Best things to do in and near Moab (Utah, USA)

5 Best Things to Do in Moab Utah (+ Tips & Itinerary)

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Are you planning a trip to Utah and wondering what are the best things to do in Moab? Or maybe you are looking for suggestions for Moab itinerary? This article is for you!

With a huge variety of things to do in Moab, no wonder that it’s such a popular vacation destination in Utah in the United States. If you have lots of time in Moab, you can go horse riding, mountain biking, rock climbing, walk dinosaur trails, and even visit a winery…

However, if your visit is rather short, you probably just want to see the very best Moab attractions and places near Moab that are worth your time the most.

So if you are wondering what are the must-see places and must-do things in Moab if you are visiting for the first time and only have limited time, this article should point you in the right direction.

This is in no way a complete list of things to do in Moab, but if you tick each of the items from the list, then you know you’ve seen the very best that Moab area has to offer. Find out!

TIP: You will need at least 2 full days to see all of these places. At the bottom of this post, I also included our suggested Moab itinerary for 2 to 3 days. It covers all the best things to do in Moab area. Read on!

READ ALSO: Best Tours in Moab

Must see places and best things to do in and near Moab in Utah

1. Explore Arches National Park

One of the main reasons people come to Moab is to visit one of the most beautiful National Parks of the United StatesArches NP. So if you only have one day in Moab, the best thing to do is to explore Arches National Park.

Note that one day is a bit short for the park. So if you want to do some hiking and explore more, consider spending more time.

However, if you are short on time and want to see the best that Arches National Park has to offer, here are the main highlights: the scenic road in Arches with short stops at the Balanced Rock, Double Arch, The Windows, and Park Avenue viewpoint. The best hike in the park is the Delicate Arch trail where you can also find some rock art.

TIP: If you want to get a bit off the beaten path in Arches NP without having to walk, take a look at this highly-rated 4×4 Arches NP driving tour.

LEARN MORE: Best Things to Do in Arches NP

Delicate Arch is a must in Arches National Park
Delicate Arch

2. Visit Canyonlands National Park

The nearby Canyonlands National Park is one of the lesser-known national parks, but it’s well worth a short trip from Moab. Canyonlands is without a doubt, one of the best places to see near Moab.

Please note that Canyonlands NP is huge and is divided into several different areas.

Island in the Sky area is the closest and easiest to visit from Moab (30 miles, 40 minutes drive). If you have half a day in Canyonlands NP, you can drive the scenic loop and stop at various viewpoints. The landscape here is truly stunning and looks a lot like the Grand Canyon but without too many people. Don’t miss a short hike to Mesa Arch. Phenomenal scenery!

READ ALSO: Canyonlands and Arches in One Day

If you have more time, you can easily spend the whole day in this section of Canyonlands National Park as well. There are so many stunning viewpoints and lots of short easy hikes. At the Island in the Sky Visitor Centre, you can find all the information about the best hikes to do in this area.

LEARN MORE: Best Things to Do in Canyonlands National Park

TIP: If you don’t feel like driving and want to experience the best of Island in the Sky area (most popular part of the Canyonlands NP), I recommend this half-day 4×4 tour of the Canyonlands from Moab.

Good to know: The Needle District of Canyonlands is a bit further away and is more difficult to visit on your own. If you want to see that part of Canyonlands National Park as a day trip from Moab, it’s best to go there with a guided 4×4 tour. If you are planning to explore on your own, check out our guide to the best places to stay near Canyonlands National Park.

Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park Utah
Mesa Arch

3. See the Sunset at Dead Horse Point State Park

There are few places as beautiful at sunset as the Dead Horse Point State Park. It’s just a short drive from Moab on the way to Canyonlands National Park and seeing the sunset at Dead Horse Point State Park is definitely one of the best things you can do near Moab.

There are several viewpoints here and since it’s not really possible to be at several places at the same time, you’ll have to choose. The most known sunset view is probably at the Dead Horse Point itself, but we found that the view at the very end of the road was even more impressive.

No matter which one you choose, this is such a beautiful place to end your day in Moab area. Don’t miss it!

Sunset at Dead Horse Point State Park Utah USA
Dead Horse Point State Park

4. Go Rafting on the Colorado River

Rafting on the Colorado River is a must-do activity if you visit Moab in summer. With a variety of choices, there is always a perfect rafting trip for everyone.

