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.

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

2. 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

3. 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.

From Moab: Colorado River Half-Day Rafting Trip

4. 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.

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

5. 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: Edge Of Canyonlands National Park Helicopter Flight

6. Moab: Edge Of Canyonlands National Park Helicopter Flight

First, arrive at Canyonlands Field Airport in Moab to check-in for your private helicopter tour. After a safety briefing, you will board your helicopter and depart the airport for your amazing scenic tour. Shortly after departing the airport, arrive at the tall spires of Determination Towers and the expansive Gemini Bridges. On your way to Deadhorse Point State Park, see several arches and Thelma and Louise Point, where the final scene of the movie was filmed. After taking in the expansive views of Deadhorse Point, you will fly to the eastern side of the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park and see the Colorado River winding through the canyons. Fly down Kane Creek Canyon and, if the weather permits, dip below the canyon walls. Next, fly into the Behind the Rocks Wilderness before heading to the amazing Castleton Tower. If you're on the 45-minute tour, you will head back to the airport. On the 60-minute tour only, your pilot will then fly over the world-famous Hell's Revenge Jeep Trail where you will see jeeps galore and the Colorado River canyon. On the way back to the airport, see the massive Corona Arch, Jeep Arch, and Uranium Arch along the way.

Moab: Canyonlands National Park Airplane Tour

7. Moab: Canyonlands National Park Airplane Tour

This spectacular flight will carry you above the fantastic scenery of the northern district of the Canyonlands National Park, known as the Island in the Sky. Majestic 1,000-foot high cliffs rise above the Colorado and Green Rivers, which border it on either side. Serpentine drainage systems are carved into the terrain below the cliffs. Upheaval Dome can be seen at its northern end, the confluence of the two rivers form the district’s southernmost point.  Then, continue to Needles District, the most fanciful and colorful portions of Canyonlands. Pink and white bands can be seen in its many spires and cliffs. It is the home of some of the most remote and famous arches of canyon country. Difficult to reach by hiking and extremely beautiful, Angel Arch and Druid Arches are the best-known landmarks in Canyonlands. Elephant Arch, Kirk Arch, Wedding Ring Arch, and Castle Arch, hidden away in the backcountry, are also included in this one-of-a-kind scenic flight tour.  Hiking to these arches would take several multi-day permitted visits and are beyond the physical reach of many of us. On this flight, you will see them all, jewels among the many wondrous features of this national park. Unlike hikers, you will see their magnificent surroundings from a bird’s-eye view, in the vastness of this remarkable portion of this gorgeous earth. A unique and very special opportunity awaits you on this exclusive flight through the remote arches of Canyonlands.

Moab: Hells Revenge Trail Off-Roading Adventure

8. Moab: Hells Revenge Trail Off-Roading Adventure

Discover the world-famous Hells Revenge trail and witness its stunning rocky terrains as you ride custom-built 4x4 vehicles with full safety equipment driven by a professional driver. Choose from a 2 or 3-hour tour suitable for any age. Feel at ease knowing that tours come with highly-experienced guides who put your safety as their priority. The vehicles are built specifically for these rocky terrains and offer the best quality roll cage, 5 point harnesses, and bucket seats for optimal safety and comfort. 2-Hour Tour: Experience the petrified "roller coaster" sand dunes and go out to the Colorado River overlook. See the La Sal Mountain Range, stand 1,000ft above the Colorado River, and look into Arches National Park from a distance. This tour will include one obstacle: Hells Gate.  3-Hour Tour: Get to cover most of Hells Revenge Trail on trilling obstacles which include Slick Rock, Hells Gate, Mickeys Hot Tub, Car Wash Hot Tub, Escalator, Cowboy Hill, Really Steep Hill, and the Colorado River Overlook that offers breathtaking views.

Moab: Off-Road Hell's Revenge Trail Private Jeep Tour

9. Moab: Off-Road Hell's Revenge Trail Private Jeep Tour

Explore the Hell's Revenge Trail on a private off-road jeep tour. Admire the beautiful scenery including that of Arches National Park and the mighty Colorado River as your driver navigates the rugged terrain. Start with pickup from your accommodation in Moab. At the trailhead, begin your off-road adventure with a thrilling climb up a steep rock. Your driver will navigate a variety of inclined and rocky obstacles on a bumpy yet thrilling journey through the landscape. Make a stop to spot fascinating ancient dinosaur footprints in vibrant red rocks. Continue the journey towards a scenic overlook, where you can take in the fantastic views of Arches National Park and the Colorado River. See the vast Abyss Canyon and the imposing Angel's Arch. Then, head back to the starting point of the adventure.

Moab: 3-Hour Scenic 4x4 Off-Road Adventure

10. Moab: 3-Hour Scenic 4x4 Off-Road Adventure

Discover the natural landscapes of Moab, Utah on a 4x4 adventure. Embark on a breathtaking experience with a dash of excitement. After meeting your guide, hop in your 4x4 vehicle and head into the landscape. Enjoy an experience focused on the natural beauty of the area and ancient rock art.  See ancient Native American petroglyph panels—rock art and carvings spanning multiple millennia. Some even go as far back as 3500 BC. Use your personal interpretation skills to decipher the images.  Admire views of gorgeous towering Canyons. Also get a look at a handful of arches, red rock spires and towering canyon walls all along the beautiful Colorado River. Have all your needs catered to with some short stops to snack, take pictures, and talk about Moab’s history.

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

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What people are saying about Moab

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 2,333 reviews

My wife and I had the pleasure of experiencing a breathtaking scenic flight tour of the Canyons in a helicopter. What we loved the most was the personalized commentary we received from our professional and experienced helicopter pilot and guide Tracy. And we could ask questions! It's rare talent to find both a skilled pilot AND one who is passionate and knowledgeable about the changing geographic landscapes and formations that we fly over. The helicopter flight was like no other flights that we experienced. The front seat provides an almost 180 degrees view of the front and it feels like flying through the aerial scenes of a sci-fi movie or Top Gun. Experiencing the canyons, rivers and arches from a bird's eye view is nothing like what you experience from witnessing it from a lookout points or hiking on ground level. There were moments we felt completely overwhelmed with wonder and awe at how majestic the landscape was, as our helicopter cut over the cliffs and circled over arches.

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

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

Rafting very tame, guide Dave excellent and he made us a delicious lunch. Actual ride about two hours.

Very beautiful off road experience. Guide took time for us to take photos and enjoy the vistas