Family Adventure in Moab, Utah
Road Trip Travel
The closest feeling you can have to what it must be like on Mars is going to the Moab area. The scenery is just amazing, and there are tons of fun things to do on a family vacation. For the adventurous family, it’s a perfect road-trip destination hiking is incredible, especially around sunrise and sunset. Moab feels very remote, so you can really disconnect completely.
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Where to stay in Moab
Sorrel River Ranch Resort
A destination in and of itself, Sorrel River has amazing views, its own farm, horseback riding and more.
Hoodoo Moab, Curio Collection by Hilton
Offering views of Moab’s red rocks, Hoodoo is 10 minutes from Arches National Park, and the interior design pays homage to the surrounding Western landscape.
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Things to do in Moab
Moab is meant for adventures because of its proximity to many Utah national parks, and you can bring your kids along for the fun. Go canyoneering in Medieval Chamber with Desert Highlights where you can rappel down waterfalls of about 100 feet. It’s quite amazing to go down these huge canyons and end up in flowing water. The hike itself is beautiful; you walk along the stream over rock formations that are quite slippery. Be sure to wear water shoes with rubber soles.
Continue your water-centric adventure by going paddle boarding, river rafting or kayaking on a half-day trip with mild2wild on the Colorado River. One of the amazing things about river rafting or kayaking is you get a real sense of the geography. You can see petrified trees in rock formations from millions of years ago. The kids can jump into the water from the river, which is always super fun. On some rafting trips, you can see ancient petroglyphs on rock formations.
If you prefer adrenaline-seeking on land, go rock climbing with Moab Cliffs and Canyons. Another option is a UTV tour on Onion Creek where you will be fully suited up and protected with a helmet. You’ll go over huge rocks and boulders and through streams and a part of the desert. There’s also the choice to go mountain biking either on the bike trails at the famous SlickrockBike Trail, Dead Horse Point State Park or by off-roading.
Catch the famous and inspiring Delicate Arch sunrise over red rock at Arches National Park, north of Moab, before the hiking trails get very crowded – the early bird gets the worm. As you watch the sunrise, it’s hard to not reflect on how insignificant we are as the world continues turning round and round. There are few other sunrises that are better than the ones in Moab. It’s worth spending the full day there to explore all the different hikes, and you can get a map at the visitor center.
If you have a four-by-four in Arches, head over to Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail, a 1.8 mile family-friendly hike, to go hunting for dinosaur tracks, bones and fossils after sunrise.
Because Moab is a huge archaeological site, there is a dinosaur park, called Moab Giants, dedicated to educating visitors on the Mesozoic Era. The life-size dinosaur sculptures transport you to imagining a world where they are still in existence.
Finally, before you head back to the hotel for the night, go stargazing at either Arches National Park or Canyonlands National Park where there’s little light pollution to get the clearest sky.
Pick up natural souvenirs at the Moab Rock Shop in downtown Moab on the edge of town. They have bins and bins of different types of rocks, fossils and teeth.
Pick up locally created items at Moab Made or something exciting to read at the darling Back of Beyond book shop — all conveniently located on Main Street.
A note from Gaya
The thing with Moab is that there are so many trails, and it's pretty easy to get lost in trying to figure out where the trailheads are. Thankfully, you’ll be on a scenic drive as you navigate, but go with a guide, you’ll get a head start early in the day as they know the byways, backroads and how to avoid long lines to get into National Parks. Guides can take you to less crowded spots where you can view amazing sunrises alone in nature and capture incredible family pictures.
Places to eat & drink in Moab
Snake Oil Coffee Company: A food truck coffee shop that opens early and makes delicious coffee.
Jailhouse Cafe: The quintessential spot for a classic American breakfast in Moab.
Doughbird: Delicious donut place with freshly fried donuts paired with fried chicken.
Thai Bella: This Thai restaurant is very famous in Moab – all the locals talk about it. Order the spring rolls and red curry.
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