We opted for this family-friendly half-day rafting tour and had the best time! With temperatures way over 100°F in July, being on the water was a welcome relief from exploring the national parks on foot. You can even jump in the river for a short swim.

If you rather go for a bit more action, then take a look at this highly-rated rafting tour that does wilder parts of the river.

The scenery along the Colorado River near Moab is astonishing and a rafting trip is a great way to experience it. This is another experience you absolutely must do in Moab!

READ MORE: Rafting in Moab

TIP: If you are looking for something special to do in Moab, check out the Sound and Light Show with Dinner. It’s a slow-moving evening boat ride on a calm part of the Colorado River near Moab that runs the whole summer and through October.

Rafting on Colorado River is a must when visiting Moab in summer
Rafting on the Colorado River

5. Drive the Scenic Utah Byway State Route 128

Utah State Road 128 must be the best-kept secret of the Moab area. It’s an incredibly scenic road with unbelievable desert scenery. We found it more impressive than the famous Monument Valley.

Sections along the Colorado River and along the canyon are really beautiful too. Don’t miss this road if visiting Moab and Arches National Park.

We arrived from Colorado and left the Interstate 70 at Cisco. At first, it’s just a regular road with not much to see. But it gets better and better as you drive further in the direction of Moab, and by the time you’re halfway, you find yourself stopping for way too many pictures at every curve.

Despite it being so beautiful and its proximity to Moab, you’ll hardly see any cars and even fewer tourists on this scenic Utah byway 128. The whole length of the road from Cisco to Moab is approximately 46 miles and takes about 1 hour.

We found that this was one of the most scenic roads from all our trips all over the world, so we highly recommend it to everyone as one of the absolute best things to do in Moab.

Scenic Utah State Road 128 near Moab
Scenic Utah Byway 128

Suggested Itinerary for the Best of Moab in 2 – 3 Days

Now that you know what to do in Moab, you might be wondering how to best plan your time in the area. If you want to see all the best places in and near Moab in just two or three days, take a look at our suggested self-drive itinerary further below!

Here’s a simple Moab itinerary for 3 days that covers all the best things to do in Moab mentioned above. Further below, we have a couple of additional suggestions for what to do in Moab if you have more time. Take a look!

  • Day 1 (half day/arrival): Drive the scenic road 128 and do a sunset hike in Arches National Park. We recommend hiking to the Delicate Arch.
  • Day 2: Explore Arches National Park to the fullest. Drive the scenic loop and do at least one longer hike. We recommend the Landscape Arch Trail and if you are fit enough, hike further to the Double O Arch. If it’s too hot for sightseeing, spend the warmest hours of the day in the swimming pool.
  • Day 3: Go rafting in Moab or choose one of the many outdoor activities available in Moab – see below. In the afternoon visit the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands National Park. End the day watching the sunset at Dead Horse Point State Park.

TIP: If you are planning to visit several National Parks, get an annual America the Beautiful Pass. It is valid in all U.S. National Parks and federal recreation sites for one year from the month of purchase. If you visit more than two National Parks within the 12-month period, it’s cheaper than getting passes for each park individually.

Update: Because of all the questions we received, we have recently also published a more detailed article with sample itineraries for any trip for up to five days. Take a look below!

LEARN MORE: Moab Itinerary Suggestions for 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 Days


TIP: Moab is known for its many outdoor adventures and there is a big selection of fun activities in the Moab area to choose from.

If you have more time in the Moab area, in addition to hiking and exploring the National Parks, I really recommend that you do something a bit more adventurous. You can go rafting on the Colorado River, go mountain biking, join an off-road UTV tour (these are very popular!), or go canyoneering. No matter which one you choose, these fun activities will make your trip to Moab even more memorable!

4x4 ride is one of the fun things to do in Moab Utah
4×4 jeep rides are a fun way to explore the Moab area off the beaten path

Moab FAQs

Here are some popular questions that our readers ask:

Is Moab worth visiting?

Yes, Moab is absolutely worth a trip. While the town itself is just a place to base yourself, the Moab area is simply stunning and has a lot to offer. Seeing Arches and Canyonlands National Parks is the main reason to visit Moab, but there are also many other stunning places nearby and a big variety of activities that you can do in the area.

