There is more to Moab than mountain biking. This small town in the heart of Canyon Country boasts a nearly endless offering of outdoor activities. And it is a convenient base for families touring Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, Dead Horse Point State Park and the La Sal Mountains as well as those exploring the Colorado and Green Rivers and Native American Rock Art Sites. Yet you need not be an outdoor enthusiast to enjoy nature's answer to Disneyland. The area's red rock cliffs, stunning rock formations, roaring rivers and high desert are as fun to view as they are to explore. Just ask the moviemakers!
Moab, in southeast Utah, is located 120 miles (193 km) southwest of Grand Junction, Colorado and 240 miles (386 km) southeast of Salt Lake City, Utah. The small Moab Airport, situated 16 miles (26 km) from downtown, has limited commercial service. U.S. Airways Express offers daily service between Moab and Salt Lake City only. The nearest full service airports are Grand Junction's Walker Field Airport and Salt Lake City's International Airport. The nearest Amtrak stops are Grand Junction, Colorado and Green River, Utah.
While shuttle services will get you to Moab and several offer transport to the river as well as trailheads, unless you partake in an organized tour, a car is required to reach neighboring National Parks, National Forests and Native American rock art sites. Yet thanks to this small town's convenient location you won't be driving far. What's more, no matter where you point your vehicle there are trails galore. In addition to the hiking trails found at Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, there are a plethora of hiking, mountain biking and 4x4 trails less than 20 miles from downtown Moab. And you need not be an enthusiast to enjoy them. Area trails range from easy to extreme and many are appropriate for families traveling with kids.
Summers are hot and dry with an average high in the mid 90s°F (35°C). Winters are mild (50°F or 10°C) and snowfall is rare at lower elevations. Daytime temperatures at higher elevations, including mountain valleys and mesa tops, are roughly 10 - 20°F (7-12°C) cooler. Strenuous outdoor activities such as hiking and mountain biking are best in spring and fall but they are doable in summer as long as you head out early and beat the heat between 13:00-16.00. River rafting is ideal from May to early September.
The climate in Moab is high desert and the elevation ranges from 4,000 to 6,000 ft. Wear sunscreen and a hat and carry plenty of water (4 liters per person per day). When hiking in the backcountry be sure to tell someone where you are hiking and when you plan to return.