Things to Do in Moab Fun Outdoor Adventures

Moab is an outdoor paradise packed full of outdoor things to do. Plan an incredibly fun trip to Moab, Utah, full of epic outdoor activities and adventure sports!

We used to live close to Moab. We want to share all the best things to do in Moab with you!

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Hiking in the Needles District of Canyonlands

People worldwide come to see Moab’s natural wonders making it the perfect retreat for a vacation or holiday. Beyond epic outdoor adventures of all kinds are available, including sightseeing bucket list U.S. National Parks, hiking red rock trails, desert camping, stargazing, mountain biking on slick rock, whitewater rafting, skydiving, and exploring off-road 4×4 adventures. The list goes on!

Are you pumped? You’re in for a treat!


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Plan a Trip to Moab, Utah

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Hiking in the Canyonlands Needles District south of Moab

Moab, Utah, is a special destination in the U.S and is one of those places that should be on everyone’s life bucket list. Sitting in a valley surrounded by the La Sal Mountains, red rock, and canyon country, this intermountain high desert town is packed full of outdoor adventures. Since public lands and U.S. National Parks surround Moab, it offers outdoor recreation galore.

Below we’ll point out what not to miss during your summer road trip, vacation, or holiday to Moab, Utah.

Things to Do in Moab Epic Outdoor Adventures

Arches National Park

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Arches National Park Landscape Arch

If you’re watching Instagram accounts, you’ll likely see pictures of the iconic Delicate Arch.

Delicate Arch is located in Arches National Park. Visiting Arches National Park makes for a great day trip. Plan to spend the afternoon driving the main paved road. Be sure to stop at all the pull-offs and the parking areas to hike and see all of the arches.

If you’d like to hike Delicate Arch, it takes about 2.5 hours and is 3 miles round-trip.

Read more about hikes in Arches National Park to plan your day trip.

Don’t forget to purchase an annual National Park Pass. It will save you money.

Canyonlands National Park

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Canyonlands National Park overlook

As grand as the Grand Canyon, Canyonlands National Park is a must-see natural wonder of the world. Spend an afternoon driving the main paved park road through the Island in the Sky District.

However, if you really want to see what this National Park offers, spend time camping and hiking in the Needles District or Maze District.

Hiking Near Moab

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Hiking in Canyonlands

Uniquely, Moab is surrounded by public lands and National Parks, making it a paradise for hiking. As stated above, some of the best places and hidden gems for hiking are found in Canyonlands.

Explore the Maze District and Needles District of Canyonlands to surround yourself with red rock, slick rock, canyons, and ancient wall art.

One of our favorite day hikes is hiking to Druid Arch in the Needles.

The maps below will show you all the trailheads and places to camp in the Maze District and Needles District.

Dead Horse Point State Park

Dead Horse Point State Park is an excellent place to camp and explore. Pair Dead Horse Point State Park with a Canyonlands day trip (Island in the Sky route). Since you access Dead Horse Point State Park and the main Canyonlands National Park off UT-313, pairing these two parks makes for a great day trip adventure.

Be sure to snap photos of the Colorado River at the famous Dead Horse Point!

Mountain Biking Outside of Moab

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Slick rock in Utah

Are you interested in mountain biking on slick rock?

Rent mountain bikes and set up a guided tour. Or bring your own bike for some of the best mountain biking in the world. There are trails for every level of rider.

One of my personal favorite trails to mountain bike is the Klondike Bluff’s Trail. There is slick rock, but most important, dinosaur footprints!

Klondike Bluffs Trail is an intermediate mountain biking trail.

Camping in the Moab Area

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Double rainbow along UT-128

One of the best parts about camping in the high desert is that it cools off at night. There is plentiful camping in the area. Choose your perfect location at Arches National Park, Canyonlands, Dead Horse Point State Park, or the BLM managed public lands in the surrounding area.

One of our favorite areas to camp is along the Colorado River off UT-128. You’ll find camping and picnic areas along the Colorado River.

Check out our other post to learn more about primitive camping on BLM land in Utah.

Stargazing

In addition, Moab and the surrounding area have incredible stargazing.

Since Moab is a smaller town, there are no other extensive areas or populations causing light pollution, making this area prime for watching the stars at night. Don’t miss out. How many shooting stars can you count?

Stand-up Paddle Boarding (SUP) the Colorado River near Moab

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SUP Colorado River near Moab

Another one of our personal favorite things to do along the Colorado River is stand-up paddle board (SUP).

Float the section along UT-128 and take out at the boat launch ramp just after the river ranch.

Be sure always to wear a personal floatation device. It is required. This section has rapids.

Bring your own SUP and gear or rent gear. There are a few guiding outfits to choose from with a Google search.

We have two Badfish SUPs along with Werner SUP paddles!

Badfish SUP

Werner SUP Paddle

NRS SUP Leash (Quick release important for the River)

Whitewater Rafting

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Floating the Colorado River near Moab – water spot gives the photo character!

Moab has many rafting guiding outfits to take you whitewater rafting down Cataract Canyon. Definitely put whitewater rafting high on your life bucket list!

There is nothing better than rafting through Utah canyon country.

Seriously. You have to do this...

Off-Highway Vehicles (OHV) and Jeepin’

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OHV on BLM land in SE Utah

Moab is famous for off-highway vehicle (OHV) adventures and Jeepin’ due to the surrounding area’s public lands. Moab hosts world-class 4×4 conventions. You can rent Jeeps and 4×4 rigs or use your own! Just be sure to OHV responsibly.

