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The 10 Best Adventures in Moab, Utah

Moab, a city in eastern Utah, is known as the gateway to two national parks, Arches and Canyonlands.

On top of exploring these parks, there are so many adventures to do in Moab, including canyoneering, paragliding and whitewater rafting.

Use this ultimate Moab travel guide to plan out your next trip to this remarkable place.

Moab Travel Guide

How expensive is visiting Moab? 

A popular Utah destination, Moab can be an expensive place to visit.

According to Budget Your Trip, you should plan to spend $388 per day on your trip to Moab on lodging, food, local transportation and sightseeing.

There are definitely ways to cut down on the price, though. Check out Airbnb for affordable local accommodations, including rooms as low as $87 per night. 

What Gear do you need for Moab? 

Bring insulated clothing and gear during colder months, including a windbreaker, gloves and a reflective emergency blanket.

During summer months, have a lightweight, long-sleeve shirt and hat to keep you cool, as well as sunglasses and sunscreen.

Pack plenty of water along with powdered or liquid electrolytes to stay hydrated. 

When is the best time to visit Moab? 

March, early May, September and October are all ideal months for a visit to Moab — you’ll enjoy pleasant spring or autumn weather and bypass the summer crowds.  

How to Get to Moab 

You can fly into Moab Canyonlands Regional Airport and easily take a Moab Express shuttle into the town from there. If you’re driving west towards Moab from Grand Junction, CO, take Highway 128 for a scenic drive along the Colorado River.

The 10 Best Things to Do in Moab

1: Visit Arches National Park

Red rock arches are the defining features of Arches National Park, a sprawling 76,519-acre park just five miles north of Moab. In 2023, over 1.4 million visitors flocked to Arches, the jewel of eastern Utah, to see the natural sandstone formations which gave this park its name. 

One of the best known formations in Arches is Balanced Rock, where a small red boulder rests precariously atop a larger red stone.

Take the 0.3-mile Balanced Rock Trail for a great view of this natural wonder, but do not climb on the rock when you get to it! Another great hike is the 1.2-mile Broken Arch Trail, where you’ll walk through a meadow and sand dunes before reaching the delicate arch formation.

2: Visit Canyonlands National Park

32 miles away from Moab lies Canyonlands National Park, a massive 337,598-acre wilderness where canyons, mesas, buttes and arches dot the landscape.

This park in Utah’s high desert contains four separate districts — Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Rivers and The Maze — which are divided by two rivers, the Green and the Colorado.

Because no roads directly connect the districts, traveling between them takes 2-6 hours of driving, so plan to visit one or two districts during your trip. 

Island in the Sky is the easiest district to access. While there, enjoy climbing sandstone rock towers and driving along the Shafer Trail, an unpaved backcountry road which winds 1,500 feet down a cliff. To navigate this off-road trail, use a high-clearance four wheel drive vehicle with low range gear. 

3: Take an Off-Road Tour

Continue your off-road adventures with the Hell’s Revenge Moab Tour, where you’ll drive a 4x4 UTV along steep inclines across sandstone domes.

Your tour guide will lead you along slickrock ledges and keep you safe as you navigate the vehicle.

During this adventure through Moab’s canyons, which lasts 2.5-3 hours, you’ll see the distant La Sal Mountains and hear your voice bounce off the rock walls at Echo Canyon.

This off-road tour costs $139 per adult and $79 for children aged 3-17. 

4: Ride Horses

Explore Moab’s vast desert on a backcountry horseback riding tour with Moab Horses. The standard half-day ride is a two hour trip through the desert, but it may last up to two and a half hours because of pre-ride tasks like checking in and having a safety orientation.

Keep in mind that the horses will only walk; they are not permitted to trot or canter for riders’ safety. 

Anyone seven years and older may ride as long as they can sit comfortably in the saddle by themselves.

This horseback ride costs $169 per person plus tax; if you’d prefer a two-hour private ride, the rate increases to $329 per person plus tax. 

5: Ride a Rope Swing 

If you’ve ever wanted to jump off a 400-ft cliff and soar into a canyon, now is your chance! At Rope Swing Moab, expert guides will get you safely harnessed to the rigging so you enjoy a secure, unforgettable ride on a giant rope swing.

