Planning a trip to Moab

Planning A Trip To Moab Utah (Perfect Moab Itinerary!)

Are you thinking about planning a trip to Moab? Want to create the best Moab itinerary ever?! 

Awesome! We just went and had so much fun! If you have ever wondered if Moab was worth visiting, we are here to tell you it is! Planning a trip to Moab should be at the top of your list! 

There is so much to do in this area which includes visiting Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. 

In this post, we are going to give you a complete guide for planning a trip to Moab.  This will include accommodations and the best things to do on your Moab trip.  You will be able to create the perfect Moab itinerary! 

I am going to give you a good idea of all the fun things there are to do in Moab, Utah. This way you can plan a weekend in Moab or a week depending on how much time you have. 

Let's create the best Moab itinerary and plan a trip to Moab!

If you want to save this for later be sure to pin this to Pinterest!

Moab Itinerary

This post may contain affiliate links (Including Amazon) that will give me a commission at no additional charge to you.  


Contents hide

How to Get to Moab Utah

Planning a trip to Moab -Welcome to Moab sign

A Moab road trip is probably the best option as Moab is really far away from major cities and airports.

If you are looking to fly into Moab,  I can think of three options.  Flying into Las Vegas and hitting the mighty five National Parks in Utah as you make your way to Moab. 

A second option is to fly into Salt Lake City and drive to Moab from there.  Lastly, you can fly into Grand Junction, Colorado.  It will be the priciest option but will be much closer than Las Vegas or Salt Lake City.

If you are planning on visiting all the national parks in Utah you might want to consider renting an RV from RV Share! It is a great way to experience all of the amazing parks.

Rent an RV from RVshare

How Many Days in Moab Do you Need?

3 day moab trip

A weekend in Moab is a good amount of time.  If you have 5 days in Moab even better! Don't despair if you only have one day in Moab you will be able to check out one of the national parks.  

When planning your Moab trip give yourself enough time to be able to add all the things you would like to do on your Moab itinerary. (We will check out all your options below.)

When is the Best Time to Visit Moab?

Visit Moab

Since this is our complete Moab travel guide we need to include when the best time to visit Moab is.  You can go year-round to Moab.  My favorite time to go is May and October.  

Summer is really hot and is the high tourist season.  You can still have a lot of fun in Moab in the summer but you have to get up really early and plan to take a break from the heat in the afternoon.  

During the winter months, it is not crowded but can get cold. 


Where to Stay in MoabMoab Trip accommodations

When planning a trip to Moab there are a few options for accommodations. Hotels, glamping, camping, and obviously RV sites are some of them.

Hotels for your Weekend in Moab

Marriott Moab - Hotels in Moab

If you love to do the outdoor activities Moab has to offer but aren't up for camping, do not worry.  Moab has some really nice hotels Marriott Spring Hills Suites is fairly new and has an amazing pool!

Hyatt Place is another great option with a great pool.  If you are headed to Moab in the summer a pool is essential!

Moab has a good variety of other hotels.  There is a Holiday Inn Express, Comfort Inn, and many locally owned and operated hotels that are great options on any budget.

Some of these hotels offer breakfast but if not there are lots of amazing breakfast locations in Moab

Cabin and Yurt Camping

Yurt at Goblin Valley

Image courtesy of state parks.utahgov

Cabin camping or Glamping is available and is a perfect option for accommodations for a weekend in Moab.

Up the Creek Campground

  • Glamping tent for 1-2 people
  • Tent sites also available

KOA Moab

  • Luxury Cabins
  • Regular Cabins
  • Tent and RV sites available

Under Canvas Moab

Tent Camping

We decided to plan a camping weekend Moab trip. We even slept in a tent!  It was a good experience but there are some major things to consider when deciding if this is the right option for you. 

We stayed at the Moab KOA.  This was a very great experience as we enjoyed the pool available at this location.  Our site was pretty close to our neighbors but luckily no one was camping next to us.


Moab is a dessert.  It has cool temperatures at night and blazing hot temperatures during the day.  In the heat of the summer, Moab can get up to 100+ degrees.

It is a dry heat. (I live in Utah and when I went to Moab my lips became chapped and my whole body needed lotion – it was 76 degrees when we went)

We camped in May and it was cold at night.  It is hard to sleep when you are not at the right temperature!  So keep that in mind.

Camping Equipment

Camping involves a lot of equipment that you need to haul. The tent, the sleeping bags, pillows, cots, cooking supplies, firewood, and food. Being prepared is really important especially when camping in a remote area.

It takes a lot of preparations before you even begin your trip to Moab.

Get Your Moab Camping Supplies

Save Money

One positive thing about camping in Moab is that you will save a lot of money.  There is lots of BLM land located just outside of Moab that is free to camp on.  Or if you want to get a campsite at a camping resort it isn't going to break the bank.