How many days to spend in Moab?

We recommend at least 2 full days/ 3 nights for the Moab area. One day for Arches National Park and half a day to a day for Canyonlands National Park, plus the Dead Horse Point State Park. In addition, you can also take a short rafting tour, as we did. 3 days/4 nights would make your visit more relaxing. But you can easily spend a week in Moab and you won’t get bored!

What is the best time to visit Moab?

Moab is a year-round destination, but spring and fall are the best times to visit Moab. March-May and October-November are the best months when the weather is pleasant for outdoor activities, but it’s not as busy as in the summer. Moab is one of the best American destinations for spring break!

Where to stay in Moab?

Moab has a big variety of accommodations for all budgets. Most hotels are located along the main street in Moab downtown, but there are also some very nice accommodations outside of town. Here you can find our hand-picked selection of the best Moab hotels and accommodations for any budget. Check it out!

READ ALSO: Moab, Arches, Canyonlands – travel guide

More travel inspiration for Utah, Arizona, and Colorado:

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Things to do in Moab and trip itinerary for 2 to 3 days
See the best of Moab with this 3 day itinerary that brings you to all the must see places in the area
Must see places and must do experiences near Moab in Utah USA


  1. Do you have this article as a printable? I would very much like it, there are so many pop up ads and distractions. Please let me know!

    1. Author

      Hello. Unfortunately, we don’t have a printable of this article. Advertising is what pays for our hard work running this blog so that we can continue to provide truly useful information to our readers free of charge. Most of our readers can appreciate that.
      Thanks for reading and enjoy your trip!

  2. Hello, I’m preparing an itinerary for a south Utah trip in late August. Your recommendations for Moab and surroundings are excellent! I’m setting 3 days for these area. We have a week to visit Moab (Arches, Canyon lands), Zion, Bryce Capitol Reef. Wondering if you have some more tips for all these other parks? do you have an article already on it? Are we going to need more time, etc? Thank you for your time and great website.

    1. Author

      Hi Alex, glad you found this useful. 3 days is indeed a good time for a short visit to Moab and Canyonlands and you can allocate the rest of the time for the other parks. In Canyonlands, half a day is enough for the highlights of the Island in the Sky section. Get a map at the visitor’s center and make sure to stop at all the lookouts next to the road. Don’t miss Mesa Arch (easy short hike). You can do one other short hike if you feel like and if it’s not too hot.
      Bryce – half a day/ one day is enough for the highlights and you can visit it on the way to Zion. I have no articles about Bryce, but have a guide with the best hikes in Zion and also where to stay near Zion NP. I think it’s nice if you can spend 2 days in Zion. It’s well worth it. I haven’t been to Capitol Reef, but one day should be fine from everything I heard. Pick one or two really nice shorter hikes there.
      Hope this helps. Enjoy your trip!

    2. Hi! What’s Moab’s biggest secret? It has the most active charitable organizations per capita than any other town in the U.S. So, I suggest visitors make time to visit WabiSabi nonprofit thrift store in order to get the authentic taste of what Moab is like at its heart. They sell items donated by natives, then donate all profits to local charities. In 2019, WabiSabi donated more than $88,000 to a dozen local charities and fed 700-800 locals at their Community Thanksgiving Celebration. You cannot claim to know Moab like a local without hunting treasure at Wabi!

      1. Author

        That looks like an interesting concept, Rebecca. Not immediately a place that many tourists would visit, but since it’s for a good charitable cause, I’ll leave your comment here for those who might be interested. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Considering Moab as a summer vacation spot for a family of 4. (2 teenage boys – age 17 and 19 -and parents ). Mid July 2020.
    Are most businesses and outdoor parks open? Specially the national parks and adventure tours..
    How about the weather? Is it tolerable mid July?
    What airport would we fly into? We are coming from Ohio.
    Thank you!!