Skydiving

Are you feeling super adventurous?

Moab has a small airport and has a reasonably large skydiving scene.

If you’re up for it, check out this extreme sport idea. We have never actually been, but lots of people put skydiving on their adventure bucket lists!

Are you going?!

Rock Climbing

To say nothing of Moab’s rock climbing scene would be a sin! Moab has a huge rock climbing scene and is known for its world-class routes.

Take a drive down Potash road to see the canyon walls full of rock climbers enjoying the day soaking up the desert sun. There are also guiding outfits if you’d like to go rock climbing. Definitely, a fun outdoor thing to do in Moab!

Base Jumping

Alright… And for the super hardcore adventure sport athletes, there is base jumping!

Base Jump Moab is a guiding outfit offering this activity of hardcore adventure sport things to do in Moab! Coupled with a jump, they offer a video as well as a hoodie.

OK, please write and tell us if you go base jumping! We want to know!

La Sal Loop Scenic Drive

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Utah scenic drive

Take a drive through the Manti-La Sal National Forest outside of Moab. The scenic drive begins eight miles south of Moab off of US-191. The 60-mile scenic drive will cruise you through the La Sal Mountains and then down the mountains to the majestic Castle Valley towers. The route connects to SR 128, which will take you along the Colorado River. There are places to hike and camp along the Colorado River, so be sure to enjoy!

Top Things to Do in Moab

We are so glad you found our article. We hope it helps you plan a memorable trip to Moab full of awesome outdoor adventures.

Don’t miss this list of the best things to do in Moab:

  • Arches National Park
  • Canyonlands National Park
  • Hiking Near Moab
  • Dead Horse Point State Park
  • Mountain Biking Outside of Moab
  • Camping in the Moab Area
  • Stargazing
  • Stand-up Paddle Boarding (SUP) the Colorado River near Moab
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Off-Highway Vehicles (OHV) and Jeepin’
  • Skydiving
  • Rock Climbing
  • Base Jumping
  • La Sal Loop Scenic Drive

Environmental Stewardship Recreating Outdoors

Be sure to read more about environmental stewardship in the backcountry, including protecting precious biological soil crust while adventuring in the desert.

Thanks for reading.

Ashlee & Pablo

Shop Our Favorite Outdoor Gear!

Osprey Day Hike Bag – Buy on Amazon

Hydroflask (keeps liquids cold) – Buy on Amazon

Oboz Hiking Mid-Boots (Women’s version below) – Buy on Amazon


Check Out More Outdoor Adventure Posts in Utah

Are you traveling to Utah for vacation and some outdoor fun?

You might also enjoy our other articles about Utah

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Zion National Park

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canyonlands national park view of canyons and couple on the river floating with smiles and laughter

We would love to hear from you!

Have you been to Moab?

Or, when are you going to Moab?

Have you done any of the adventure sport activities?

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About The Author

Ashlee Fechino

I’m a travel and outdoor recreation writer with dreams to inspire happiness through an outdoorsy lifestyle. I want to help people live their best life by sharing free adventure guides. The USA has been my backyard most of my life, and it’s the place where you’ll find most of our escapades! I’m married to an expat Argentine, chihuahua Mom, and am passionate about the environment. I hold a BS degree in Biology and MS in Environmental Policy & Sustainability. We camp in our Aliner often, love road trips, hiking, and SUP’ing!

15 COMMENTS

  1. William Randall | 4th Jan 21

    This sounds like fun, guys !!

  2. Olivia | 9th Jan 21

    Who knew there was so much to do in Moab! This place looks amazing. It would be so fun to stand up paddleboard on the Colorado River!

    • Ashlee Fechino | 9th Jan 21

      Hi Olivia – Moab is so wonderful. You will have to visit sometime.

  3. Megan | 9th Jan 21

    We Love Moab! We were supposed to go back in October, but changed our plans at the last minute. I’m excited to try all these new things we haven’t done there before, like SUP!

    • Ashlee Fechino | 9th Jan 21

      Hey Megan – Hope you can make it in the future. SUP’ing the Colorado River is awesome.

  4. Catherine | 9th Jan 21

    I can’t wait til I can go to Moab. I knew about the national parks, hiking and camping but had never considered SUPing the river nearby! Thanks for the tip!

    • Ashlee Fechino | 9th Jan 21

      Hi Catherine – right on, you will have a great time on the Colorado river!

  5. Hannah | 9th Jan 21

    There are so many amazing things to do in Moab! I’ve always wanted to try white water rafting, it sounds like so much fun! Thanks for the great guide!

    • Ashlee Fechino | 9th Jan 21

      Hi Hannah – thanks for reading. You would have a major blast white water rafting. Save it for a summer visit when it is warm.

  6. Josy A | 9th Jan 21

    Ooooh very cool! Hiking in Moab looks like a blast (I would looove to see the trails in Canyonlands and Arches National Parks…) But you found even more fun things to do. Paddle boarding, whitewater rafting and stargazing all sound like perfect activities when your legs need to recover from walks!

  7. Taylor | 9th Jan 21

    Moab looks so amazing! I totally want to go back to Utah and visit this area. Arches is so high on my National Park bucket list and so is Canyonlands. 🙂 Great article!

    • Ashlee Fechino | 10th Jan 21

      Hey Taylor – you will love Moab! Hope you can visit soon.

  8. molly | 10th Jan 21

    Outdoor fun is and night skies are endless in Moab!

    • Ashlee Fechino | 10th Jan 21

      Indeed Molly! Such a special place in the world. Thanks for reading.

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