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Moab

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Overview

Moab has several attributes that make it an incredibly popular destination. First, the climate in Moab complements that of Salt Lake City, the Utah mountains, and Colorado front range and mountainous areas in that it's generally dry with mild temperatures when Utah and Colorado locations are too cold, muddy, or snowy.

Moab has focused a ton of effort and resources over the past several years into creating more trails and making the area more friendly for a range of activities. There are now more beginner-friendly trails than ever, and plenty of trails to keep everyone entertained for a long weekend or more.

For those reasons, people come from all over Utah and from Colorado's front range, and many other places, driving 5 or more hours to take advantage of trails. It's worth a trip to experience scenery like you've never seen before.

Other user groups frequent Moab as well - notably offroad Jeep and motorcycle enthusiasts. It's definitely a motorhead town - the wide open landscape and lax restrictions on land use make it a mecca for all types of offroad vehicles. The different user groups seem to play fairly well together though - it's rare to be annoyed when you're out on the trail, and it can be nice to have company in the raw desert conditions that define Moab.

The town itself is not flashy. It started out as a uranium mining town and has stayed very close to its working class mining roots over time. There are plenty of great bike shops, and all the necessities, including several good, but not great options for places to eat.

Discover Moab seems to have good information about the area.

Local Info

It is important to stay on the trail. Our trails are surrounded by living soil called Biocrust. Off-trail travel damages the deserts delicate ecosystem for decades after. Find out more about our soil from local non-profit: sciencemoab.org/radio/ 

Portable toilet systems are required in Grand County. Be prepared to carry human waste out on the trail. Human waste takes over a year to decompose in the desert. This keeps it clean for everyone walking, running, or hiking after you. Buy one at any of our local gear shops before your hike.

Temperatures can reach upwards of 100 degrees on the trail. Exposure to the sun is extreme. Always hike with enough water and electrolytes for the length of your hike and the temperature of the season. It is important to have more water than you might expect.

Always let someone know where you are and when you expect to be back. Cell service is limited. Always stay found. If lost, stay where you are. Wandering makes it difficult for Search and Rescue to find you.

Hike within your limits. There are few access points for Search and Rescue. It will take Search and Rescue time to get to injured individuals on the trail.

Visiting Tips

The sweet spots for Moab are spring and fall, when the temperatures are cooler, and other destinations within driving distance are inaccessible due to mud or snow. Because it's the desert, early spring is very doable here - it's quite cold at night (often below freezing) but easily rises to mid-60's during the day.

The most crowded season seems to be early spring through mid-April. These are times when the mountains of Colorado are no longer skiable. It's also when the offroad crowd emerges from their garages after a winter of tinkering with their machines. It's a great time to come, but can be difficult to find camping on the weekends, unless you can take Friday off and arrive Thursday evening.

Generally, avoid mid-summer unless you're very experienced, or willing to head out in the early mornings or late evenings. It's simply too hot in the summer to be safe in the middle of the day.

Camping & Lodging

There's plenty of camping, and it's probably the most common sleeping arrangement for many people who visit the area. The largest and most common place to camp is up at Sand Flats, a 10-minute drive up above town. Sand Flats road is the home of the Slickrock trail, and Porcupine Rim, two of the most popular trails in Moab. Sand Flats has over 120 campsites up and down the dirt road that runs through the recreation area. Campsites have pit toilets but no water. There's a fee to use the recreation area, and you pay at an entrance gate as you drive into the area.

The town of Moab is camper-friendly, with all the supplies you'd need, including a pharmacy and full grocery store. There are also several places to take showers, including some of the local bike shops.

There are also a number of commercial campgrounds in the area, and RV areas with full facilities. Some are right in the middle of town, making it convenient for families. 

There are hotels and motels as well, and many condos available for rent through VRBO or other sources. Nothing is particularly fancy here, so don't come expecting the Four Seasons! That said, it can be a family-friendly town, and there are plenty of nice spots you can find for a weekend that's a bit more civilized than a typical guys' weekend.

Food & Drink

Don't go expecting a culinary experience - expect pubs and pizza places you can wear your camping clothes to. There's a central main street that is packed every evening, and you can simply drive up and down until you find a place you want to stop.

Places like Eddie McStiff's, the Moab Brewery and the Moab Diner are popular. Pasta Jay's offers a basic Italian dinner with huge portions if that's what you're in the mood for.

Other Activities

Moab is nearby to some incredible attractions. Definitely check out Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park on your rest days.

There are also a couple of wineries, museums, climbing destinations, and tons of great hikes in the area.

Gems in Moab - 13

Trail Run Project is built by runners like you. Add Your Gems

gem Favorite Moon with Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch

(128) Moab, UT
gem Favorite Double Arch at the terminus of the Double Arch Trail

Double Arch

(70) Moab, UT
gem Favorite Mesa Arch

Mesa Arch

(52) Moab, UT
gem Favorite Navajo Arch

Landscape Arch

(58) Moab, UT
gem Favorite Parallel rock fins are all throughout Fiery Furnace

Fiery Furnace

(28) Moab, UT
gem Favorite View at the top!

Professor Creek/Mary Jane Canyon

(9) Moab, UT
gem Favorite Ute Indian petroglyphs near Wolfe Ranch

Wolfe Ranch Petroglyphs

(27) Moab, UT
gem Favorite Morning Glory Arch is a nice treat after a hike in Grandstaff Canyon.