    1. Author

      Hi Kim, at this moment, most places in Arches National Park are open (the roads, trails, etc). For more info and updates, please check the official website of the National Parks Service.
      The weather in Moab in July is hot, really hot. We visited mid-July and it was over 100°F every day. You can still do a lot, but have to try to do as much as possible in the morning, before 10-11 AM and then again in the late afternoon. During the hottest hours, you can go back to the swimming pool of your hotel (more info – Moab hotels). Rafting is another top experience in Moab in summer (more info – Moab rafting).
      As for the airport, Grand Junction Regional Airport (Colorado) is one of the closest (115 miles – 1h45). Otherwise, Salt Lake City, UT (230 miles – 4h). The closest local airport is Canyonlands Field Airport, but it doesn’t have many flights. If I’m not mistaken, you can fly there from Salt Lake City.
      You can check this website for the best car rental deals.
      Hope this helps.

  4. Thanks for your information. Could you clarify what you mean by at the end of the road for sunset viewing at Dead Horse State park?

    1. Author

      Hi Gail, there’s just one road -#313 – going through the Dead Horse Point Park. At the end of that road, there is a parking area and some nice views. Here you can see it on the map.
      On that same road, a bit before you reach the end, is another nice viewpoint. Also popular for sunset.
      Hope this helps. Enjoy your trip!

    2. Folks: please be aware that the health department has closed area campgrounds , hotels, bars, etc. This follows the Moab Hospital asking visitors to stay home for now. It’s time to cancel trips. It will still be there when we get past this.

      1. Author

        Thanks for a local update, Digs. It’s indeed not the time to travel anywhere at the moment. Let’s hope this is over soon and stay safe!

  5. The 3 of us (from Colorado) plan to go over spring break – my husband, 16yo daughter and me. My husband disc golfs, backpacks, bikes, 4×4, etc. My daugher would like to adventure as well. Unfortunately, although I LOVE adventure – my body doesn’t (back, hip, knee issues). Love all the advice – seems like there’s some doable hikes. Would you have advice for us – like maybe we drive to a certain point where they can bike or hike and I can still enjoy the view and read or something? Or are there museums I could enjoy while they 4×4… welcome any tips!

    1. Author

      Hi Terri, there are many beautiful viewpoints along the scenic road in Arches NP and most of them don’t require much hiking in order to enjoy some of the most amazing views. Please check our article about Arches NP with kids and you’ll find quite some suggestions for easy things to do.
      Also outside the park, there are quite some interesting places to see – dinosaur museums and similar. You can find the complete selection of sights and activities on the Discover Moab website.
      Hope this helps. Enjoy your time in Moab area!

  6. I am thinking of going to Moab in February. Do you reckon it’s a good time to visit?

    1. Author

      Hi Flora, I think that winter in Moab area can be magical. No crowds and beautiful landscapes covered with a tiny layer of snow (depends on the weather, of course)… I’m not sure how hiking paths will be in February, but from what I saw, people go hiking in the Arches NP in winter as well. So I’d say go for it!

  7. Canyonlands National Park is also on my radar, but I didn’t know where to start. This helped me decide where to go. Thank you, Jurga!

    1. Author

      Glad to help. We only spent half a day in Canyonlands though, but it was really nice and well worth it. Enjoy your trip!

    2. Are all the national parks and trails open in Moab now??Planning a trip Sept.15th,2020

  8. Zion National Park is really an incredible place.

    1. Author

      Hi Aaron, yes, it definitely is. Just as all the National Parks in Utah, actually. 🙂

  9. Jurga, many thanks for your post. Last minute as we were driving we had read this post and diverted onto 128 and we were blown away how beautiful it was on the drive. Amazing, just as you said. Thank you for that recommendation. Another Thanks for the Dead Horse at sunset. Another awesome recommendation. We appreciate your time in putting all this great information into one place. Moab was fantastic!

    1. Author

      I’m always so happy to hear feedback like this, Julie. It sounds like you had a great trip to Moab and it’s nice to know that our tips made it a bit more special.
      Happy travels!

  10. Thanks so much for the article. We are planning a relatively unhurried 3-day trip to southeastern Utah in the first week of November, and I am wondering if making Moab a base for two nights would work. Basically wondering if I should make the effort to add Capitol Reef or some other points further south on US 191 in the trip. Or is there enough in a ~1.5-2 hr distance to make it worth our while. We have to be back in SLC on the third night to catch a red-eye east. Thanks again for the tips!