Campgrounds Near Moab

Moab itinerary moab camping

If you want to camp you have many options.  I will list a few options that hopefully will help you plan your Moab trip.

Devils Garden Campground in Arches National Park

  • 50 camping sites
  • Higher elevation (5000 ft) – cooler in the summer heat
  • Must pre-book up to 180 days in advance
  • Spectacular views of rock formations and mountains

Willow Creek Campground near Canyonlands National Park

  • 12 camping sites
  • First-come first – serve
  • Short Walk to Green River Overlook

Kayenta Campground in Dead Horse State Park

  • 20 camping sites
  • Little shade
  • Pre-book four months in advance

Needles District – Squaw Flat Campground in Canyonlands

  • 26 camping sites
  • Very remote
  • Site A has better views than Site B

KOA Moab

  • Tent, cabin, and RV sites
  • Pool
  • Bathrooms
  • Games
  • Bike repair station
  • Picnic tables

Sand Flats Recreation Area

  • 9 camping sites
  • First come first serve
  • Toilets
  • Fire ring
  • Picnic Table
  • Good for Jeeps, bikes, and ATV
  • Trails

There are so many more campsites in this area I can not list them all.  But hopefully, this gives you some ideas. well.  I highly recommend that you reserve a spot before you go. 

Moab Trip Tip

When planning your trip to Moab one thing to consider is that it can get busy during tourist season, and finding a campsite without scheduling beforehand will usually take a little luck and a little local knowledge.

RV sites are located at most of the campgrounds listed above.  If you do not want to use hookups there are so many options of places to boondock.

Get a copy of my Best Apps for Boondocking document I can email you one!

Apps for Boondocking


Things to Do in Moab UtahThings to do in Moab


There are so many things to do in Moab: from National Parks, biking, off-roading, camping, and exploring, Moab is an outdoor lovers' dream vacation.  Let's explore some of your choices so that you can plan a trip to Moab.

If you are planning one day in Moab you will probably want to focus on the national parks.  If you have a weekend in Moab you can do both national parks and maybe 1 other activity. 

If you have 3 days in Moab or more you will have enough time to add more to your Moab itinerary. 

1. Arches National Park

Best hikes at Arches National ParkUtah national parks delicate arch

Arches National Park is just north of Moab.  This park includes Delicate Arch which is on the license plate of Utah vehicles.  It really is a fun hike that you will want to experience.

Hiking in Arches National Park

We have been to Arches many times and have loved hiking and viewing the magnificent arches located throughout this park. There are some great hikes, in fact, you could spend an entire day at Arches. 

If you aren't much of a hiker there is a self-guided driving tour that you can upload and listen to as you explore the park. Arches is one of the best West Coast National Parks.

2. Canyonlands National Park

Mesa Arch Hike at Canyonlands - Moab trip

Canyonlands was formed by the Colorado River and is known for its excellent climbing and strenuous hikes.

The park is made of three parts; Needles, Island in the Sky, and the Maze.  Because Canyonlands is so spread out it is probably best to pick 1-2 areas to hit in a day.

Island in the Sky

We only did the Island in the Sky area.  This is a great option especially if you are planning a Moab itinerary with kids.  My kids love this area.  It is a perfect place to add to your Moab family vacation. 

3. Dead Horse Bend State ParkHorseshoe bend State Park

Dead Horse State Park has a fabulous lookout point.  There is a nice viewpoint area where you can take in the magnificent view.  This is one of my top picks to add to a Moab itinerary.  

Things to Do at Dead Horse State Park

One of the main reasons to visit Dead Horse is to see the U-shaped bend in the river.  It is amazing! The view is worth the drive!

After you see the view, hiking and mountain biking are the most popular activities at Dead Horse Bend State Park. 

Sunset is the best time to go as you will catch some great photographs. Dead Horse is a fantastic option for you Moab itinerary

4. Moab Giants 

Moab Giants Musuem

Just North of Moab and at the turn-off for Canyonlands is a museum called Moab Giants.  Utah is known for the excavation of dinosaur bones. 

Moab Giants has a nice walking trail your kids will love.  There is a small dinosaur museum and a 5D aquarium.   It is a great Moab family vacation activity you could add to your Moab itinerary. 

5. Dinosaur TrailsDinosaur Trails in Moab

There are actual dinosaur hiking trails in Moab. We hiked along two trails that have dinosaur bones partially excavated in the walls of the cliffs.

Dinosaur Trails in Moab

  • Potash Road Dinosaur and Petroglyphs Trail
  • Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail

Potash Road Dinosaur and Petroglyphs Trail and Mill Canyon Trail are where you will want to head to start your dinosaur adventure.

Both trails are short.  We hiked less than a mile long on each trail.  You will need to off-road to get to the trailhead for Mill Canyon (but we made it in a minivan).


