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!
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!
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How to Get to Moab Utah
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.
How Many Days in Moab Do you Need?
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?
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 Moab
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
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!
Some of these hotels offer breakfast but if not there are lots of amazing breakfast locations in Moab.
Cabin and Yurt Camping
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
- Luxury Cabins
- Regular Cabins
- Tent and RV sites available
Under Canvas Moab
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 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
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
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
- Tent, cabin, and RV sites
- Bike repair station
- Picnic tables
Sand Flats Recreation Area
- 9 camping sites
- First come first serve
- Fire ring
- Picnic Table
- Good for Jeeps, bikes, and ATV
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!
Things to Do in Moab Utah
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
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.
2. Canyonlands National Park
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 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
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 Trails
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
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!
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!
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
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
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
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 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
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 Trails in Canyonlands
- Lathrop Canyon Trail
- Syncline Loop
- Chesler Park
- Joint Trail
13. Star Gazing in Moab Utah
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
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
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
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
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
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Have fun planning a trip to Moab!