    1. Author

      Hi Rick, if you have just 2 full days in Moab, I’d just stay there and explore the area. You can see our itinerary suggestions in this article.
      It’s more than 2hours (one way) just to drive to Capitol Reef and it also means that you would have to skip other nice places next to Moab (which would be a pity since you’re already in that area). I think you’ll enjoy your trip more if you don’t try to ‘see it all’ in such a short time.
      Enjoy your trip!

  11. Hi we are thinking of visiting at the beginning of April. What will the weather like. And is it a good time to visit the area.

    1. Author

      Hi Elizabeth, I think that it’s a very nice time to go as it will be much cooler and also much less busy. I think that majority of Utah’s National Park are much better visited in the Spring or in Autumn and not in summer as it gets so hot there.
      As for the exact temperatures, I have no idea. Why don’t you google what the average temperatures in the area are in April…

  12. Staying in Moab for a week in late October. Thanks for your “must do’ list. It’s very helpful! Wondering what your thoughts are on taking a day trip to Monument Valley, or should we stick closer to our home base? Also, if you were to bring one lens with you, what would it be? I’m considering purchasing a 14 mm f2.8 for this trip.

    1. Author

      Hi Lee, I think that Monument Valley is a bit far for a day trip. We considered going to Mesa Verde (about 2hrs drive) and even then decided it was too much of a drive. But, of course, it depends on how you feel about it. If you don’t mind spending 7 hours driving up and down there and it’s on your bucket list, then you could do it. But I think, I’d recommend staying at least one night there if you decide to go.
      As for the lens, I used Canon 24-70 f2,8 for this trip and it was ok. I now have 16-35mm f4 lens and love it for travel as well. There are definitely many advantages of having a wide-angle lens at times, but I also prefer to have at least some zoom and flexibility. I think the lens you are considering is also a good choice, but there might be moments you’ll want to have more flexibility, so if you have that kind of a budget, Canon EF 16–35mm f/2.8L might be a good alternative.
      Good luck with a choice, it’s not an easy one as no one lens will be perfect for all situations.
      Have a nice trip!

  13. Thank you so much Jurga.
    You have helped me enormously preparing our itinerary for Moab and Yellowstone. We are all ready to go now!! I can’t wait!!

    1. Author

      Glad to hear that, Monserrat. Enjoy your trip!

  14. Truly you shared all these alluring places that are the best in the area. I have a good experience of Arches National Park because I have been there many times in my whole life and every time I had huge fun there.

    1. Author

      It’s such an amazing area, indeed. Glad to hear your confirmation that this selection includes all the very best places near Moab. We always try to provide the most comprehensive destination guides to our readers.
      Happy travels!

  15. Hi I will be coming from the UK on my own and I am desperate to get back to the area. Will there be tours that will go to Monument Valley as well as other place. Thanks. PS I cant drive by the way. Julia.

    1. Author

      Hi Julia, there are all kinds of tours from Moab, but most of them focus on the places that are really close by. Here you can find some of the most popular tours from Moab.
      If you don’t have a car, then you might be better off taking some multi-day tours in the area, but that would depend on where you fly to I suppose. For example, there are many multi-day tours from Las Vegas, and some of them visit places like Moab and Monument Valley, but the choice of similar tours from smaller places is rather limited.
      Hope this helps.

  16. Hi!!! Jurga ! 😊 My name is Marcelo, I will go to travel to Moab in May 19, With my dog, She is very friendly and quite !!! like a service dog…. like emotional support…. but when I was reading restrictions to dog and definitions of service dog in Moab parks, I was unhappy…. I would like to ask to you advice to enjoy the Archers park, Canyonlands parks, and Moab with my dog…. She is my baby and I would like to spend the time in Moab with her… Not leave her alone in the hotel…. Thanks So Much!!! Marcelo.

    1. Author

      Hi Marcelo, I really can’t help you with this as I have no experience with traveling with dogs. I’m sure there are many nice areas (at least outside the parks, not sure about the rules in the National Parks) that can be explored with a dog.
      I encourage you to check the official websites of Arches NP and other places you are planning to visit for more information.
      Have a wonderful trip!

  17. Hi Jurga,

    Great post!
    By the way, just wanna ask is it okay to go in Arches National Park with a 1 year old baby? My husband and I plan to go this year either last week of May or 1st week of June. Then maybe we just stay in Moab 1 day, actually we came from Arizona visits our family.

