(Our favorite things to do in the Moab area)
1. Hike the Devils Garden Loop in Arches National Park
This 7-mile hike offers spectacular scenery. Make sure you bring along good hiking shoes, plenty of water, and a picnic lunch. For those not up to the full 7-mile loop, the hike out to Landscape Arch is very rewarding. As you drive through the park, take the time to meander into the Windows section (don't miss Double Arch,) and if you have kids (or are a kid at heart) stop and play at Sand Dune Arch.
2. Have a 4-wheel Drive Adventure
You can rent a Jeep and do-it-yourself on one of the area's popular jeep trails or go with an experienced outfitter who will escort you into the back country where you will experience some spectacular scenery. Especially popular are the Sunset Hummer Tours. You will be amazed at what these vehicles can do.
3. Try Your Hand at One of the World-famous Mountain Biking Trails
Some favorites Include:
Intrepid Trail "New" (9.0 mi – easy w/optional shorter loop) Great single-track trail that is more family-friendly (located at Dead Horse Point State Park).
Klondike Bluffs (15.6 mi - moderate) or Gemini Bridges (13.7 mi - moderate) great desert scenery and magnificent views; some slickrock and sand.
Slickrock Bike Trail (expert) 13 miles of pure slick rock, a playground for "hot-doggers." If you're worried about skill level or just want to say you've been there, go for the 2.1-mile practice loop.
4. Experience a Rock Art Adventure
Sunflower Hill, in conjunction with a local rock art aficionado, has prepared a self-guided rock art tour along scenic Kane Creek. View the Moab Mammoth, the Birthing Rock and hundreds of other intriguing petroglyphs. Just minutes from the inn, you can experience a fascinating
variety of rock art in a short amount of time. Spend a couple hours or a whole day. See the Innkeeper to borrow a copy of the Kane Creek Rock Art Guide.
5. Hike to Delicate Arch (probably the most famous arch in the world)
This 3-mile round-trip hike is fairly vigorous, so wear the proper shoes and take plenty of water. Because of its high elevation and the spectacular panoramic views from the area, we recommend this hike in the evening at sunset. As the sun sets to the West, the slanting rays light up the red arch creating a magnificently vibrant display of color. A great night hike on a full moon.
6. Go Rafting Down the Mighty Colorado River
Or better yet, prearrange with a tour company to provide you with inflatable kayaks (called "duckies"). Most river rafting companies have these (no extra cost). Duckies are easy to use, don't require previous experience, and are a lot more fun when doing the daily river trip (mostly calm water). Canyon country's watery routes offer incredible scenery, a closer look at wildlife, and a somewhat more "refreshing" approach to touring.
7. Take a Drive Along Scenic Byway 128 & the Lasal Mtn. Loop Road
This 67-mile drive offers a spectacular transition of scenery from red-rock desert to beautiful This 67-mile drive offers a spectacular transition of scenery from red-rock desert to beautiful National Forests as you climb to an elevation of 8,800 feet. You'll see Fisher Towers, Priests and Nuns Rock, Castle Rock, and enjoy breathtaking views of the area. Enjoy a picnic lunch along the way. This drive is particularly scenic during the first and second week of October when the aspen and oak leaves change colors.
8. Take the Fiery Furnace Guided Hike in Arches
This vigorous 3-mile hike loops through a maze of narrow canyons and unusual formations, but the scenery is well worth the effort. Due to its popularity and limited space, the daily ranger guided hikes fill up in advance, so you'll want to plan ahead for this one (reserve through the Park Service website). Another option (since an experienced guide is needed), is to reserve space with one of the local outfitters who also provide guided trips into the Fiery Furnace ($$). Time and time again, our guests tell us how much they enjoy this activity--finding it both visually and intellectually stimulating.
9. Experience the Sights Along the Potash Road
Two miles North of Moab, Highway 279 (the Potash Road) winds down along side the Colorado River as it flows toward Cataract Canyon. Once, a high traffic area for Indians—and dinosaurs—this stretch of highway is full of spectacular views and surprises. Large, well-marked panels of Indian art and other Indian ruins can be seen there, as well as some well-formed dinosaur footprints. Further down the canyon you'll see a sign and parking lot for Corona Arch. This 3 mile round-trip hike is well worth the effort. You'll climb a metal ladder, experience a fantastic echo reverberating off the cliff walls and behold two incredible arches.
10. Hike to Morning Glory Bridge in "Negro Bill" Canyon
About 3 miles up Scenic Byway 128, a narrow canyon opens up to the south. You'll see a small gravel parking lot just off the highway--this is the trailhead. The 4-mile round-trip hike involves several stream crossings so wear sneakers and dress appropriately. Keep your eyes open for wild plums, colorful lizards, and little lobster-like creatures in the stream called "crawdads." In the event of an afternoon thunderstorm, drive along the first 5 miles or so of Hwy. 128 and you'll witness a truly amazing site as numerous waterfalls appear and cascade from towering cliffs into the Colorado River hundreds of feet below.