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Nestled amidst the breathtaking red rock landscapes of southern Utah, Moab stands as an alluring haven for adventurers, nature enthusiasts, and seekers of unparalleled beauty. This captivating destination beckons travelers with its dramatic vistas, diverse outdoor activities, and history that stretches back through millennia. From the ancient Native American cultures that once called this region home to its role in shaping the modern era of outdoor exploration, Moab’s history is as rich and layered as the vibrant hues of its sandstone cliffs. As visitors step into this enchanting realm, they embark on a journey through time and terrain, discovering a place where the echoes of the geologic past harmonize with the adventurous spirit of the human present. While Moab is the launching point for tourists headed to Arches & Canyonlands National Parks, the small city also has its fair share of music and film festivals, along with other cultural events.

(featured image via Discover Moab)

14. Mountain Bike the Famous Slickrock Trail

slickrock in moab utah(image via Facebook)

One of the most iconic activities near Moab, Utah, is mountain biking on the famous Slickrock Trail. This exhilarating adventure takes riders on a thrilling journey through the unique red rock formations that make Moab’s landscape so striking. The Slickrock Trail offers various options for all skill levels, ranging from beginner to advanced trails that will challenge even the most experienced riders.

For beginners, the Practice Loop is a great place to start, providing a flat and sandy surface to get comfortable on. Intermediate riders will enjoy the main Slickrock Trail, which offers steep climbs and descents, as well as breathtaking views of the surrounding canyons. Advanced riders can test their skills on the Whole Enchilada, a 35-mile trail that descends from the La Sal Mountains into the Colorado River. For those in need of bike rentals or guided tours, Moab Cyclery and Rim Cyclery are highly recommended. Both businesses receive rave reviews for their top-notch equipment and knowledgeable staff.

13. Dead Horse Point State Park

an aerial view of deadhorse state park(image via Instagram)

One great weekend getaway activity is a trip to Dead Horse Point State Park. Situated about 32 miles away from Moab, this stunning park offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Colorado River and Canyonlands National Park. It is said that the park got its name from a tragic historical event where cowboys fenced off the narrow neck of land, leaving a group of wild horses stranded on the peninsula, resulting in their eventual demise. Today, visitors can explore the park’s numerous hiking and biking trails, go camping, or simply enjoy a picnic while taking in the stunning vistas. For those seeking an adrenaline rush, there are also options for rock climbing and rappelling.

12. Kayaking the Colorado River

kayakers float down the colorado river in a large group near moab utah(image via Facebook)

Kayaking the Colorado River is a thrilling activity that allows visitors to explore breathtaking scenery and experience the rush of paddling through the river’s turquoise waters. There are several options available for kayaking the Colorado River near Moab, ranging from gentle floats to thrilling whitewater trips. One popular choice is a half-day float trip through the stunning Fisher Towers section.

Another option is a full-day guided tour that takes visitors through the renowned Cataract Canyon, where they can encounter exhilarating rapids and towering canyon walls. For those interested in a historical element, Cataract Canyon is also known for its rich archaeological sites, providing glimpses into the ancient world. For business recommendations, Red River Adventures and Moab Adventure Center are highly reviewed companies that offer kayak rentals and guided tours, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for visitors.

11. Soak in Some Hot Springs

steam rising off a hot spring near moab utah(image via Facebook)

Moab is home to several natural hot springs, providing a great way to relax and unwind after a long day of outdoor adventures. One highly recommended hot spring nearby is the Mystic Hot Springs, located in Monroe, about a 3-hour drive from Moab. The rustic atmosphere of Mystic Hot Springs, with its historic bathing pools and funny graffiti-adorned vintage buses, really plays up the hippie feel of this natural oasis. Another notable option is the nearby Fifth Water Hot Springs, located in Diamond Fork Canyon just outside of Provo. Its picturesque setting, with stunning waterfalls and steaming thermal pools, makes it a favorite among visitors.

