10 Best Moab Tours For Your Desert Adventure In Utah - Updated 2022

best day trips from moab utah
Gaby
Gaby 
Updated

Situated alongside the Colorado River and just a half a day’s drive from the bustling metropolis of Salt Lake City, Moab, Utah is the perfect place for an adventure-packed desert getaway. The town of Moab is home to a vibrant city center full of coffee shops, stores, and restaurants. Moab’s proximity to world-class outdoor activities makes it an international destination for climbers, hikers, and bikers alike, but regardless of whether or not you’re an experienced backcountry traveller or a budding outdoor enthusiast, Moab is the perfect destination for those looking to travel to one of the United States’ most beautiful locations. Here are the best Moab tours for your desert adventure in Utah!

1. Cruise through the backcountry in style (from USD 154.0)

One of the best ways to see Moab is on a four-wheel drive adventure. On this five hour off-roading tour, you and your guide will travel to the most remote corners of Arches National Park amidst sandstone arches and high desert towers. You’ll begin your tour in downtown Moab, where you’ll meet your guide, board your four-wheel drive vehicle, and head to Arches National Park. Your guide will take you far away from the crowds and into the world’s largest collection of naturally occurring arches. As you drive through Arches, your guide will explain the geology and history of the area.

At the end of the tour, you guide will then drive down an old cowboy trail so you can see the fossilized dinosaur tracks stamped into the arid desert soil before transporting you back to downtown. This Moab jeep tour is the perfect adventure for those yearning for the solitude of the open desert.

Arches National Park 4x4 Adventure Guided Tour from Moab

Duration: 4 to 5 hours

920 reviews

2. Go canyoneering (from USD 160.0)

The sandstone-dominated landscape around Moab was shaped and sculpted by Colorado River, its tributaries, and numerous other bodies of water over the past hundred million years. The steep slot canyons of Moab’s backcountry are the result of these hydrologic forces and with the help of an experienced guide, they are yours to discover.

On this four-hour guided canyoneering tour, you’ll travel along a three-mile (five-kilometer) long slot canyon using technical rope skills to descend deep below the towering sandstone walls surrounding you. You’ll meet your guide in downtown Moab, where you’ll begin your adventure. After a short hike across petrified sand dunes, you’ll rappel into a small sandstone slot canyon before encountering the 243-foot-long (74-m) Morning Glory Arch a short distance from your second rappel station. You’ll then make your way downhill to the Colorado River, learning about the area’s natural history from your guide along the way.

No climbing experience is necessary for this trip and the guide service will provide all the necessary equipment for you to enjoy your next adventure. This is doubtless one of the best adventure tours in Moab, Utah.

Moab Canyoneering Experience

Duration: 4 hours

96 reviews

3. See Moab’s famous sandstone arches (from USD 154.0)

Arches National Park sits just a few miles outside Downtown Moab and is home to over 2,000 natural sandstone arches. The park contains the highest density of natural arches in the world, including the world-famous Delicate Arch. The scenic highway that runs through the park is a worthy activity unto itself, but for the more adventurous, a lifetime of hiking, mountain biking, and other outdoor activities await.

Some of the best day hikes in Arches are easily accessible from the main park road. To see the famous Delicate Arch, hikers can choose from a wheelchair accessible path to a viewing point, a slightly longer hike to a higher view point, or a multi-hour strenuous hike on open slickrock to the Arch itself. Other great hikes include the Devils Garden Trail, which leads to a handful of viewing points for different arches, and the Fiery Furnace, a famous maze through narrow passageways and high sandstone walls. To hike the Fiery Furnace, join a ranger led hike or obtain a hiking permit to do it on your own.

Regardless of what type of adventure you choose, a day trip to Arches should be a part of your Moab vacation. Don’t miss your opportunity to see these beautiful natural geological features while you’re in Moab.

Arches National Park

Address: 2180 US-191, Moab, UT 84532

Website: Arches National Park

Arches National Park 4x4 Adventure Guided Tour from Moab

Duration: 4 to 5 hours

920 reviews

4. Hike through Canyonlands National Park (from USD 154.0)

Situated less than an hour’s drive outside downtown Moab, the beautiful deep red canyon walls of Canyonlands National Park rise from the Colorado and Green Rivers below in stark contrast to the white, snow-capped La Sal Mountains in the distance.

Canyonlands is divided into three main districts: Island in the Sky, the Needles, and the Maze. The Island in the Sky is the most popular district, attracting about 75% of the park’s visitors each year. Island in the Sky is the closest district to downtown Moab, just a beautiful drive down Route 313 that brings you up and out of the valley floor and to the canyon rim. For those looking for a more relaxed adventure into the park, Canyonlands’ park road is a worthy excursion unto itself, with numerous scenic overlooks and pull-out points with sweeping vistas of the surrounding canyons. Short day hikes abound from the park road, including the easier Mesa Arch, White Rim Overlook, and Grand View Point trails; the moderate Upheaval Dome, Whale Rock, and Neck Spring trails, and the strenuous Syncline Loop and Gooseberry Canyon Trails.

The Needles District is also home to numerous, worthy hiking trails, such as the easier Roadside Ruin and Pothole Point trails and the strenuous Confluence Overlook and Druid Arch trails. Visiting the Maze District, however, is a drastically different adventure. The Maze District’s remoteness makes it mostly a backpacking destination and its lack of easily accessible roads and trails make it a much more serious undertaking. Visitors to the Maze District must be prepared for self rescue should something go wrong, and, as such, trips to the Maze are only recommended for experienced and self-sufficient backcountry travelers.

