You can bring your own vehicle, rent a jeep or ATV, or hire a local guide to take you out on the trails. A few good rental companies are:

But before venturing out, make sure to research the current conditions and be prepared for a variety of situations. You can find trail maps and more information at the Moab Information Center in town, but some of the most popular trails are:

Shafer Trail
The Shafer Trail is a 19 mile drive that goes through part of Canyonlands National Park Island in the Sky District, as well as other areas outside of the park.

You can do this drive either direction, but if you start in Canyonlands National Park, you will start by going down the famous and very gnarly looking Shafer Trail switchbacks and going by the potash evaporation ponds, before you can either turn around and go back the way you came or continue to Potash Road where you’ll cruise along the Colorado River before making it back to Moab. 

You can find more information on this route including more laws and regulations you need to know on the National Park website.

Shafer Trail Canyonlands National Park

White Rim Road
The White Rim Road is a 100 mile drive that circles the Island in the Sky, which you can experience by a 4×4 vehicle, motorbikes, or a bike (including eBikes). 

To complete the entire route, it typically takes 4×4 drivers 2 days. You have to get a permit to do this drive and need a permit for every day that you plan to be out on the road. While you can camp overnight along the road, the demand for overnight permits is typically greater than the allotment. 

This road is pretty intense and even in the right conditions can be challenging, so make sure to check the weather beforehand. You can find more information on this route including more laws and regulations you need to know on the National Park website.

Hell’s Revenge
This is one of the most famous 4×4 trails in Moab and is known for being pretty intense! Over 9 miles you’ll go over sandstone fins and tackle obstacles like Hell’s Gate, Tip-over Challenge, the Escalator, Rubble Trouble, and the Hot Tubs. 

It’s not for the faint of heart and is recommended for experienced offroaders. If you’re not experienced, you can take a tour with Xtreme 4×4 Tours or TRex 4×4 Tours where you can drive yourself, but have some guidance as well. 

To learn of even more trails, check out Utah’s website, which lists more information about other options!

Visit the La Sal Mountains

Photo by Chandler Cruttenden on Unsplash

The La Sal Mountains are part of the Manti-La Sal National Forest and with peaks approaching 13,000 feet, they are the second highest mountain range in Utah. There is loads of hiking and biking trails, camping, and amazing scenery in this range, which are a lush, green, and blue escape from all the red rockiness of Moab.

Here are a few popular things to check out if you venture out to the La Sal Mountains!

La Sal Mountain Loop
This is a paved 60 mile loop with lots of overlooks and varied scenery. The route begins in Moab in the canyons, takes you through the La Sal Mountains, through Castle Valley, and ends at the Upper Colorado Scenic Byway U-128, which goes along the Colorado River and is another scenic drive worth experiencing.

This brochure by the Forest Service shares more information on this drive and some of the best stops along the way!

Gold Knob Trail
Dog friendly
Miles: 5.0
Elevation: 1,761
Reviews & Current Conditions

From this hike you get incredible views of the La Sal Mountain range, as well as Castle Valley, with its towering red rocks, which makes for very diverse scenery at the top!

Mount Peale Trail
Dog friendly– allowed off leash only on odd numbered days
Miles: 4.8
Elevation: 2,631 ft
Reviews & Current Conditions

While this hike is short on paper, it is steep and will work your lungs, but the views from the top look incredible! 

After spending so much time in the red rocks of Moab, the green meadows and the rocky mountain peaks will be a gorgeous change of pace. And if you can hike this in the fall, you’ll be treated to golden aspens, which will make it extra beautiful!

There is some rock scrambling involved, so make sure you’re comfortable with this before attempting.

Where to eat in Moab, Utah

What surprised us the most about Moab was the food! A big part of travel for us is food and we had no shortage of delicious meals and treats while in town. Here were our favorites!