10. Go Rock Climbing

a person climbing a rock cliff near moab utah(image via Wikimedia)

With its stunning red rock cliffs and diverse range of climbing routes, Moab attracts climbers from all over the world. There are several options for rock climbing in the area, with the iconic Fisher Towers being a must-visit spot for experienced climbers. These towering sandstone structures provide challenging and exhilarating climbs, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding desert landscape. There are also numerous guide services, perfect for beginners or those looking for a more intense assisted experience.

One highly recommended business is Moab Cliffs and Canyons, known for their knowledgeable guides and excellent customer service. They offer a variety of climbing options suitable for all levels of experience, ensuring a safe and thrilling adventure.

9. Horseshoe Canyon

a view of extremely old painting markings at horseshoe canyon by native americans(image via Facebook)

Located a 2.5-hour drive distance from Moab, Horseshoe Canyon offers visitors a stunning and immersive outdoor activity. This expansive canyon is not only known for its breathtaking scenery but also for its rich historical and cultural significance. Hiking enthusiasts can explore the numerous trails that wind through the canyon, leading to hidden rock art panels created by ancient Native American tribes thousands of years ago. The Great Gallery, one of the most remarkable rock art sites in North America, features well-preserved and intricate pictographs.

8. Drive a Scenic Highway

a view of the colorado river from a road near moab utah(image via Facebook)

Scenic drives along Highway 128 and 191 offer breathtaking views of the stunning landscapes that surround Moab. Highway 128, also known as the “River Road,” stretches for 44 miles and follows the beautiful Colorado River. Along this route, visitors can enjoy picturesque views of red rock cliffs, lush greenery, and even wildlife. There are several other options for scenic drives as well. Canyonlands National Park is just a short drive away and offers stunning vistas of canyons, mesas, and buttes. The Island in the Sky section is especially notable for its panoramic views. Additionally, Arches National Park is also nearby and known for its famous arch formations, such as Delicate Arch and Landscape Arch.

U.S. Route 191 in Utah between Moab and Crescent Junction forms a portion of the Dinosaur Diamond National Scenic Byway. These designated routes are recognized by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration for their outstanding features and the unique experiences they provide to both residents and tourists. The Dinosaur Diamond showcases striking vistas, red rock formations, and glimpses into the prehistoric past through well-preserved fossils and archaeological sites. Just know that you aren’t going to see dinosaur bones sticking up out of the ground along the way. The most impressive fossil bone quarries are in the upper northeastern part of the state at Dinosaur National Monument.

7. Go Camping

a campsite set up around a fire and an RV near moab utah(image via Facebook)

One of the most popular activities near Moab, Utah, is camping. With its stunning red rock landscapes and proximity to national parks, Moab offers several options for camping enthusiasts. One highly recommended camping spot is Dead Horse Point State Park, located just 32 miles from Moab. This scenic park offers campsites with breathtaking views of the Colorado River and canyons below. Another great option is the Sand Flats Recreation Area, famous for its Slickrock Bike Trail and Jeep trails. This area offers both developed and primitive campsites, allowing visitors to truly immerse themselves in nature.

For those interested in a historical element, a visit to Arches National Park is a must. The park features over 2,000 natural stone arches, including the iconic Delicate Arch. To complete the camping experience, visitors can stay at the Devils Garden Campground within the park, providing easy access to stunning hikes and picturesque landscapes.

6. Cast a Line While Fly Fishing

a man casting a fishing line while fly fishing near moab utah(image via Facebook)

Fly fishing is a popular activity near Moab, Utah, offering anglers a chance to connect with nature while testing their skills in the pristine waters of the area. One great option for fly fishing near Moab is the Colorado River, which meanders through stunning canyons and offers ample opportunities for catching trout and bass. Another nearby option is the Green River, which is known for its abundance of fish and breathtaking scenery. Both rivers offer a variety of fishing experiences, from calm stretches for beginners to more challenging rapids for experienced anglers.

Local outfitters such as Moab Fly Fishing Guide Service and Red River Adventures have received high reviews for their knowledgeable guides and exceptional customer service. These knowledgeable guides are adept at assisting both experienced fishers and beginners in honing their skills and ensuring a memorable fishing experience near Moab.

