Things to Do in Moab
With its steep climbs and deep descents, the Hell’s Revenge Trail offers some of the best views of the Colorado River, La Sal Mountains, Negro Bill Canyon, and the Abyss Canyon. At nearly 7.5 miles long, the challenging trail loops through the sandstone and slickrock of the scenic Moab Valley. It takes those brave enough to walk its roller coaster track through narrow canyons, Navajo sandstone formations, and vast pools of water. Views are often exceptional.
Steep hills and tight turns keep visitors to this trail on edge (literally). Names of spots such as Devil’s Driveway, Hell’s Gate, the Tip Over Challenge, and the Escalator, this trail is not for the faint of heart — but those adventurous enough to take it on will be rewarded with sweeping views of the surrounding natural scenery.
Set in southeast Utah's high desert, Canyonlands National Park includes more than 300,000 acres of rugged landscape. The Green and Colorado rivers divide the park into four distinct districts.
Although the Island in the Sky district sits on sandstone cliffs more than 1,000 feet above the surrounding area, it is easily accessible to visitors via a 34-mile roundtrip scenic drive that offers multiple overlooks and even some picnic spots. There are also hiking opportunities and a four-wheel-drive road.
If you have a full day, the Needles district (in Canyonlands’ southeast corner) is also a good choice for a visit. A scenic drive takes you past the visitor center, offers viewpoints and provides many pullouts close to short hiking trails.
According to local legend, this breathtaking mesa with incredible panoramic views of Canyonlands National Park and the roaring Colorado River, was once home to wild mustang herds that old-school cowboys worked tirelessly to break. Today, Dead Horse Point State Park attracts hikers, photographers and mountain bikers seeking out rugged terrain, epic scenery and untouched natural wonder. Intrepid trails offer thrill-seeking bikers a raging shot of adrenaline, while shorter hikes up well-marked paths lead to epic views of some of the country’s most beautiful scenery.
Visitors agree that the Corona Arch is one of Red Rock Country’s most spectacular sites. With its swoop of natural sandstone that stretches up towards a thrilling mountain pass, Corona Arch proves a highlight for travelers to the Moab area. The technical trail, which scales smooth rock walls and requires a ladder and cable to ascend, is a difficult but doable adventure that grants visitors epic views and a hard-earned sense of accomplishment. More adventurous travelers and daredevil outdoorsmen can repel from the top of Corona Arch in what can only be described as a serious natural rush. But a visit to this popular destination is still worthwhile for the faint of heart who prefer to take in beautiful views of the arch from the ground up.
The red Moenkopi sandstone peaks of the Fisher Towers are one of the most photographed sites in Utah. Their rigid summits stretch high into the open skies and on clear days, the juxtaposition of red rock against brilliant blue makes for an imagine that’s worth making the trip just to capture.
Outdoor enthusiasts and avid climbers say challenging passes like Finger of Fate, Titan Tower and Stolen Chimney make Fisher Towers is a destination for thrill seekers, and they caution that the dangerous twists of the famous Cork Screw tower are not for the faint of heart either.
Bragging rights belong to Arches National Park, as it contains the densest concentration of natural stone arches in the world—2,000! But what you see today is dramatically different from what existed a million years ago. The massive rock formations that lure visitors to the national park were once buried underground, brought into plain sight by erosion.
Visitor centers are like one-stop shopping spots when it comes to learning about all the great things national parks have to offer. Employees and volunteers can recommend what’s best to do based on how much time you have to spend. While at the Arches Visitor Center, check the schedule for ranger-led programs during your stay.An assortment of activities ranging from short evening programs to guided walks and three-hour strenuous hikes are also offered in spring through fall.
Adrenaline junkies will find their fix on Cataract Canyon’s raging white waters. Several stretches of class five rapids push even the most expert rafters past their limits in what can only be described as one of Utah’s best white water scenes.With telling names like Big Drop, Little Niagara, Satan’s Gut and The Claw, it’s no wonder Cataract Canyon attracts thrill seekers from across the globe. The roaring river winds through scenic Canyonlands National Park and several slow-flow areas allow travelers to recover from challenging waves while taking in the incredible mountain scenery. A trip through Cataract Canyon is sure to be a wet, wild and memorable adventure!
More Things to Do in Moab
The La Sal Mountains are Utah’s second highest mountain range with nine peaks surpassing 12,000 feet. Their diverse terrain, impressive views and sky-high summits make La Sal Mountains the ideal place for travelers looking to boulder, ice climb, hike, scramble or go canyoneering.
La Sal’s level 2 and 3 climbs attract intrepid travelers year-round, but visitors agree the steep mountain passes may be too technical for novice wanderers. Many of the trails that lead to 12,000 feet peaks require an ice axe to navigate—even in July! The cooling natural pools and quiet waterfalls of Mill Creek, Negro Bill Canyon and Professor Creek canyons make them popular with hikers during warmer months. And because La Sal Mountains are contained almost entirely on public land, visitors can camp almost anywhere before heading out on an early morning climb.