Moab is an off-the-beaten-path town in eastern Utah that's main draws are its natural beauty and escapes for adventure lovers. Moab is a quick drive from two national parks and home to the most popular state park in Utah. You won't find better views anywhere.
The town may be small, but it is mighty in activity options for guests. From exploring nature in parks or living out the dream of being a cowboy (or cowgirl), to drinking vino at a local winery or walking in the footsteps of dinosaurs, Moab is bound to entertain visitors.
The Island in the Sky is an elevated piece of Canyonlands National Park that sits about 32 miles from Moab. Canyonlands is the largest national park in Utah and one of two national parks that are close to Moab.
Visitors can drive to the island and see for 100 miles in every direction. Moab's tourism site recommends taking a short hike around the area to see various stunning views. The activities for this area span from spending a few hours driving along the park's paved roads to several days backpacking and hiking to the highest point in the park.
Just five miles from Moab is one of the most photographed national parks in the United States. Arches National Park earned its name from the infamous natural sandstone arches and rock formations located inside the grounds. The scenic drive through the park, about 36 miles, is the most popular way to see the Arches. During the ride, stop and explore a few of the arches and get lost in the maze of the natural sandstone.
If you have a dinosaur lover in your family, then Moab is the perfect place. There are several dinosaur trails to explore throughout the Moab area that have genuine prints and fossils from the dinosaur age.
One popular trek is the Dinosaur Tracks Trail. It's a quick hike, taking only 15 to 30 minutes, and leads to a spot of dinosaur tracks near the Colorado River. The site includes an open-air museum that provides a detailed history on the dinosaurs it is believed made the tracks.
Grab a Drink at Castle Creek Winery or Moab Brewery
Utah is not known as a place for great drinking (thanks to their Mormon culture,) but Moab is home to an excellent microbrewery and a beautiful winery.
Castle Creek Winery is located 14 miles from downtown Moab. Sip your wine while enjoying the backdrop of the Utah red rock views. The Winery is open from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. every day, and there are daily complimentary tastings from noon until 7 p.m. While at the winery, you can take a self-guided tour—don't miss the view of the grounds from the top floor of the winery.
Moab Brewery, founded in 1996, is Moab's only microbrewery and has over nine ales on draft, as well as a full bar serving cocktails. Additionally, the brewhouse is a local favorite for lunch and dinner, serving up some of the best food in Moab. The extensive menu ranges from pasta, steaks, salads, and even gluten-free options. For dessert, give the homemade gelato a try.
Bird Watch in the Scott Matheson Wetlands Preserve
The Scott Matheson Preserve is set on the outskirts of Moab and is ideal for beginner birders. Moab is a very popular destination for birding as the Preserve is known as one of the best places for seeing unique birds—more than 225 different species have been spotted on the grounds.
If you're an experienced birder and are looking for more areas to explore, there are many popular places for birding in and near Moab including the Colorado River Scenic Byway, Moon Flower Canyon, La Sal Mountain Loop Road, Fisher Mesa, and Negro Bill Canyon.
The RedRock Astronomy tour offers amazing stargazing opportunities. The company provides the telescopes, expert guide, and an unforgettable night under the stars. Depending on the time of year, some things you might be able to see while stargazing including Jupiter, Saturn, Double Cluster, and Andromeda Galaxy. This adventure costs $40.00 per person and lasts one-and-a-half to two hours. The journey to the viewing site from Moab typically takes about 30 minutes.
If you're new to mountain biking, you can opt for one of the instruction centers nearby. Various camps, individual training sessions, and long-term training sessions are all available.
Get Closer to Nature While Horseback Riding
Horseback riding is popular in Moab due to the stunning scenery riders travel through while on their steed. Moab Horses offers a standard half-day ride, lasting about two hours, and there are other, longer rides available for those with more riding experience. Even if you've never ridden a horse before, the stable has horses that are trained to be gentle and go slowly—perfect for beginners. Save time to wander around the working Hauer Ranch for a glimpse of the cowboy lifestyle.
Dead Horse State Park is Utah's most popular state park and has a famous point (named Dead Horse Point) with a fantastic view 2,000 feet above the Colorado River. Spend a few hours driving or hiking around the park and then stop and spend time at the central outlook for your picture-perfect moment.
For a jolt of caffeine or food to consume within the park, stop by The Pony Express Coffee Shop before heading in. Located just outside the Visitors Center, the restaurant is open from March until October and provides hot and cold beverages, wraps, sandwiches, and even bags of ice.
If you're looking for an indoor activity for a few hours, visit the Museum of Moab. Founded in 1958, the museum's mission is sharing information about some of the most common fields in Moab, including geology, paleontology, archaeology, pioneers, and mining. Adult admission is $5.00 and children under 17 are free. The museum is open in the winter from 12 p.m. until 5 p.m. and from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. in the summer.