Top Ten Things to Do in Moab and Arches National Park
This one seems like a no brainer, but I can't emphasis it enough. There are SO many fantastic trails in Arches National Park, around Moab, and in nearby Canyonlands National Park. My favorites in Arches are the Devil's Garden Trail, Delicate Arch (of course), and Fiery Furnace. The latter is a ranger-led hike that's totally worth the $10, the rest are self-guided. Delicate Arch is most stunning at sunset, but be prepared to be surrounded by loads of other people during peak season and times.
If you're gonna stay in some of the most gorgeous red rock country available in the beautiful USA, you've gotta sleep under the stars. Arches National Park offers one in-park campground, the Devil's Garden Campground. It's possible that this campground will be closed March 2017-October 2017 due to heavy road construction in the park. With that said, I prefer to camp outside the park at Ron's Pack Creek Campground. Located on the south side of Moab, Ron's Pack Creek offers great creekside campsites with fire pits, clean showers and laundry area, and if I remember correctly, there's even WIFI! There are plenty of hotel options in town for those that prefer walls and such.
3. ROCK SHOP
A must-visit on my itinerary every time I'm in Moab is the Moab Rock Shop. My inner geologist goes nuts every time I'm there. Fossils, geodes, gems, and rocks every where you look. The southern Utah area is a hotbed for fossils. It blows my mind just how old this Earth is, and how young we humans are as a species compared to the beings that came before us, like dinosaurs. Can you dig it?
Utah may have some interesting laws regarding alcohol and its consumption, but they've also got some top-notch breweries. One such brewery is located right in the red rock heartland of Moab, Moab Brewery. With about ten taps inside, Moab Brewery makes a great place to stop and carb up after a long day out on the trails.
It's quite possible that I plan the stops on my road trips based on the quality of the dining options there. Moab has a number of great options, my favorite probably being the Jailhouse Cafe. They've been around for as long as I can remember, and they're still serving the same killer breakfast year after year. Be prepared to wait for a table during busy times, but it's worth it. If you're able to, snag a spot outside. There are heaters for those chilly desert mornings, and the food comes out pipping hot. They take the day's most important meal to a new level.
Besides hosting one of the world's most interesting national parks, Moab is also renowned for its cycling following. With more bike shops than I think there are bars, you're sure to find a rental or tour that fits your needs. I've always gotten great service at Poison Spider Bicycles, and come on, have you seen their logo? They've got super knowledgeable people on staff, but if you want to research some trails yourself, the Discover Moab page does a great job highlighting the best of the best.
Moab is the nearest city to Canyonlands National Park, a stunning vista about an hour south. The park has three areas: the Needles District, Island in the Sky, and the Maze. Each area offers diverse scenery from the others, all confined in the park boundaries. Mesa Arch makes for a beautiful sunrise hike if you're an early morning hiker.
The Colorado River borders the southeastern boundary of Arches National Park, but that doesn't mean your fun has to stop at the river's edge. Moab is home to a number of rafting and outdoor adventure companies offering everything from rafting trips to stand-up paddling, canyoneering, and horseback riding. The Colorado River is this area has Class I-V rapids, depending on the time of year.
Did I mention that Moab is an outdoor enthusiast's dream? The possibilities are truly endless in this mecca. Besides being known for its hiking, biking, and rafting, Moab is also home to a number of quality Jeep rental companies. Imagine crawling across the red rocks and gullies, lifted up on four monster wheels. I haven't gotten the chance to rent a Jeep in Moab, but I've followed plenty of caravans heading off to their next adventure. The Twisted Jeep offers some great trail insight on their webpage.
This is definitely my favorite item on the list! Moab and the surrounding area provide some of the most photographed backdrops in the American Southwest. Amateurs get to rub shoulders with photography greats that live in the area or travel to capture the iconic views. Every where you turn, a change in perspective offers another incredible shot. Some of the most photographed spots in the park are Delicate Arch, Balanced Rock, and Double Arch. The Discover Moab website has awesome tips and tricks for people photographing in the area for the first time.
Moab is one of my favorite places on Earth, I could go on about it for much longer than I already have. The perks of working with ME to help plan your vacation itinerary and budget? I've been to Moab fifteen times, and I know the best spots to go. I know the super secret side hikes that will show you archeological wonders, but you'll need my help to get there. I've suffered through the worst meals and enjoyed the best, which allows me to point you in the right dining direction. I hope this post has inspired you to travel to Moab and Arches National Park to discover its wonders for yourself, or even plan your destination wedding in Moab! Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get your getaway plans rolling.
Safe travels and stay curious,