  • Moab Garage Co. for coffee and breakfast items! (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays)
  • Doughbird for unique doughnuts and amazing hot chicken sandwiches. The donuts start to sell out early, so come early for your pick of flavors, and they only serve chicken from 11 AM-2 PM. (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays)
  • Antica Forma for Neapolitan style pizza. We loved their margherita and also their pistachio pesto pizzas!
  • Quesadilla Mobilla for delicious, homemade quesadillas. (closed Mondays) We love their Enchanted Chicken and Southern Belle.
  • Thai Bella for Thai food! We love their Panang Curry and Khao Soi! (Only open for dinner & closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays)

How much time do you need in Moab?

Now that we’ve shared all of our top suggestions of things to do in Moab, we wanted to end this guide with a little bit of insight into how much time you need in Moab and you could split up your time in the area. 

With so many things to do in Moab, you could easily spend weeks or months and still not explore it all. But we think 5-7 full days would be the sweet spot to see the parks and also do a few of the other activities we have listed on this guide. Here’s a breakdown of how you could spend those days.

3-4 days in the National Parks

We assume you’ll want to visit the national parks in the area and while you could spend one jam packed day at Arches National Park, we’d suggest 1.5-2 days to not feel as rushed. Check out our Arches National Park guide for itinerary options!

For Canyonlands National Park, we suggest one day at the Island in the Sky District and one day in the Needles District. If you’re short on time, we’d say the Needles District is our favorite of the two, as it’s less crowded and more remote, but Island in the Sky is much more accessible.

2-3 days outside of the National Parks

Depending on how much time you have left after you’ve decided how much you want to spend at the national parks, we would spend your remaining days exploring the areas outside of the park.

We’ve listed quite a few options above, but if we had to prioritize what you should do during this extra time, we’d highly suggest Corona Arch, Fisher Towers, Dead Horse Point State Park, and either going rafting or on a 4×4 trail.

We’d suggest giving rafting or a 4×4 trail a full day, as most tours last for hours and for your second non national parks day, you could easily hike Corona Arch or Fisher Towers and Dead Horse Point if you don’t mind hiking a decent amount. If you have a third day, you could do whichever hike, Corona Arch or Fisher Towers, you didn’t have time for the day before.

We hope that this guide has helped give you a better idea of things to do in Moab, both inside and outside of the parks, and that you have a blast exploring this adventurous desert town! 

Ready to explore Moab?

Pin this guide with the best things to do in Moab to help plan your adventure!

about us

Hi y’all! We’re Adam, Kathryn, and Kona, an adventurous married couple (+ pup!) living on the road in our self-converted sprinter van! You can often find us driving all around the US and Canada, scoping out the best coffee shops, eating tacos and ice cream (we’re a 5+ taco and 2+ scoop household), and enjoying nature.


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  1. Rich Brunnworth

    We spent a week in Moab 2 years ago. We drove the Shafer Trail and Potash road as well as Longs Canyon and the Salt Valley road and Willow Springs. We visited Tower Arch, a 4×4 trip off Salt Valley Road, and in general enjoyed the whole area. There is so much to explore from Sego Canyon to Newspaper Rock that a week just scratches the surface and makes you want to return for more.

    Moab also makes for a good base to visit Capitol Reef NP and Goblin Valley State park.

    • Kathryn Frazer

      We want to do the Shafer trail next time (without the van of course haha), it looks fun! At 2.5 hours each way, we’d suggest staying closer to Capitol Reef to eliminate a 5 hour roundtrip drive to explore the park (which deserves multiple days in our opinion, we loved it!)

  2. Cindy

    We just spent 3 days in Moab. Used your videos as a guide and had a great time! Loved the pizza at Antica Forma, the salted carmel cronut and chicken (mild) at Doughbird! Need more time to explore and hit the other restaurants you recommended. We also discovered Spitfire BBQ. Get the loaded Mac n Cheese…. Anywho, thanks for the great vlogs. Keep ‘em coming!!

    • Cindy

      Oh! And my husband has mastered the Adam-face when eating something delish…

      • Kathryn Frazer

        Hahaha Adam is glad to have a signature face!

    • Kathryn Frazer

      So glad you enjoyed the food! And thanks for watching! 😀


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