    1. Author

      Hi Grace, I wouldn’t know why not. Just dress for the weather conditions and foresee some shade for the baby. I would think May-June will be warm, but not as hot as it was in July. I think it’s a beautiful time to visit. Just make sure you have plenty of water with you and also some snacks/ baby food.
      You can’t do a lot with a stroller (just drive the scenic loop and stop at the main lookout points), but if you are prepared to carry the baby (use a baby carrier like this or something like this), you can also do some hiking. If you do just one hike, I suggest the Delicate Arch. Also Landscape Arch is a relatively easy hike if you have more time.
      PS I strongly suggest you stay at least two nights in Moab – one full day is really the minimum in Arches. Here you can find some suggestions on the best places to stay near Arches NP. Also the nearby Canyonlands NP is well worth a visit.
      Enjoy your trip!

  18. This is such a helpful resource – I was just looking for some new things to do when I’m out in Moab, we visit at least once a year and just came across it.

    I’d love to add that anyone who is an adventure seeker should totally check out canyoneering. Next time you’re out in Moab, you should try this for something unique.

    1. Author

      Hi Elizabeth, thanks for sharing your experience, but we don’t allow any advertising on our website. We get so many comments with company mentions and it’s impossible for us to know how genuine it is… So I edited your comment and linked to all the canyoneering tours that I found in Moab. That way our readers can decide for themselves if it’s something they like to try.
      Thanks for your understanding.

  19. HI, loved your recommendations, wonder if you could give me some advice, I have a trip to Utah planned in Sept 2019, my plan includes all 5 parks, with at least 3 nights w/ 2 full days in each, with the exception on Capital reef national park, For the Moab area (seems to be a lot to do) we will arrive Thur afternoon have all day fri, sat, sun and leave very early on Monday to head to SLC for a flight. Im trying to decide if I should do a one of the 4×4 excersions. (Canyonlands National Park Needles District by 4×4) or Canyonlands National Park White Rim Trail by 4WD, I know I really want to plan a night to do the boat ride during sunset. I just was thinking after hitting zion, brcye, capital reef, we might want to take a day not walking or hiking so much. Any places that are total must see and do

    1. Author

      Do you mean these two tours, Teresa? Canyonlands NP Needles District 4×4 tour vs. Canyonlands White Rim Trail by 4WD? We haven’t done any of these two, but saw the White Rim Trail from above. My first impression is that the Needles District is a bit more special in terms of landscape. I’m sure they are both excellent tours and the reviews are great for both.
      And yes, it might be nice to do something different than hiking for a change.
      For Arches NP, you can find some suggestions here. Make sure you don’t miss the Delicate Arch trail! And if you are looking for accommodation ideas, please check this post for the best Moab hotels.
      Enjoy your trip!

  20. HI Jurga,

    Planning a long trip out West and (since I’m “sort of” in the area) I must stop at Arches NP. I am trying to squeeze in a lot and I wanted your advice on this area. Do you think 2 days is enough to explore Arches? I have been to the Western side (Bryce/Zion) but really want to explore Arches. The plan would be to continue on to Wyoming after Arches so I don’t really want to venture too far. Thank you in advance for your advice.

    1. Author

      Hi Jannette, yes, you can definitely see the highlights of Arches NP in two days (and also at least some of these other places nearby). It sounds like you are doing (partially) similar trip to what we did, so you may find some inspiration in our American road trip itinerary that includes Arches and Yellowstone.
      Please also check this post about visiting Arches NP – we did it with kids, but it covers all the main places, so should help you just as much.
      Enjoy your trip!

  21. Hi Jurga. I found your post above l very, very interesting and helpful. Thank you!
    I am flying into Utah with my wife and two teenage kids in July and we plan to spend eight days (including flights in and out). We enjoy driving, sight-seeing, biking and leisure hiking (if there is such a thing). We’ve also done some water rafting. We’re interested to see nature but also the friendly little old towns of Utah. Given all this, may i ask your advise on how we may maximize our time and see the very best of this state which were visit g for the for the time?
    Looking forward to your tips! Thanks a lot!