Morning Glory Arch

(18) Moab, UT
gem Favorite Upheaval Dome from the overlook

Upheaval Dome

(20) Moab, UT
gem Favorite Mill Creek Waterfall.

Mill Creek Waterfall

(10) Moab, UT
gem Favorite Sunset lights up the fins near Sand Dune Arch.

Sand Dune Arch

(4) Moab, UT
gem Favorite Jug Handle Arch from Potash Road (Highway 279)

Jug Handle Arch

(1) Moab, UT
gem Favorite Courthouse Wash Rock Art Panel

Courthouse Wash Rock Art

(8) Moab, UT

Recommended Routes in Moab - 34

Trail Run Project is built by runners like you. Add Your Recommended Routes

Favorite Great trail for a short run. Enjoy the arch at the end!
Intermediate Intermediate

Grandstaff Hiking Trail

4.1 mi 6.5 km 314' Up 95.76 m Up 314' Down 95.8 m Down

Moab, UT
Explore in 3D
Favorite Corona Arch, Moab Utah.
Intermediate Intermediate

Corona Arch Trail

2.2 mi 3.6 km 367' Up 112 m Up 367' Down 111.92 m Down

Moab, UT
Explore in 3D
Favorite Mill Creek Waterfall.
Intermediate Intermediate

Mill Creek Waterfall Out and Back

1.6 mi 2.6 km 68' Up 20.61 m Up 68' Down 20.59 m Down

Moab, UT
Explore in 3D
Favorite Fins near Gemini Bridges.
Intermediate Intermediate

Dead Horse Ultra 50k

30.1 mi 48.5 km 2,196' Up 669.46 m Up 2,199' Down 670.13 m Down

Moab, UT
Explore in 3D
Favorite Fins near Gemini Bridges.
Intermediate Intermediate

Dead Horse Ultra 30k

17.7 mi 28.4 km 1,452' Up 442.6 m Up 1,452' Down 442.56 m Down

Moab, UT
Explore in 3D
Favorite End of the Road
Difficult Difficult

Long Amasa Loop

15.1 mi 24.3 km 1,993' Up 607.55 m Up 1,996' Down 608.33 m Down

Moab, UT
Explore in 3D
Favorite Prostitution Butte seen on Behind the Rocks Ultra
Very Difficult Very Difficult

Behind the Rocks 50k

32.9 mi 52.9 km 3,154' Up 961.42 m Up 3,155' Down 961.73 m Down

Moab, UT
Explore in 3D
Favorite Fins near Gemini Bridges.
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

Dead Horse Ultra 50 Mile

49.7 mi 80.0 km 3,887' Up 1184.72 m Up 3,886' Down 1184.35 m Down

Moab, UT
Explore in 3D
Favorite Prostitution Butte seen on Behind the Rocks Ultra
Difficult Difficult

Behind the Rocks 50 Mile

51.7 mi 83.2 km 6,290' Up 1917.26 m Up 6,287' Down 1916.26 m Down

Moab, UT
Explore in 3D

Moab Running

  • 367 Miles 591 Kilometers of Trail
  • 34 Recommended Routes
  • 13 Gems Gems
  • 37 Easy Trails Easy Trails
  • 103 Intermediate Trails Intermediate Trails
  • 36 Difficult Trails Difficult Trails
Trail Run Project is built by runners like you. Share what you know about this area!

Areas Within Moab

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Trails in Moab - 142

Trail Run Project is built by runners like you. Add Your Trails

1.7 mi 2.8 km #1East Rim Trail
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Moab, UT
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Moab, UT 20 
2.4 mi 3.9 km #2HyMasa Trail
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Moab, UT
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Moab, UT
9.0 mi 14.5 km #3Moab Canyon Paved Path
Easy Easy
Moab, UT
Easy Easy
Moab, UT
0.6 mi 0.9 km #4Colorado River Overlook Trail
Easy Easy
Moab, UT
Easy Easy
Moab, UT
0.2 mi 0.3 km #5Shafer Canyon Overlook Trail
Easy Easy
Moab, UT
Easy Easy
Moab, UT
3.3 mi 5.2 km #6Great Escape
Intermediate Intermediate
Moab, UT
Intermediate Intermediate
Moab, UT
2.8 mi 4.5 km #7West Rim Trail
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Moab, UT
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Moab, UT
3.8 mi 6.1 km #8Big Chief
Intermediate Intermediate
Moab, UT
Intermediate Intermediate
Moab, UT
1.4 mi 2.3 km #9Jewel Tibbetts Arch Trail
Easy Easy
Moab, UT
Easy Easy
Moab, UT
0.6 mi 1.0 km #10Secret Passage Trail
Intermediate Intermediate
Moab, UT
Intermediate Intermediate
Moab, UT

Photos of Moab - 661

Trail Run Project is built by runners like you. Add Your Photos

Standing in the Eye
Mar 8, 2015 near Moab, UT
Enjoying the supermoon in the Windows area
Mar 9, 2015 near Moab, UT
First Light on Turret Arch Framed by North Window
Mar 9, 2015 near Moab, UT
Evening light at Arches NP!
Mar 11, 2015 near Moab, UT
Moon with Delicate Arch
Nov 2, 2017 near Moab, UT
Mesa Arch
Dec 30, 2018 near Moab, UT
Washerwoman Arch From the Mesa Arch Trail
Dec 30, 2018 near Moab, UT
Canyonlands National Park
Mar 30, 2020 near Moab, UT

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