Moab is a unique Western community situated in the red rock country of Southeastern Utah on the Colorado River. Arches National Park is only six miles from downtown and Canyonlands National Park is 32 miles from Moab. The city is surrounded by public lands which are used not only for grazing, drilling, and forestry but for recreation such as mountain biking, hiking, rafting, rock climbing, highlining, B.A.S.E. jumping, skydiving, disc golf and cross-country skiing. Because the area is rich in these recreational opportunities, Moab has become the hub of tourist activity and services.
If you are approaching Moab while driving west along I-70, use Utah Route 128 for the beautiful scenery. About 10 minutes past the Colorado-Utah border is exit 214 on I-70, it is marked as "Cisco". The landscape at this point is extremely dry, slightly hilly. The road is narrow (no shoulder), and somewhat curvy, and it's about 80 km to Moab. About half-way, the road narrows, meets and then crosses the Colorado River, and the remainder of the trip is spent with the river on your right side and spectacular canyon walls surrounding you. This piece of pavement is one of the best drives in North America. Optimal times to take it are the morning (~9AM) or afternoon (after 3PM) for the light -- do not drive it at night (you can't see anything and it is more dangerous -- use US 191 instead). Watch for traffic, particularly bicycles as you approach Moab. The urge to rubber-neck is extreme, and needs to be resisted: be a passenger if you can. Eventually, UT 128 ends at US 191, a few minutes north of Moab.
Moab's Canyonland Field Airport has commuter service to Denver. Bookings from beyond Denver can be ticketed with United and Frontier Airlines to reach Moab. Moab's airport code is CNY. Ground transportation between Moab and the airport should be reserved in advance.
The AMTRAK train has a whistle stop in Green River, Utah (GRI). Combine the trail with your flights into Salt Lake City (UT), Denver or Grand Junction (CO) then reserve a taxi or shuttle service to travel 52 miles to the town of Moab.
Moab's Main Street is part of US Route 191. Traveling north on Main will get you to Arches National Park, Canyonland Field Airport, and Interstate 70. To get to Dead Horse Point State Park and Canyonlands National Park, by backcountry dirt road use Utah State Route 279, which intersects US-191 near the entrance to Arches National Park. To access Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point by pavement continue farther north on Hwy 191 to Utah State Route 313.
Slickrock Bike Trail On Sand Flats Road, 2.3 miles from the intersection of the Sand Flats Road and Millcreek Drive in Moab. One of the most famous Mountain Biking trails in the world.
Mill Canyon Dinosaur Tracks Along this nature trail, which requires a moderate 1/2-mile hike, Morrison Formation dinosaur fossils and petrified wood may be seen in a natural setting. The trailhead is in Mill Canyon on a dirt road, accessible by passenger vehicle, off U.S. Highway 191, 13 miles north of Moab, Utah (near mile marker 141).
Museum of Moab, 118 E Center Street, . This 50 year old museum is a hidden Gem in Moab. Located a little of main street the museum specializes in the history of Moab. With exhibits on Geology, Paleontology, Mining, History, Anthropology, and much more the Museum of Moab provides a cool afternoon of fun.
Moab lies along the Colorado River and offers excellent opportunities to get out on the river. The most popular option is a one day trip on the Fisher Towers section. Also know as the "Moab daily" this 14 mile stretch of river is perfect for families with children or anyone wishing to escape the heat. Slashy and fun this is a wonderful way to take in the beauty of Moab from a different perspective.
Located just west of town, the Birthing Rock petroglyph depicts a rare breach birth (center left).
NAVTEC Expeditions, 321 N. Main St, ☎ +1-435-259-7983, . NAVTEC Expeditions is an established Colorado River Rafting and National Park back-country outfitter. Rafting trips include the Fisher Towers, Westwater Canyon, and Cataract Canyon. 4x4 and hiking tours to Canyonlands Island in the Sky, Needles, Maze, and Arches National Park. Canyoneering trips to the Robbers Roost, Blue John, and High Spur slot canyon. Trip lengths vary from half-day to multi-day. Raft rentals and all the required gear are available for do it yourself river trips.
Moab Rafting and Canoe Company, 805 N. Main St, ☎ +1-435-259-7238, . Moab Rafting and Canoe Company is an owner-operated business offering rafting and canoe trips around the Colorado Plateau and Utah’s Canyon Country. Daily whitewater rafting trips run on the Colorado River. Guided and self-guided options include the San Juan, Green River and Colorado river. Shuttle service is available along with boat and gear rentals.
Red River Adventures, 1140 S. Main St, ☎ +1-435-259-4046, . Red River Adventures is a ten year old company that is Moab's only adventure company permitted to guide rafting, canyoneering and rock climbing and does so in house.
Tex's Riverways, 691 North 500 West, ☎ +1-435-259-5101, . Since 1958, Tex’s Riverways has provided professional canoe and kayak outfitting services to groups of all sizes traveling on the Colorado and Green Rivers. This family-owned and operated business emphasizes the ethical treatment of a pristine landscape and offers an unmatched degree of personal experience on the Colorado River, the Green River, and in the Maze District of Canyonlands National Park.
Moab is home to the Semi-Annual Jeep Safari, which can give you some wild rides with difficult obstacles. Go 4-wheeling on the trails that stretch just outside the city. Many trails are a less than a few miles away, while some may take a short while to find and can be tricky. Trails rank from easy to difficult.
