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Things to do in Moab

An adventurer's mecca, the southeastern Utah city is an adventure playground for adults and kids alike.

Our most recommended things to do in Moab

Moab: Colorado River Dinner Cruise with Music and Light Show

1. Moab: Colorado River Dinner Cruise with Music and Light Show

Begin the evening on the banks of the Colorado River, just 2 miles north of Moab, Utah. Savor a delicious cowboy-style Dutch oven dinner in a dining room overlooking the water. After dinner, climb aboard a flat-bottomed boat and begin your river adventure. A knowledgeable and entertaining guide will point out things of interest and ignite your imagination. Once darkness settles in, the formal part of the evening begins when 40,000 watts of natural light illuminate the canyon wall. Watch as lights, shadows, music, and narration make the stories of the canyon's formation, creation, and history come to life on the walls above the river - as learned from the early settlers of the area (the Catholic conquistadors, Native Americans, and Mormon pioneers). This Sound and Light Show is a not-to-be-missed unique experience and a great end to a perfect day in Moab.

From Moab: Colorado River Half-Day Rafting Trip

2. From Moab: Colorado River Half-Day Rafting Trip

Enjoy a guided rafting tour for all ages and levels of experience along the Colorado River. Depart from Moab and spend half the day navigating Class 1 or 2 rapids surrounded by impressive rock formations. Get picked up in Moab and meet your professional guide. Get outfitted with the necessary rafting gear and listen to your guide's safety instructions. Then embark on a wild adventure along the Fisher Towers and Professor Valley part of the river. The trip is about 7 miles and you're sure to get in some splashy rapids. Select the option including lunch to enjoy a buffet-style meal during your tour. At the end of the trip, the shuttle will take you back to Moab.

From Moab: Full-Day Canyonlands and Arches 4x4 Driving Tour

3. From Moab: Full-Day Canyonlands and Arches 4x4 Driving Tour

Take a 4x4 driving tour through Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. This thrilling adventure includes stops for short hikes and scenic views. Keep your energy up along the way with a refreshing picnic lunch. After pickup from your hotel in Moab, drive towards Canyonlands National Park high atop the Island in the Sky mesa. Descend via the steep switchbacks of the famous Shafer Trail and enjoy a brief stop to explore Native American rock art that was carved into the cliffs by the Ancestral Puebloans.   Continue through Canyonlands along a portion of the White Rim Trail over to Musselman Arch for incredible views of the Colorado River below. Enjoy a few stops with short hikes. Stop at Devils Garden for a delicious picnic lunch. After lunch, enter Arches National Park near Doc Williams Point. Climb a steep rock wall and drive across a valley through sandstone fins and dunes.   Pass the famous Tower Arch, the Eye of the Whale Arch, and the Marching Men — a group of 7 towers lined up in one row. Stop for some short walks to enjoy the fresh air and admire the views of the red rocks. Once you have explored both parks you'll be driven back to Moab, with a brief stop to explore dinosaur tracks along the way.

Moab: Hell's Revenge 4WD Off-Road Tour by Kawasaki UTV

4. Moab: Hell's Revenge 4WD Off-Road Tour by Kawasaki UTV

Climb aboard a Kawasaki UTV (Utility Terrain Vehicle) for an adrenaline thrill on the Hell’s Revenge Trail of Moab. Drive a specialized 4WD vehicle, with the confidence of knowing you are following a professional guide. Hell's Revenge is like a slow moving roller coaster; except it’s on slickrock! Drive across petrified mountains of rock that look like sand dunes. Although known as “slickrock,” it's actually gritty like sand paper; and unlike anything else you’ve experienced before. Along the way, stop for panoramic views from the Colorado River Overlook, and see authentic dinosaur tracks. Travel in convoys of no more than 5 vehicles for a more intimate and personal experience. Anyone over the age of 21 can drive one of the buggies if they have a valid drivers license, and are comfortable driving on terrain with steep slopes and cliffs. Each vehicle can accommodate up to 4 people.

From Moab: Half-Day Arches National Park 4x4 Driving Tour

5. From Moab: Half-Day Arches National Park 4x4 Driving Tour

Immerse yourself in the off-road trails of Arches National Park on this tour by 4x4 vehicle. Enjoy pickup in Moab, then a half-day adventure to encounter Tower Arch, the Marching Men, and other scenic natural formations. After pickup in Moab, your off-road 4x4 tour through Arches National Park starts near Doc Williams Point. Climb up a steep, short rock wall in your vehicle, then cut across a valley through sandstone fins and dunes. Pass the famous 92-foot wide Tower Arch and the Eye of the Whale Arch. See the Marching Men, a group of 7 towers lined up in one row.   Stop in a few great spots to take amazing photos, and enjoy a few short hikes throughout the tour. Learn about the formation of the red rocks, take in the fresh air, and enjoy the silence while admiring the scenic views. Exit via an old cowboy trail and see Dinosaur tracks on your way back to Moab, where you'll be dropped off back at your accommodation.