    1. Author

      Hi Dennis, sounds like you are planning an amazing trip with your family! Utah is amazing, just keep in mind that it will be VERY hot in July.
      As for the itinerary, sorry, but I really have no time to give tips for individual itineraries. You can find some suggestions for Moab area in this article. Please also check our guide to Arches National Park with kids. Please also read the comments of other readers and our answers – maybe that will give you more ideas of how to spend your time in Utah. I think that you can easily spend 3-4 days in Moab area (Arches and Canyonlands NP – check this guide for the best places to stay in Moab) and then maybe also 2 days for Zion and 1 day in Bryce Canyon. In addition, you could maybe try to add the Monument Valley to your itinerary.
      Hope this helps a bit. Have a great trip!

    2. HI Dennis,

      I hope you don’t mind if I “chime in”…………I’ve been to Bryce Canyon and really wanted to see Arches but ran out of time. I am travelling back this year to see Arches. I will tell you, it’s quite a long drive (at least 5-6 hours) from Arches to Bryce Canyon BUT if you have the time, I promise it’s worth it!! It is nothing short of extraordinary!! Bryce Canyon is super easy to get around in, well paved roads to the different look-out points, and the canyons can be hiked all you want. If you still have time after Bryce, keep driving to Zion. It is beautiful as well. I personally liked Bryce more because you can drive all through that area. Sadly, Zion you cannot. You have to park in town and walk to an area where you catch a shuttle. You have to depend on that shuttle all through the park. It’s very HOT and crowded there in July and being stuffed in a shuttle was not fun. Angels landing is super cool BUT very dangerous to hike. Hope this helps!! Enjoy your trip and safe travels.

  22. Two couples planning Utah trip early May. Suggestions on what part of Utah to stay to be in area convenient to see most parks and scenery. One week stay.

    1. Author

      Hi Kathy, not sure what you are planning to see during this trip. Utah is huge, so it’s a bit difficult to advise.
      If you are planning to visit some of Utah’s most known National Parks (Bryce, Zion, Arches, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef) I think that you better stay in 2-3 different accommodations, otherwise you’ll end up driving too much. One week is also a bit limited time if you are going to all the 5 parks, on the other hand if you don’t plan to hike a lot, you can definitely see all the Utah’s Big 5 in a week. Your trip could look something like this for example:

    2. 3 nights in Arches NP (with a day trip to Canyonlands NP). It’s best to stay in Moab (here you can find Moab accommodation guide). Here you can find more ideas on the best things to do in Arches NP
    3. On the day when you drive between the two places, you could make just a short stop in Bryce NP and see the main viewpoints there OR you could spend 1 night close to Capitol Reef instead. In that case Torrey may be a good area to stay.
    4. 3 nights in Zion. It’s best to stay in Springdale. One of the nicest hikes in Zion is Angel’s Landing, but if you are not planning to do that, you may want to spend less time in Zion and maybe add a night close to Bryce.
    5. Hope this helps a bit. I’d first try to decide what exactly you want to see, then check Google Maps for driving distances and times between the parks, and book accommodations accordingly.
      If you don’t like to drive a lot and just want a nice vacation, then Moab is definitely a place where you could spend a week as well. There is a lot to see and do in the area.

    6. Can you recommend some full hookup campgrounds in Moab 30 foot 5th wheel . My husband will be mountain biking so near trail heads? Thanks in advance

  23. We are flying to Denver for a week renting a car and we would like to spend time in Moab and end up in aspen for a few days any. Thoughts we would love to hear from you.

    1. Author

      Hi Julie, our recent American road trip started in Denver, Rocky Mountain NP, Aspen, and then Moab. Check it out – it might give you some ideas on how to plan your trip.

  24. My husband and I are going on a river rafting trip in Moab, UT, and we’re looking for other activities to do while we’re there. Your article had some great tips about the best things to do in Moab, and I really liked you point to see the sunset at Dead Horse Point State Park, and that its hard to find a bad view of the sunset in this place. Thanks for the helpful post, we’ll be sure to consider these activities.

    1. Author

      Good to hear that you found this post useful, Jocelyn. Enjoy your trip to Moab!

  25. We have done Arches. What can you recommend in the area for someone who is fearful of heights?

    1. Author

      Hi Gloria, I guess you could still find some suitable hikes in the area, but I am not sure about which ones would be suitable in this case. There are, however, many other activities, scenic drives, rafting trips, biking, horse back riding, etc. There is a Dinosaur Park and also some museums. I think you can find plenty to do for all interests and age groups.

