Sunday, January 31, 2016

ABCs of Moab: Arches, Bridges, Canyons and so much more

The ABCs of enjoying Moab is a synopsis of possibilities put together by the creative folks at the Moab Travel Council. Use this as inspiration for your travels to the Four Corners area.

You’ll find places to visit, things to do and knowledge to put together a great plan. Indulge in Adventure Travel featuring both kid-friendly and adult appreciated activities. Use this uncommon, but replete list as a ‘First Timer’s Guide’ or as a handy reminder of Moab’s reputation for adventure. Here are the ABCs of Moab:

 Arches National Park – It has the world’s largest concentration of arches. See arches from a paved scenic drive. Get out of the car to hike to many others.

Biking – Moab is the mecca for mountain biking. There is a trail for every skill level.  There are short paved pathways for road cycling and wide shoulders for distance pedaling.

Camping – Tent campers are best located in sites with toilet facilities while self-contained RVs can find more primitive spots. Arches and Dead Horse Point parks have online reservations to be booked well in advance of arrival.

Dead Horse Point State Park – The notorious name does not reflect the quality of this superb park with expansive views, great mountain bike trails and regularly scheduled ranger programs.

Elevated Transit – This daily motor coach links Moab to the Salt Lake City Airport and has room for bicycles!

Fisher Towers – When approached from the Cisco Desert, the cool mountains behind the towers and flowing Colorado River in the foreground demands, “Stop! Take a picture!”

Golfing OR Disc Golfing – Eighteen holes of green is dazzling in contrast to the surrounding red rock sandstone surroundings. Or bring discs for eighteen baskets among the junipers.

Horseback riding – Go on a guided ride through terrain that John Wayne has ridden for films. Bring your own horse and find stalls for rent or campgrounds with corrals.
Island in the Sky of Canyonlands National Park – This district of Canyonlands, north of Moab, is like the prow of a sinking ship poking up into the air with spacious views. The Needles district is south of Moab a few hours with Newspaper Rock on the way to it. Newspaper Rock is teeming with Native American history, more rock art panels can be found in and around Moab too.

Jurassic Rock means Dinosaurs – Hike to dinosaur tracks in what we call, open air museums. Treat these sites with respect. Know before you go: Any disturbing, casting, rubbing or pouring anything into the fossils, including tracks, is expressly forbidden under federal regulations.

Kane Creek – Kane Creek is a popular region of Moab with camping, hiking, mountain biking and 4wheeling.

La Sal Mountains – A 60 mile loop follows the Colorado River, then approaches the mountains by way of Castle Valley, serving up forest climate with unique vistas of red rock far below. The loop is completed by descending into Spanish Valley and navigating motorists back to town.

Motorcycling – On the road, there are three scenic by-ways with sweeping curves and views that demand attention. On the trails, Ride with Respect is engaged here. Get oriented.

Night Life – Pick up the free publication of Moab Happenings for a list of live performances, dates, times and location.

Off-Road Vehicles – Whether in a jeep or driving an OHV, miles upon miles of trails surround Moab. Get maps from the Moab Information Center in downtown.

Photography – Iconic shapes, blooms throughout spring, summer and fall, capture the sporty fun or incredible lighting. Do it on your own, in a workshop, with a photo guide or get hints from

Quality Rock Art Panels – There are two types of rock art: petroglyphs and pictographs. The motifs pecked or scratched on the rock surface, petrogylphs, are often found on a dark patina called desert vanish. Pictographs are painted with mineral dyes or plant pigments. Examples of both are found in sites near Moab.

River Activities – on the calm water, stand up paddling boarding and canoeing is suitable. In the rapids, rafting and kayaking are enjoyed. Rent or bring your own or hire a river company to take you. Motorized jet boat tours are another manner of getting out from behind your windshield to experience the Colorado River by Moab.

Star Gazing – Rich, dark skies are breathtaking in southern Utah. Try peering through a telescope if visiting during the new moon, or hiking during the full moon.

Tempting wineries and brewery – Spanish Valley Vineyards and Castle Creek Winery provide tastings and free tours by request. Moab Brewery distributes many flavors in cans and bottles. The Blu Pig has a specially crafted beer on tap as well.

Ultra Marathons and Half Marathons – Trail marathons and paved half marathons dapple the event calendar in Moab. Ultra runners come to compete. Moab is host of the USA trail marathon championship race too. Beautiful canyons inspire rugged determination during competition. One half marathon is for women only, inspired by, Thelma and Louise, characters of an iconic movie filmed in Moab.

Veteran’s Day is free! – Throughout the year National Park Service specifies dates to enter the park for free. In 2015 it began with a free date to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. day, Presidents’ Weekend, opening of National Park Week in April, to celebrate National Parks’ Birthday August 25 (turns 100 in 2016!), National Public Lands Day September 26 and finishes with Veterans’ Day November 11 2015. Do research for free dates in 2016.

Winter Festival - The first weekend in December, holiday festivities commence with tree lighting and singing, annual craft shopping, appearances and picture with Santa, an electric light parade on Saturday night and a fun 10k Sun Run by the Moab Half Marathon folks.

Xcellent Restaurants – Pick up a free Moab Menu Guide in the lobby of hotels, campground offices, foyers of shops or find it online

Yoga – With all of the activities possible in Moab, get grounded and centered practicing Yoga.

Ziplining – High flying adventure typically strung among trees, makes Moab’s zipline especially unique. Tower to tower from sandstone mounds over amazing desert features, the tour includes a 4 mile OHV ride and a hike across a 100 foot suspension bridge. More harness and helmet fun can be had at the Adventure Park of Moab. There are 18 elements on the High Ropes course made up of cable and planks to cross.

The ABCs conclude, but the possibilities for everything fun has only just begun. Look for more adventure on or phone the Moab Travel Council for a vacation guide today 435-259-1340.