If you have a minivan as we do,  or any other car that is not all-wheel drive, the drive to the trail is challenging because certain parts have deep sand.  We were lucky and didn't have a problem!

Guided petroglyphs tours are available which might be better if you do not have AWD.

6. ATV Side-by-Side Off-Road Adventure

Hells Revenge Trail in Moab

One of the best things to add to your Moab itinerary is an off-road adventure! We did this on our last trip.  It was amazing!  We went on Hell's Revenge I still can't believe I did it but I loved it and would highly recommend booking a tour! 

Hummer Tour

A hummer tour is a two-hour adventure that will explore pre-historic dinosaur tracks, and hidden arches, as well as provide amazing views of Arches National Park and the Colorado River.  It is like a natural roller coaster!

Jeep Rentals

You can rent a Jeep for about $300 a day and have the ability to off-road at your own leisure.  There are about 8-12 different roads that you can go on. 

If you rent from Moab Adventure Center, each Jeep will have a cooler for your snacks.  It will also have a GPS that if at any time you get lost the company can come and find you.

Hot Tip for your Moab Trip

Make a reservation ahead of time to make sure have your Jeep secured. This tour gets booked out!  

7. Mountain Biking on Your Moab Trip

Spring Break Utah Moab bikes

Many people come to Moab to mountain bike the Slickrock Bike Trail.  There are over 9.6 miles of amazing bike trails.

Honestly, there are so many trails in this area you will probably want to come back again and again and still never hit them all. Mountain biking is one of the best things to add to your Moab weekend getaway! 

8. River Rafting on Your Moab Trip

River rafting in Moab
Image courtesy of Moab, Utah

If you are looking for the ultimate adventure on the Colorado River river rafting is it!  There are Class IV and V rapids for experts as well as Class I, II, and III for beginners.  You can choose to go on half-day or full-day trips.

Most tours can be booked in Moab however if you know you want to add this to your Moab itinerary you will want to pre-book!

9. Horseback Riding in Moab

Horse back riding in Moab
Image courtesy of Trailsource

If you want to feel like you are in a cowboy movie a horseback ride along the towering cliffs and sand formations of Moab, horseback riding is just for you. 

You can take a morning ride or afternoon stroll.  As you view the Colorado River from the horse trail you will really feel like you are in the wild wild west.

10. Zipline Tours

Moab Zip line
Image courtesy of Moab Adventure Center

Moab Adventure Center has a ziplining adventure for you.  It is about 3 hours and includes some amazing views.  You will get to experience 6 zip lines during your time with the tour group.

This is a little out of my comfort zone but some people love it!

11. Canyoneering in Moab

Canyoneering in Zion National Park

If you love climbing and want to book a canyoneering experience, Moab is the place. You can climb with a tour guide or if you already have experience and equipment there are so many places to explore in Moab.

Granary Canyon is the best area in all of Moab for canyoneering.  It is incredible! 

12. Backpacking Moab Trip

Backpacking Moab Trip
Moab is a great place for an overnight backpacking trip.  There are lots of places deep in Canyonlands that are perfect for this type of expedition.  

Backpacking Trails in Canyonlands

  • Lathrop Canyon Trail
  • Syncline Loop
  • Chesler Park
  • Joint Trail
You can also book a tour guide to take you to some amazing overnight locations and they will even include all of your gear and meals. 


13. Star Gazing in Moab Utah

Star Gazing in Moab
Image courtesy of

One of the best things to do at night in Moab is star gazing. Both Arches and Canyonlands are international dark night sky parks.  

Planning a trip to Moab is the perfect way to get an amazing view of the night sky.  They say the stars are incredible because there is very little light pollution in this area.  It makes for great photography Dead Horse State Park is recognized as one of the best spots to observe the night sky.

We stayed in Moab at the KOA and by 10:00 pm we could see an incredible amount of stars.   It really is amazing.

14. Moab Sand Hill

Moab Sand Hill

The Moab Sand Hill is located just outside of Arches National Park.  Many families will bring sleds and slide down the hill.  It is free!  

This is a fun activity in Moab for both kids and adults.  Get ready to be covered in sand from head to toe!

15. Airplane Ride over Moab

3 day in moab itinerary airplane ride

If you are really adventurous you can book a airplane tour over the Moab area.  These flights will take you over Canyonlands and many amazing places in Moab.  

What better way to see Moab than from an ariel view? It is gorgeous! 

Moab Itinerary Ideas

Moab visitors guide for a Moab Trip Arch

Are you ready for a few Moab itinerary ideas?  Hopefully, this will help you plan your trip to Moab! 

