Moab. Where red rock and desert sun meet the cooling Colorado and starry night skies. It is a special place, because it has two national parks nearby: Arches and Canyonlands. Plus, there is such a variety of things to do in Moab and the surrounding area. So, let’s take a look at some of the special features in Moab that are a must for your bucket list, and then we will look at why it is so important that you visit soon.
Reasons to Visit Moab, Utah
#1 Arches National Park
Access to Arches NP lies just West of Moab on the outskirts of town. It is famous for its namesake, the thousands of arches that have been created naturally throughout the park. There are a mix of short and longer trails, and it is an easy park to get around. Here are just a few of the arches you can see there…
Click here for tips on planning a trip to Arches and a park map. And don’t miss our photos of the super moon over Arches that we took during our first visit.
#2 Canyonlands National Park
If one NP isn’t enough for you, then two are certainly welcome! While the northern entrance of Canyonlands is not far from Arches, the two parks are completely different. Canyonlands has vast, canyon areas that are similar to the Grand Canyon. This area of the park is known as Island in the Sky, and here is a glimpse of what you can expect to see…
#3 Dead Horse Point State Park
This is THE PLACE for sunsets. The access road for this state park is located off of the road you take to Canyonlands. This is a state park and will have separate fees, but the views are well worth a visit. In fact, they are so iconic that several films have used this area. Dead Horse Point SP is where Thelma & Louise drive off the cliff. It is also where Tom Cruise is climbing the red rock in the opening scene of Mission Impossible 2. But, it is the sunset here that will take your breath away…
#4 Colorado River
Moab is a great place to take advantage of an opportunity to be on the Colorado River. There are different types of tours, and they depend on the water level, but there is something for everyone. And, trust me, just the sight of the water is refreshing in 100 degree desert heat.
While the list of reasons to visit Moab could go on and on, I am going to wrap mine up with the opportunity for adventure. Whether it be mountain biking, four-wheeling, or a different way to experience the landscape, Moab has tons of adventures to help you experience more of this incredible area off the beaten track. We did a self-drive UTV tour, and it more than met our expectations for adventure and beautiful scenery. We signed up for a sunset tour thinking it would be somewhat peaceful and relaxing. Little did we realize that the trail was called Hell’s Revenge…and for good reason! It was so much fun getting out of our comfort zone and trying something completely new. We both have an adventurous side, and sometimes regular life makes us forget about it. But, it resurfaces when needed, and we can’t get enough adventure! By the next morning, we were ready to rent dirt bikes! Maybe next time, Moab!
Don’t Delay Your Moab Visit
Our first visit to Moab was three years ago, and it looks much different now. There are at least 4 brand new hotels in operation, and we saw two others under construction. That is a lot more people for a pretty small town with no other towns nearby.
We spoke with a local who mentioned that the area is struggling to keep up with the rising visitors. She mentioned that the state police had to close Arches over Memorial Day Weekend because the traffic getting in to the park was so backed up that it was backing up the highway – we weren’t there at that time, but that was her account.
And it is not just Arches, the other Utah NPs are seeing a rise in visitors too. In fact, Zion has shut down its main road to traffic during the summer months, and you are forced to use their bus system. And there is more talk of Zion making more changes in the future to keep up with the demand. From 2010 to 2017, Zion showed an increase in visitors up 70%! (Source)
The Mighty 5 commercial campaign that was run several years ago did the trick. Utah is on everybody’s map now. So, get there sooner rather than later.
Well, friend, I hope I have given you some reasons to visit Moab and some urgency in getting there! There is so much more than I can list in one quick blog post, but know that Moab is a great starting point for adventures. Whether they be strolling around overlooks of vast canyons with the La Sal Mountain range peeking at you from the distance, or heart-racing heights, climbing red rocks in a UTV. You pick, but it is all available. And you may just be surprised by how adventurous you become there, because while America is the land of opportunity, Moab is certainly the land of adventure.
RV Campground near Arches National Park
As I mentioned, this is our second visit to Moab, and we chose to stay in the same campground that we did previously. Archview RV Resort & Campground. This campground sits West of town, near both the Arches and Canyonlands entrances. We like that we can see Arches from the campground, and we have dark night skies away from town and the hotels. There is also a ATV trailhead at the RV park and plenty of hummingbirds.