Cliffhanger Jeep Rentals, 1551 North Hwy. 191.
Farabee Jeep Rentals, 401 North Main. Offers Full or half day Jeep rentals for 4X4 adventures or spectacular sightseeing.
Slickrock Jeep Rentals, 900 South Hwy. 191.
Other things to do
Canyonlands Field Institute, 1320 South Highway 191, ☎ 800-860-5262, . 9-4:30. Canyonlands Field Institute is an educational nonprofit specializing in informative adventures on the Colorado Plateau. They have day tours of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks as well as rafting or floating adventures on the Green, San Juan, Dolores, and Colorado rivers. Your Ed-Venture with CFI helps support and underwrite their school and youth programs.
Skydive Canyonlands, Terminal 1 Canyonlands Field Airport, Hwy 191N, ☎ +1-435-719-3483, . Sunrise - Sunset. Skydive Canyonlands is owned and operated by Paul Gray, a USPA Certified instructor with over 10,000 jumps – all dedicated to the perfection of the sport and the safe enjoyment of skydiving. Most recently, Paul helped introduce the sport of skydiving in New Zealand, and brings a wealth of added knowledge to the sport as an FAA licensed pilot. The company offers dives among the most picturesque vistas in North America, with views of the Merrimac and Monitor rock formations, Dead Horse Point, the Colorado River, and the world-famous buttes of Arches National Park.$200.
Hunting for prey, an immature bald eagle perches on an electrical pole in the Castle Valley, east of Moab.
ZAX, 100 South and Main ST (Corner of 100 South and Main ST), ☎ 435-259-6555, . 6:30 AM to Close. Family restaurant with a pizza bar that the kids will love, also has sports bar and serves outstanding breakfast.
The Center Cafe (not cheap but excellent food), 60 North 100 West, ☎ 435-259-4295, .
Pasta Jay's (Order the Tortellone Alfredo or the Chicken Pesto Tortellone), 4 South Main St, ☎ 435-259-2900, .
La Hacienda (Great Mexican Food), 574 N Main St, ☎ 435-259-6319.
Moab Brewery, 686 South Main Street. Great food and great beer. They have a separate dining and bar area. Billiards and TV are available in the bar area. The Black Raven Stout is to die for.... On weekends get here early or prepare to wait.
Eddie McStiff's, 57 Main Street. Great Bottled Beer selection and beer on tap.
Spanish Valley Vineyards produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Riesling and Gewurztraminer wines. Purchase at the Moab liquor store and look for bottles on the menu of Moab restaurants.
Castle Creek Winery has Lily Rose White, Outlaw Red, Chardonnay, and a Cabernet Sauvignon.
Aarchway Inn, 1551 North Highway 191, ☎ 800-341-9359, . Aarchway Inn is a 97-room Moab lodging facility nestled between the picturesque red rock cliffs and buttes of the Colorado River. Is two miles from Arches National Park and 30 minutes from Dead Horse Point and Canyonlands National Park. Premium Moab lodging located less than one mile from Moab's finest restaurants, with guest shuttle service. Serves a complimentary hot breakfast and offer indoor secure storage for bicycles.
Best Western Plus Canyonlands Inn, 16 S Main Street, +1 435 259-5167, Fax: +1 435 259-2301, . Located in the heart of downtown Moab within walking distance of local restaurants and shops. Newly remodeled rooms and suites. Amenities include a pool, hot tub and secure bike storage.
Best Western Greenwell Inn, 105 S Main Street, +1 435 259-6151, Fax: +1 435 259-4397, .
Cali Cochitta Bed & Breakfast, 110 South 200 East, ☎ 435-259-4961, . checkin: 4-6pm; checkout: 10am. This B&B is a renovated late 1800's home located in a quiet neighborhood that is within walking distance of local shops and restaurants. The rooms are comfortable, clean and relaxing and offer a blend of vintage and new furnishings which add warmth and personality. The grounds offer lots of trees, furniture, herb and rose gardens. Wonderful homemade upscale breakfast is included in the room rate. Other amenities include hammocks and a hot tub.$85-$165.
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, 1515 Hwy 191 North, +1 435 259-1150, .
Motel 6, 1089 N Main Street, +1 435 259-6686, Fax: +1 435 259-6838, .
The River Canyon Lodge, 71 West 200 North, Tel: (435) 259-8838, Fax: (435) 259-0519, Reservation Toll Free: 1 (866) 486-6738, Email: email@example.com, . One of Moab's newest hotels, offers modern and comfortable hotel rooms for business and leisure traveler. Offers a pool, hot tub and secure bike storage. Pets are welcomed.
Lazy Lizard Hostel, 1213 S Hwy 191, +1 435 259-6057, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, . Probably the cheapest accommodation in Moab and it's only youth hostel, a word of caution is warranted. While you will find necessary accommodations (a bed, sheets, walls and a roof), some of these accommodations can be a surprising state. Some walls may not seal properly and you may find weeds growing between the shower tiles in the bathroom. Seasoned hostelers accustomed to HI standards may find a stay at the lazy lizard hostel to be closer to camping. Still, at 26$ for a 2 person private room, much can't be hoped for.
In summer time, Moab can get very hot. Drink extra fluids as needed. If you plan to go off-roading or camping out on the trails, take at least one gallon of water per person per day.
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