5. Mountain Biking

bikers travel across mountainous desert terrain near moab utah(image via Facebook)

Mountain biking is a popular and thrilling activity near Moab, Utah. With its stunning red rock landscapes and challenging trails, Moab is a paradise for mountain biking enthusiasts. One of the most famous mountain biking trails in the area is the Slickrock Bike Trail. Located in the Sand Flats Recreation Area, this 10.5-mile loop offers a unique and exhilarating experience as bikers ride on slickrock sandstone.

Another must-visit trail is the Porcupine Rim Trail, which provides breathtaking views of the Colorado River and the La Sal Mountains. For those looking for a historical element, the Klondike Bluffs area is worth exploring, as it has remnants of ancient dinosaur tracks. This trail is for intermediate or more advanced bikers. Moab Cyclery is highly praised for its rental services and knowledgeable staff, while Rim Tours offers guided mountain biking tours for all skill levels.

4. Whitewater Rafting the Colorado River

a group of people whitewater rafting along the colorado river(image via Facebook)

One thrilling and action-packed activity near Moab, Utah, is whitewater rafting on the Colorado River. With its pristine waters and stunning natural surroundings, this activity promises an unforgettable adventure for all adrenaline enthusiasts. There are several companies in Moab that offer guided whitewater rafting trips, providing participants with options suitable for different levels of experience and thrill-seeking. Recommended businesses for whitewater rafting include Red River Adventures and Adrift Adventures, both of which have received high reviews for their experienced guides, safety measures, and quality equipment. For those seeking a more exhilarating ride, the Westwater Canyon section of the Colorado River, located about 50 miles northeast of Moab, offers challenging rapids and breathtaking scenery.

3. Hiking in Arches & Canyonlands National Parks

hikers enjoying the scenery at arches national park near moab utah(image via Facebook)

Hiking in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks near Moab, Utah, is a must-do activity for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. With breathtaking landscapes and remarkable geological formations, these parks offer a plethora of hiking options suitable for all skill levels. In Arches National Park, visitors can explore the famous Delicate Arch, Balanced Rock, and Landscape Arch, among many others. For those seeking a more challenging hike, the Devil’s Garden Trail is highly recommended, featuring stunning views and numerous arches along the way.

Canyonlands National Park offers equally impressive hiking opportunities, with trails that take you through rugged canyons and near stunning overlooks, such as the Mesa Arch and Grand View Point. Be sure to check out local businesses such as Dreamride, which offers guided hikes and has received exceptional reviews for their knowledgeable guides and personalized services.

2. Try Canyoneering

a man rappels down a mountainside into a canyon(image via Facebook)

Canyoneering allows visitors to explore the stunning natural beauty of the area by descending into narrow and rugged canyons. The most renowned canyoneering spot in Moab is the famous and challenging “Morning Glory Arch” located in the Negro Bill Canyon. This historic site not only provides an adrenaline-pumping experience but also connects visitors to the past, as it is named after William Granstaff. He was an African American cowboy who used to guide and maintain trails in the region. For those seeking professional assistance, Moab Adventure Center and Red River Adventures are highly recommended, as they provide experienced guides and equipment for an unforgettable canyoneering experience.

1. Off-Roading & ATV Riding

two ATVs parked at an off roading site full of large rocks near moab utah(image via Facebook)

Off-roading and ATV Riding are popular activities near Moab, Utah. One highly recommended area is the world-renowned Hell’s Revenge trail, known for its challenging and thrilling terrain. Another popular spot is the Sand Flats Recreation Area, offering a range of off-road trails suitable for all skill levels. When it comes to rentals and guided tours, the Moab Adventure Center and High Point Hummer & ATV are highly regarded businesses that receive consistently excellent reviews. They offer a wide selection of well-maintained vehicles and knowledgeable guides, ensuring a safe and exhilarating experience for all adventurers.




As you can see, Moab has a lot to offer everyone. If you are looking to do more in the surrounding area, check out other weekend trips from nearby Moab, Utah.

These areas are perfect for a quick day trip or a long weekend getaway. Explore our favorite things to do or peruse some pre-built itineraries.