    2. The calm water kayak trip is very good.

      1. Author

        Thanks for your recommendation, Fred.

  26. This post is great! I’m going to Utah this summer and will definitely be booking a rafting trip now! Thanks for the advice x

    1. Author

      Good to hear you found this useful, Katie. Rafting is a must in Moab in summer, and make sure to jump into the water for a short swim. It’s so much fun for the whole family!

  27. Thanks for the quick and easy tips for visiting Moab. My husband and I will be staying in Moab for 2-3 nights in July and these activities and destinations are just what we’re looking for! I especially like the tip to drive Route 128. In the research I’ve done thus far, I haven’t come across it, but it looks like a must do.

    Happy traveling! 🙂

    1. Author

      Thanks for your feedback, Candelle, and glad you found this useful. It’s so strange indeed that this beautiful road isn’t mentioned in many travel guides. It starts a bit plain at Cisco, but the further you go, the more impressive it gets. We loved it! Enjoy your trip!

  28. Jurga – I love your blog. We are excited to head to Moab this Friday and hike with our daughters. We will be there week and look forward to exploring. Did you bike while in Moab? My husband is exploring renting Fat Bikes while we are visiting.

    1. Author

      Hi Christine, no, we didn’t bike. We just had a few days and it was too hot to even think of something like that:)
      If you are unsure about your kids being able to do it, why not just call the tour company and ask their experience and if they have the right size bikes for kids.

  29. We will be staying there 5 days in July and plan to do a river day trip…. and some hikes in the arches and Canyonlands. Any additional must-dos for the time we have? Or specific hikes?

    1. Author

      Hi Terri, there are many more things you can do in Moab area. When Discover Moab shared this post on Facebook, people immediately started replying with their favourite things to do in the area. Here are some ideas: Hells Revenge, Negro Bills Canyon, Mickeys Bath tub, Corona Arch (this hike seems to be really nice), Castle Valley, Slick rock bike trail, La Sal Mountains, horseback riding, mountain biking, etc.
      So you should find plenty of inspiration in the above list. Just remember that July is really hot. Plan to do hiking early in the morning or late in the afternoon and spend the warmest hours in the pool. Have a nice trip!

  30. Great post!
    I read somewhere that you should hire a guide for Arches…we don’t really like to do that.
    The jet boat light show cruise sounds a little to touristy. (A half day rafting trip sounds perfect).
    Hummer, 4 x 4 trip.

    What are your thoughts on all of those. We have a little more time..we’ll be there 4 nights.

    1. Author

      Hi Christine, you don’t need a guide for Arches NP. All the main highlights can easily be visited individually (here you can find our suggestions for best things to see and do in Arches NP), especially since you have more than enough time. I’d only consider a 4WD tour if you want to visit some places that are a bit off the main road, which might be nice.
      We didn’t do the jet boat with light show. I also think it’s a bit touristy, but everyone has different expectations I suppose. And maybe rafting is not for everyone so it’s an alternative way to explore the area. We really enjoyed rafting and a half day trip we took was very easy-going, so perfect for families and those who just want a relaxing trip with a beautiful scenery. It’s something I definitely recommend doing.
      I’m not sure what you mean by Hummer, 4×4 trip?

      1. Thanks Jurga,

        I think I will try to find a scenic boat ride or rafting trip…we care more about sights than thrills! ha ha.

        The hummer & 4 x 4 (I think that’s just a 4 wheel drive trip) I think we will skip as well. I think we can see the major sights via hiking and we love to hike!


        1. Author

          Arches and Canyonlands are amazing for hiking. So many beautiful hikes! Enjoy it.

  31. Any suggestions on nearby accommodations?

    1. Author

      Hi Susan, I guess you missed my link to this post for accommodation suggestions: Best Moab Hotels (Moab is the best place to stay for Arches NP).

  32. I appreciate you sharing these tips. I also enjoyed visiting these places in Moab

  33. This is a great wrap up of an incredible place. Moab was one our favourite places to visit on our USA road trip. I just wish we had stayed there for longer than two nights as there is so much to do.

    1. Author

      Same here, Nicci. We stayed three nights and could have easily filled a week here. Beautiful area.

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