One Day Moab Itinerary

Arches National Park

2 Day Moab Itinerary

Day 1 – Arches

Day 2 – Dead Horse Bend State Park and Islands of the Sky Canyonlands

3 Days in Moab Itinerary or a Weekend in Moab Trip

Day 1 – Arches/ Moab Sand Hill/ Star Gaze

Day 2  – Canyonlands and Dead Horse Bend/ Evening mountain biking

Day 3 – Book a Tour (River rafting, Hell's Revenge, Canyoneering)

4 or 5-Day Moab Itinerary

I would follow the 3 day Moab itinerary and then add

Day 4 – Hiking dinosaur trails or Corona Arch.  Day trip to Goblin Valley

Day 5 – Book another Tour 

With all the fun things to do in Moab, you can easily find things to fill your itinerary.  Don't forget to eat at some of the fun locally-owned restaurants in town.

Planning a Trip to Moab

plan a moab trip

Hopefully, this Moab travel guide and list of awesome things to do in Moab has given you a few Moab itinerary ideas of how you want to spend your time in Moab.  There are so many amazing adventures in Moab!  Get ready to have a lot of fun and make a lot of memories!

I know you will have a blast when you visit Moab!  There are seriously so many things to do in Moab!  Have fun planning a weekend trip to Moab! (or longer if you have time!)

Day Trip From Moab

Another adventure not too far from Moab is Goblin Valley State Park as well as Capitol Reef National ParkThey are great options to add as you are planning your National Park Road Trip.


If you have any questions be sure to join my Facebook Travel Community  This great community can help answer any questions you may have about your upcoming trip. Plus, I try to add any great deals or promotions that companies send me!

Have fun planning a trip to Moab!

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  1. We don’t camp much anymore, so it’s nice to know that Moab has some hotel options too – that pool at Springhill Suites looks incredible! I also love to see all of the different activities with multiple ways to experience all of that incredible landscape!

  2. Living in the Midwest, I haven’t taken many trips to the western states. Moab looks (and sounds) wonderful. I really need to plan a trip there soon!

  3. I hadn’t heard of the yurts in Moab. Looks like fun. I would love to try the canyoneering.

  4. I’d love to stay in a Yurt, and I think my kids would love it too. But man, that hotel pool looks amazing too.

  5. We live on the east coast and really haven’t taken trips to the western states, but I would love to visit with my family and rent a cabin. Moab looks like an amazing place!

  6. I so need to visit Utah…if I leave right now I can be there by 3:30 pm on Friday. Ha! Tempting! Love that you showcase your beautiful state!

    1. My husband just drove 17 hours straight today from Oklahoma to Utah. So crazy! But if you have the time it is doable!

  7. Great info! We are actually planning a road trip right now that includes Arches National Park and Canyonlands. We plan to leave July 6if we still feel like it’s an “okay idea” right now. We shall see. There is so much to do in this area! So fun!

    1. I would go! I talked with people in the area and they said they had 12 cases total in the area. It is so remote you should feel safe. The Navajo Nation was hit hard so just avoid that area.

  8. I went camping in Moab with friends when I living in Colorado but sadly we never made it to Dead Horse Bend. I guess I will have to come back and bring the family.

  9. We camped when we visited Moab. There is so much to do. I am looking forward to visiting again and hike more trails.

  10. Your post is great! It really has everything you could possibly need for visiting Moab. We were supposed to camp at the KOA there for 3 nights back at the beginning of April so we could visit the National Parks, but of course everything was closed. It was part of a bigger road trip, so we still drove through and stopped to have lunch. The scenery is unbeatable and we can’t wait to go back and actually get to experience Moab.

    1. We have been many times but we went a month ago. The National Parks were not open but the state parks were!

  11. I’ve been dying to go to Utah! It’s definitely on my list after COVID! The hotels look amazing! Thank you for sharing all these things to do!

  12. Moab has definitely piqued my interest since you have been posting about it! It is so different from anything I have ever visited.

  13. A beautiful place to visit and take the whole family! Great adventure and pictures! Thanks for sharing!

  14. I want to go! We did not get to that part of Utah when we were there. It is my list for sure. Though I will in a hotel. Tents and I do not mix. LOL!!!

  15. I love this area! I always feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface, though. So much more to see!

  16. Between an RV and a yurt – I don’t know if I could decide! I would love to explore this area – nature at its finest!

    1. Yes, we choose a cabin and a tent but maybe one day we will do an RV or a yurt or maybe that nice hotel pool!

  17. We love Moab! We have stayed at Aarchway Inn last time we were there and loved how close it was to everything.

  18. This is SUCH an informative post! I would love to visit – will definitely pin for later. Awesome!

  19. I’ve never been to Utah, but when I get a chance, I’ll certainly try out some of these sites and activities.

  20. What a great guide! Thank you so much. I am trying to check off all the U.S. National Parks, and Moab looks like a good place to hit a few nearby. And the river rafting looks super fun!

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  26. We are planning a road trip through Utah, Nevada, and Arizona and I’m so excited now to see the spots in Utah! Such great ideas!

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