Wear tightly laced, close-toed shoes on jump day for the best experience. Take a flying leap off the side of the cliff or try some aerial somersaults for an adrenaline-filled adventure. 

This three-hour rope swing experience costs $399, and anyone eight years and older is welcome to jump. Rope Swing Moab is closed in April, May and part of June for wildlife safety.

Check the booking calendar on the company’s website for current openings and more information. 

6: Go Canyoneering

After swinging over Moab’s rocks, descend into its narrow slot canyons on a canyoneering expedition with Moab Adventure Center. You’ll make your way down a canyon by rappelling, or taking roped descents over cliffs. 

There are two guided tours available. The 5-hour Morning Glory Arch and Medieval Chamber route is a great canyoneering introduction with a 100-ft rappel into a chasm and a 110-ft rappel off a rock arch.

You can also try the 5-hour Bow and Arrow Canyon adventure, which includes four rappelling descents and a hike with up-close views of petroglyphs. 

The canyoneering season lasts from April to November.

This experience costs $134 for visitors over 13 and $110 for guests between 10 and 12. Along with guided instruction, you’ll receive gear, safety equipment, snacks and water.

7: Fly in a Hot Air Balloon 

Soar over Canyonlands with Canyonlands Ballooning, a hot air balloon company that offers daily scenic sunrise tours. During your hour-long flight, the pilot will use the calm winds to guide you over buttes, cliffs and even Arches National Park.

The ride will take you high above rural areas near Moab and Castle Valley, Utah for an incredible view of the La Sal mountain range, red rock canyons and bighorn sheep.

Schedule a reservation as early as possible, particularly if you are coming with a family or large group. This hot air balloon ride costs $325 per guest and includes a post-flight toast ceremony and return transportation to the launch site after landing.  

8: Go Paragliding

Continue your epic aerial exploration of Moab with Paraglide Moab, where you’ll glide above canyons with an experienced tandem paragliding instructor.

Instead of running off a cliff, just take a few short jogging steps and a hydraulic winch mechanism will launch you from the flat ground. 

You can bring your camera to snap some scenic shots during your 15-20 minute flight — just make sure it’s securely strapped to you and will not get tangled with any paragliding gear. 

You’ll meet your paragliding instructor at 6 a.m. at the Spanish Trail Shell station off Highway 191.

Wear pants, a long sleeve shirt, sunscreen and close-toed shoes to stay safe and comfortable during your flight. The tandem flight costs $250, and you can purchase pictures and video for an extra $70. 

9: Do a Tandem BASE Jump

Fly high over Utah with one of Tandem BASE Moab’s professional BASE jumping instructors. After a short hike, your instructor will explain how the jump works, put the harness on you and give a quick practice walk to the edge. After you jump from the specified exit point, take in Utah’s spectacular landscape from the air before you touch down safely at the landing area.

You have four jump choices. Tombstone includes a one hour hike and costs $550 while Mineral Bottom has an easy walk out to the canyon rim and costs $750.

The $900 option, Four Horsemen, lasts 3.5 hours and includes an offroad ATV tour and hike.

For an intense climbing and jumping experience, try Patriot Mesa, a $1500 package featuring a 30-minute drive, half day hike and the longest of Tandem BASE Moab’s parachute descents. 

10: Go Whitewater Rafting

Now that you’ve explored Moab by land and air, head to the Colorado River for a guided whitewater rafting trip with the Moab Adventure Center. On the Colorado River full-day rafting adventure, you’ll ride down mild rapids and float in the river with your life jacket in gentle water in between rapids.

Enjoy a hot barbeque lunch at Red Cliffs Lodge, a riverside ranch, before finishing your rafting excursion. 

There are two boat choices available — paddle rafts, where everyone participates, and two-person inflatable kayaks.

This whitewater rafting trip is available from April to October and costs $134 for guests 13 and older and $110 for children 5-12. If you want more time on the water, consider one of the Moab Adventure Center’s other rafting expeditions.

The Bottom Line: Moab Travel Guide 

We’ve only scratched the surface of what the Moab Adventure Center offers — you can also take a Hummer tour, jet boat ride or airplane flight over Utah’s backcountry with this company. Have fun deciding which unique Moab adventure is right for you!

However you choose to explore Moab, make the most of your amazing desert trip. 


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