With three days in Moab, you’ll have plenty of time to see both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, enjoy a couple of outdoor adventures, and head out on a day trip to see even more of the Colorado Plateau. Here are some ideas for making the most out of your three-day trip to Moab.
Day 1: National Park Highlights
On your first day, start by ticking off the major sights in the national parks: Start with an early-morning visit to Canyonlands National Park to catch the sunrise under the low-sloping frame of Mesa Arch. Next, take in the views of dizzyingly steep mesa drop-offs from the Shafer Canyon Overlook, and enjoy the views from Grand View Point and the Green River Overlook. If you’re feeling brave, you can even take a 4-wheel-drive vehicle down the Shafer Trail switchbacks.
Next, head over to Arches National Park for a hike to Delicate Arch—a cherished symbol of the state of Utah. Other highlights include the massive towers in Park Avenue, the plethora of arches in the Devil’s Garden, and the curious Balanced Rock formation. If you’re looking for more adventure, you can also take the ranger-led tour of the Fiery Furnace.
Day 2: Multi-Sport Tours
With endless trails, a raging river that runs right through the center of town, and an enthusiastic outdoor culture to boot, Moab has earned the nickname the Adventure Capital of the West. Dedicate your second day in Moab to outdoor adventures, and choose from a wide array of activities for all ability levels, including hiking, biking, climbing, and rafting.
Biking enthusiasts can opt for small-group bike tours or a private mountain-biking lesson, both good ways of enjoying Moab’s famed slickrock trails. Families can enjoy rafting trips down the Colorado River and 4-wheel drive adventures through Kane Creek Canyon. Adrenaline seekers can choose to kayak through the class four rapids in Cataract Canyon or even go skydiving over canyon country. Other options include hikes in Moab’s less-visited sites—like Fisher Towers, Corona Arch, and Hidden Valley—flightseeing tours, and canyoneering adventures.
Day 3: Backroads and Canyons
After two days visiting popular attractions, head out to explore the backroads and the area’s more remote sites. For a bird’s eye view of the greater Moab area, take a flightseeing tour of Monument Valley, Natural Bridges, and beyond. You could also consider a road trip down to the Needles District of Canyonlands, passing Newspaper Rock and the picturesque Indian Creek. Continue on to the famous views of Monument Valley, which is often used as a location for filming Westerns.
Visitors looking for a bit more adventure can enjoy a canyoneering adventure to Goblin Valley State Park or the Robbers Roost area of the San Rafael Desert. In the evening, head out for an astronomy tour or check out one of the ranger-led stargazing and telescope viewing programs in Arches or Dead Horse Point State Park. The parks of southeastern Utah enjoy some of the darkest skies in the nation, offering a brilliant view of the heavens for your final night in Moab.