Luckily, the Needles and the Island in the Sky districts boast plentiful options for your Moab vacation. Regardless of which trails you hike, be sure to bring enough water, the proper clothing, and avoid outdoor activity during the hottest part of the day during the summer months. With the proper preparation, hiking in the public lands outside Moab is likely to be a highlight of your stay.

Canyonlands National Park Island in the Sky Visitor Center

Address: Grand View Point Rd, Moab, UT 84532

Website: Canyonlands National Park Island in the Sky Visitor Center

Canyonlands National Park Half-Day Tour from Moab

Duration: 4 hours

465 reviews

5. Tour Moab's vast collection of Native rock art (from USD 125.0)

The land around Moab is the historic home of numerous Native American groups, including the Ancestral Puebloan people. Though the Ancestral Puebloans are perhaps best known for the characteristic stone and earth dwellings that they built along steep canyon walls, some of the most prominent signs of their past existence on the land around Moab are the abundant petroglyphs and pictographs they created on cliff-sides and boulders.

In just a short drive away from Downtown Moab, beautiful examples of rock art populate the canyon walls. Some of the most commonly visited sites for viewing these petroglyphs and pictographs sit alongside Utah Scenic Byway 279, where you can simply pull off the side of the road and view hundreds of examples of native rock art. Wolfe Ranch in Arches National Park and Courthouse Wash on Highway 191 are also great spots for viewing rock art. Don’t miss this opportunity to experience this ancient art form and appreciate the culture of the native peoples of the Moab area.

Rock art near Moab

Website: Rock art near Moab

Moab Rock Art Tour

Duration: 4.5 hours

6. Climb the magnificent rocks of Moab (from USD 725.0)

Rock climbing is a popular activity in Moab as its red rocks are absolutely magnificent. Seeing the beautiful sandstone arches from a different perspective is a really breathtaking experience. A guide will be helping you throughout your hiking journey to ensure the most scenic and safest experience. A base camp will be set in the red rock desert, and then you’ll get to explore different valleys and spires on the first day. The second day of this tour is allotted for climbing sandstone cliffs. Afterward, the experience will be celebrated with a hard-earned dinner. The last day will be spent hiking to and from the famous Corona Arch. So ready your adventurous selves for this three-day outdoor activity-filled tour!

Rock climb & Basecamp in Moab

Duration: 1 day

7. Document the beauty of the Canyonlands (from USD 235.0)

Sightseeing at sunrise can be invigorating. Imagine a peaceful morning just appreciating what nature has to offer. If you’re one to travel for the photographs, then you have to take this five-hour-long Moab excursion. It is simply a must! Get all the breathtaking views as you work with other photographers to capture the best scenes. The effortless beauty of the red rocks in Utah will definitely make it worth the trip. Food and drinks are included in the experience.

Sunrise Photo Tour of the Canyonlands

Duration: 5 hours

2 reviews

8. Experience the canyons from above on a scenic flight tour (from USD 219.0)

The expansive landscape of the desert’s southwest is difficult to comprehend unless you can experience it from above. Take this family friendly flightseeing tour and fly high above the Moab scenery. As you zoom across Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, you’ll gain a unique perspective of the parks’ most popular sights, such as Delicate Arch in Arches and the intricate Island in the Sky, Maze, and Needles districts of Canyonlands. Along the way, your pilot will teach you about the geologic forces that shaped the landscape below you. This 50 minute flight tour is an excellent value that is sure to give first time visitors and old timers alike the perfect introduction to the vast desert around Moab.

Scenic flight tour

Website:

Canyonlands and Arches National Park Air Tour from Moab, Utah

Duration: 1 hour

30 reviews

9. Do some world-class mountain biking (from USD 66.0)

Moab is the adventure capital of Utah and is home to some world-class mountain biking. Saddle up and hit the desert single track with a guide who can tailor your mountain bike tour to best suit your experience level.

This seven hour mountain bike tour starts in downtown Moab, where you’ll meet your guide and rent your bike and other equipment if you haven’t brought your own. Your guide will work with you to choose a trail option appropriate for your skill level and experience. You’ll bike over slickrock and through steep canyon walls while your guide teaches you the best techniques for mountain biking in the desert. Whether you’ve been mountain biking for years, or you’ve never before hit the trails, a Moab guided tour is sure to please.

world class mountain biking

Website:

Guided Half-Day Mountain Bike Tour in Moab

Duration: 4 hours

58 reviews

10. Skydive Moab! (from USD 306.0)

The open expanse of land around the town of Moab makes the Utah desert the perfect place to learn how to skydive. After a thorough safety training, you’ll board your airplane alongside your skydiving guide and travel two to three miles (3-5 km) above the canyons below. For your first time skydiving, you’ll do a tandem jump alongside your guide, which is the easiest and best way to make your first jump. After you jump, you’ll enjoy a peaceful and scenic parachute ride back to earth above Utah’s canyonlands.

Skydive Moab!

Website:

Skydive the Grand Canyon

Duration: 2 hours

4 reviews

A world of adventure awaits in Moab, Utah

Landscape Arch, Arches National Park, Moab, Utah
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ken Lund used under CC BY-SA 2.0

The town of Moab, Utah is like no other - steep canyon walls and intricate sandstone arches populate the landscape and offer a welcome reprieve from the hustle-and-bustle of Main Street. Be sure to check out these nine activities to make your next trip to Moab unforgettable!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Gaby is a climbing guide based out of wherever work and life happen to bring her. While traveling, Gaby seeks out the best outdoor adventures she can find, but appreciates a cold beer and a warm...Read more

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