By Ashley M. Biggers
To say Moab is outdoorsy is an understatement. This Southwestern gem delivers postcard-perfect views at every turn, and its ample public lands cater to hikers, cyclists and rock climbers. However, there’s more to this small Utah town than its red-rock landscape.
Moab borders two of the country’s top national parks. With over 2,000 in the area, Arches National Park is home to the world’s largest concentration of sandstone arches. Hike at sunrise or sunset to capture the best photos of popular spots like Three Gossips and Delicate Arch. The park protects other formations, too, from cinnamon-colored fins jutting from the desert floor to pinnacles reaching for azure skies. Head to the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park to take in lofty views of some 203 square miles of canyon country.
Also nearby, Dead Horse Point State Park overlooks the Colorado River, where paddleboarders, kayakers and rafters float the cool waters. Moab’s buttes and spires are a boon to rock climbers who flock to renowned climbing areas at Arches, Indian Creek and Spring Canyon. The world-class Porcupine Rim and Slickrock Bike Trail draw mountain bikers to the Sand Flats Recreation Area. Guided Jeep tours lead visitors into the backcountry to explore off the main trails, as do off-road motorcycles and ATVs, which are available for rent.
Even highway cruises here offer irresistible sights. Petroglyphs (rock etchings) off Potash-Lower Colorado River Scenic Byway attest to the longtime presence of indigenous peoples here.
Fossils record an even longer history in southeastern Utah. Moab is located along the Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway, a National Scenic Byway that connects significant locations for fossils and trackways. The Moab Museum chronicles this prehistoric time. A renovated 1925 church houses the Moab Arts & Recreation Center and serves as a centerpiece of cultural offerings in Moab.
For a taste of luxury, opt for a stay at Hoodoo Moab. A new identity as part of the Curio Collection by Hilton and contemporary design makes this AAA Four Diamond-rated hotel a standout. Families will enjoy the modern guest rooms at the AAA Three Diamond-rated Best Western Plus Greenwell Inn. Fellow AAA Three Diamond-rated hotels Best Western Plus Canyonlands Inn and Hyatt Place Moab cater to the outdoorsy set with bike storage and repair rooms and lounges with majestic red-rock views.