Moab: Colorado River Sunset Boat Tour with Optional Dinner

6. Moab: Colorado River Sunset Boat Tour with Optional Dinner

Watch the sun melt in the distance on a relaxing boat tour along the Colorado River from Moab. Savor an optional BBQ dinner on board and admire the breathtaking views of Utah from the water. The tour departs the flat waters of the Colorado River and chases the sun as it hides behind the canyon walls, painting the sky and surrounding scenery with a rich palette of colors. Relax on board the boat and marvel at the spectacular and unique views that are only visible from the water. Along the way, discover an old Indian granary, ancient petroglyphs, and fascinating arches that enrich the landscape with history. After a leisurely 1.5-hour cruise, your skillful guide turns the boat around for the return journey to the dock. Upon arrival at the private dock, enjoy an optional western-style Dutch oven dinner against the backdrop of the Colorado River. This cowboy-inspired dinner is cooked all day to create the authentic and rich dishes of BBQ beef, BBQ pork, BBQ chicken, cowpoke potatoes, sweet baked beans, homemade rolls, pasta salad, and much more. There's also an array of bottomless soft drinks and desserts to end the meal, as well as a selection of vegetarian-friendly options.

From Moab: Half-Day Canyonlands Island in the Sky 4x4 Tour

7. From Moab: Half-Day Canyonlands Island in the Sky 4x4 Tour

Discover the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park on this exciting half-day tour by 4x4 vehicle. After pickup from your hotel in Moab, drive towards the national park, meandering alongside the river. Stop outside the park boundary to explore ancient Native American rock art that was carved into the cliffs by the Ancestral Puebloans. Continue to the jeep trail that leads up to the Island in the Sky district. Along the way, you'll stop at vistas such as Fossil Point and Musselman Arch. See the remarkable Gooseneck Overlook and travel along a section of the White Rim trail. Wind up the switchbacks of the famous Shafer Trail, and enjoy one last look out over the park before driving back to Moab.

Moab: Self-Drive 2.5-Hour Hells Revenge 4x4 Guided Tour

8. Moab: Self-Drive 2.5-Hour Hells Revenge 4x4 Guided Tour

Enjoy the basic route of Hell’s Revenge to the Colorado River overlook into Arches National Park. This safe, but thrilling adventure is great for all skill levels, from novice to expert. Meet your guide just outside of Moab. After safety instructions, load up and head right to the Hells Revenge Trailhead. Enjoy the thrill of the petrified sand dunes and beautiful scenery of red rock hills, and snow-capped mountains as you follow your guide. Every tour includes water and snacks, and is guaranteed to take your breath away! U-Drive tours are family friendly, with a minimum age of 3 years old. All drivers must be at least 18 years old and present a valid driver's license.

Moab: Morning or Afternoon Half-Day Rappelling Tour

9. Moab: Morning or Afternoon Half-Day Rappelling Tour

After being picked up from your hotel in Moab, start the tour with a short 4x4 ride through rocky terrain towards the off-the-beaten-track Dad Gum Canyon. After a safety briefing from your expert guide, get geared up and begin your canyoneering experience. Hike and rock rappel into pools of water in this little slot canyon. Prepare to get wet as you find several small waterfalls and crystal clear pools. At the end of the adventure, an unforgettable 200-foot guided rappel awaits you. Once you hike out of the last bit of the canyon, make your way back to Moab where you will be dropped off at your hotel.

Moab: 3-Hour Jet Boat Tour to Dead Horse Point State Park

10. Moab: 3-Hour Jet Boat Tour to Dead Horse Point State Park

Start your 3-hour boat tour just 2 miles north of Moab, on the banks of Colorado River. After a safety orientation, you’ll begin your scenic tour. Relax and enjoy the ride. Your covered boat has plenty of shaded seats so you won’t get caught in the sun. Glide down the Colorado River, passing remote side canyons. You may be able to spot some wildlife and birds. Marvel at the 2,200 feet of canyon walls above you, a fossilized sea bed, wonderful views of arches, Indian petroglyphs, and a unique view of an Indian granary. Along the way, your guide will point out interesting sights and inform you of the areas past and present. Pass through the bottom Dead Horse State Park, the iconic Thelma and Louise Point, and a natural amphitheater. Travel 32 miles downriver until you reach the entrance of Canyonlands National Park, where the captain will turn back.

Available activities

  • Off-road driving gems
  • Colorado River cruises
  • Canyon river rafting & more
  • Moab adrenaline adventures
  • Utah from above
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Frequently asked questions about Moab

What top attractions are a must-see in Moab?

What are the most popular museums and exhibitions in Moab?

