Moab, Utah Travel Guide: The Best Hotels, Restaurants, and National Parks to Visit

Moab, Utah Travel Guide: The Best Hotels, Restaurants, and National Parks to Visit

  • Travel
  • December 17, 2022
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The approach to Moab, Utah, is anything but restrained. After miles of driving on narrow roads and curves around rolling hills, large arched rocks and stone pinnacles emerge along the desert vistas, contrasting with the vast blue skies.

In the southwest corner of the state, the tiny city of Moab rises from a sea of ​​rust-colored sandstone, soaring arches and ancient canyons. With its famous national parks and lesser-known hiking trails, Moab’s stunning landscapes quench the thirst of active spirits, while the city’s burgeoning desert-inspired arts and music culture attracts creative souls.

With so much on offer, planning a trip to the destination can be more difficult than it looks. Moab isn’t the easiest to get to, and shortening your itinerary can be both labor intensive and iffy. Even the heart of a city is in a season of change – alongside family-run restaurants that haven’t updated their menus in years, you’ll find new lodges and snazzy gear rentals as if they’ve been conjured out of desert dust.

This Moab, Utah travel guide is designed to help you plan a visit with minimal homework. We cover the best hotels and restaurants in Moab, tips on how to get here and around, and how to choose which of the nearby national parks should be at the top of your list. Read on for our complete travel guide to Moab.

All entries in this story are independently selected by our editors. However, if you book something through our retail links, we may receive an affiliate commission.

How do I get to Moab?

One of Moab’s appeals is that it’s not in close proximity to any major city. However, this makes it harder to get to – or makes it a perfect stop on a longer drive, depending on how you look at it. You can fly into Moab’s local airport, Moab Canyonlands Regional Airport, which is 21 miles northwest of Moab and has limited United, Delta and Skywest flights. Alternatively, you can fly to a larger city and drive; The nearest major city is Salt Lake City, which is about a 4.5 hour drive from Moab.

Getting around Moab

With your own four wheels, you have the freedom to explore the wilder side of the greater Moab area, particularly the hiking trails and attractions in the national parks and beyond. Rental cars are available when you fly in, but don’t expect to rely on public transit or Uber, which have limited coverage. There are a handful of shuttle services in the area, such as B. Roadrunner Shuttles, which take you to and from major hiking and biking trails when you’re car-free.

Moab is known for its rusty red stone arches and towers.

Jonah Brown/Unsplash

There is no shortage of dramatic scenery on the drive to Moab in southern Utah.

Jake Nackos/Unsplash

When to Visit Moab

The shoulder season is the best time to visit Moab. In spring, the days are longer and warmer, and the trails come alive with bright brushes and juniper trees, among other things. Autumn is probably the ideal season. By September, hot summer temperatures have cooled, high-altitude hikes are snow-free, the Colorado River has been warmed by the summer sun, and the trees in Manti-La Sal National Forest are taking on rich, earthy fall colors. If you’re visiting in the summer, head around sunrise so you can retreat from the sun by midday. The weather can vary throughout the day at any time of the year, after all this is the desert so prepare with layers at any time of the year.

Things to do near Moab

Most travelers come to Moab with the goal of dropping off their stuff in town and then heading to a national park — or an adrenaline-pumping road trip. But how do you choose what’s best for you? We have a few clues.

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