Moab, Utah is one of the most beautiful and ideal outdoor adventure locations perfect for hiking, climbing, camping, and biking year round. Right before you pull into downtown Moab, you will pass the iconic Arches National Park. This park is so popular that one of its famous views, the delicate arch, is stamped on to the Utah State License Plates. The park has over 2000 Arches and towering red rock formations to leave you in awe.
Best Places to Visit
Delicate Arch - 3 Mile Round Trip Hike brings you to the top of the trail home to the famous Arch. This is easily the most famous and crowded trail in the park which means the parking lot can be a nightmare. To minimize crowds, hike up here before dawn and watch sunrise. Getting here early will give you an added bonus star show. Head back down after sunrise and stay ahead of the crowds! If you don’t want to do the hike, you can enjoy the Delicate Arch Viewpoint from a distance as an alternative.
Double Arch - 0.5 Mile Round Trip Hike and my favorite arch in the park. Carefully explore and climb the rocks to get amazing and unique views of the arch. This is a great place for Astrophotography as the stars will poke through the open rock formations.
Cove Arch & North Window / Turret Arch - are just up the hill from Double Arch and offer unique views of the arches and surrounding landscapes.
Park Avenue - The first stop as you enter the park is often overlooked but is a great rail to see some amazing views from inside the canyons.
Sand Arch - 0.3 Mile Round Trip hike provides a sandy spot underneath a shaded arch for the perfect photo opportunity.
Other great spots:
Broken Arch Loop
Devils Garden & Landscape Arch
Best Places to Stay
Camping in the Park - there aren’t that many places to camp so be sure to book reservations to the campsites well in advance
BLM Camping - there is a ton of BLM land (Bureau of Land Management) where you can find great camping locations
Glamping - if you are looking to enjoy the outdoors but not really in to the idea of camping, check out Under Canvas which will give you a great opportunity to camp while enjoying your own bed and bathroom.
Hotels - Moab is only 30 minutes away and has plenty of hotel options.
SpringHill Suites has a great pool and perfect for families.
Hoodoo Moab is a more modern and classy option.
Best Places for Astrophotography
Utah has extremely dark skies and Arches National Park provides great opportunities for stargazing. The park's arch structures provide some of the best foregrounds for capturing the perfect photo.
I use the PhotoPills app to plan and identify when and how the Milky Way will be oriented at a specific location. You can frame mesmerizing star photos with the arch structures like the Mesa Arch, Double Arch, and North Window Arch.
Best Places to Eat
There is very limited food options once you enter the Park. If you are camping or spending a full day in the park you will certainly want to bring lots of food and water. There are plenty of places to stock up in Moab.
Best time to Visit
Utah gets VERY hot in the summer. The best time to come to most National Parks is Spring and Fall for milder temperatures. Spring is unique because you will see the remainder of the snow on the mountain ranges behind the arches for a magnificent backdrop. Winter will be cold but you may catch a snow storm at the park which makes for a unique look against all of the red rock terrain.