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Moab

Making your way out to Moab? The stunning scenery of Utah makes for the perfect outdoor adventure. To help you make the most of your trip, we've enlisted the help of the travel experts at Archaeology Travel. Read the tips below for your next visit.

What should I do on my first trip to Moab?

The most striking thing about Moab is the red rock landscape. The shapes and canyons really are something out of this world. At the top of my list of recommendations for any first time in Moab is to explore the two national parks on the town’s doorstep. Of course, there are so many ways you can do this. But for me, sunrise at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park and sunset at Delicate Arch in Arches National Park take a lot to be beaten.

What are some hidden gems to see in Moab? 

The canyons and geological features are vast and striking, offering insight into the history and heritage of Moab. They also hold earlier signs of life on earth, as well as the signs of earlier humans in this part of the US. Often literally hidden amongst the rocks. At a number of places, you can see the fossilized tracks of up to 100 different kinds of dinosaurs that lived here around 66 million years ago. A little bit closer to us in time, some around 1,000 years old, are the petroglyphs and pictographs of the ancestors of Native Americans. Nothing beats seeing these sites in person.

How much time should I spend in Moab? 

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If seeking adventure and history in the great outdoors is your thing, then Moab is definitely the place for you. To get a feel for the area around Moab, four or five days is a good start. That is not to say you would not be able to see a lot in two days, or that you would be bored by day six. Exploring these landscapes takes time. Whether it is a day trip hiking to see the rock art in Horseshoe Canyon, or white water rafting on the Colorado River.

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What food is Moab known for?

Moab has a wide range of very good restaurants, serving food from all over the world. From Mediterranean-style cuisine to sushi, Thai to Italian. But the most common style of cooking is Southwestern, a mix of Native American, Hispanic and cattle-country Anglo. Grilled dishes are the order of the day, served with corn, beans, squash, and, of course, chilies.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Moab? 

Moab may be a small resort town, but it has a wonderful choice of accommodation styles to suit all budgets. Of course, there are some great hotels and B&Bs in the town itself. Even one, the Apache Motel, is on the national register of historical places. Surrounded by such stunning scenery, camping and glamping are very popular in the area. Or why not stay in luxury Western-style and choose a five-star ranch resort. This is the Southwest after all.

What is the best way to get around Moab? 

There is no public transport in Moab. Shuttle services will take visitors to certain points of interest in the national parks and surrounding areas. And of course, many activities include pick-ups from your accommodation. By far the best way to experience Moab is with your own car or a rental vehicle.

What are the best months to visit Moab? 

Both national parks are open all year round, but the most popular months in Moab are April to September. But everyone will agree the best time to visit Moab is in the spring. The cottonwood trees are getting their new shoots. The rocks are starting to get warm again. You can spend a day out without having to take into account extreme heat, or cold. And the crowds are still at work and school. Without a doubt, March to May.

What are the best neighborhoods for food? 

As popular a tourist destination as Moab is, the town is not huge. You will certainly experience the small town-friendly atmosphere. Whether you want to dine in style or eat outdoors most of the best restaurants are in the center of town. There are many restaurants worth considering that are away from the town center. But even they are within an easy walk from the main hub of the town.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

As a popular tourist destination, you will not be at a loss to buy souvenirs and good quality gifts in Moab. Of course, there are the gift shops typical of the American southwest. But Moab prides itself on its local arts and crafts scene. If you're looking for something special, you will have a lot of choices, from beautifully handcrafted silver and turquoise jewelry to genuine fossil fish and dinosaur bones. Downtown Moab is where it is at!

Other Sightseeing Options in Moab

Want to discover all there is to do in Moab? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Moab

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 2,333 reviews

My family had an awesome and memorable time with our guide Mike in Bow and Arrow Canyon near Moab. At the beginning of the day, my children had some worried looks and nervousness on what was to come. Four repels later, my children got over their fears and were all smiles thanks to the one of best guides I have had the chance to meet. Mike was professional, humorous, knowledgable of the area, and helped the whole family out learning how to repel. Mike orientated everyone to the gear, we put on harnesses, grabbed our helmets and gloves and we were off. The hike was great at our pace. Mike took time to point out all the sights and goings on (including watching the ATV negotiate one of the toughest spots on the Poison Spiker Mesa trail). Mike took our new Christmas picture next to Longbow Arch. He then began learning the ropes literally! I never felt unsafe at anytime. We began with an orientation to the correct gear usage and form. We then progressed to repel with a smaller ledge

Great guide, great fun! Aaron was super knowledgeable and took us on the most fun tour. Would definitely do again!

Our guide, John was really informative. He took us in the back way and that was fun also. Loved the off roading.

First time we all took a small plane, and it was great. Beautiful view you don't see when on the ground.

Love these guides! They really enhance the Park experience