Where to Hike Around Moab

Things to Do, What's New — By julietrevelyan on January 17, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Moab, Utah, is well known for being an outdoor adventure destination. If you wanna climb a rock, raft some whitewater, mountain bike on slickrock, or hike the trails, Moab is Grand Central Station for launching these activities.

Hiking is perhaps the most common outdoor activity around Moab. For good reason, too: there are a bunch of excellent trails to choose from, right around town as well as in nearby Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.



Corona Arch. With its striking flow up to the sky then back down to rock, this huge arch is a must-see. The hike in clocks a mere 1.5 miles (making it three miles roundtrip), and it’s easy enough for the average hiker.


Hunters Canyon. Simple and sweet, you can traipse along the green canyon bottom (green depending on water flow that year), check out cool petroglyphs on the way, and keep an eye out for the animals that live here.


Behind the Rocks. This huge area south of Moab boasts almost as many natural arches as Arches National Park. Mountain biking, hiking trails, and canyoneering are all options in this remote area. Be prepared with all the correct gear and plenty of water, and make sure you have a good trail map.

endless panorama of Behind the Rocks

photo: s_mestdagh/Flickr


Arches National Park


Landscape Arch. For a two-mile hike, you’ll be rewarded with a view of one of the world’s most graceful and mind-boggling arches. Mind-boggling as in, How come that long, skinny thing hasn’t fallen down yet?


Sand Dune Arch. Easy to get to, easy to admire, and easy to play around. The sand by the bottom of the arch and the rock fins around it is as smooth as on any beach; in fact, some families bring sand toys for the kids to play with. There’s plenty here to entertain most kids for quite some time.


Klondike Bluffs. Located somewhere back of beyond, this is for the intrepid and self-sufficient adventurer. Even though these mysterious, gorgeous formations were the original inspiration for Arches to become a protected national park, very few people see them today due to their far-away location down a dirt road.

Klondike Bluffs

photo: msn678/Flickr


Canyonlands National Park


Mesa Arch. Sunrise is one of the best times to be at this arch, which frames the spectacular morning hello of the sun. Be prepared to jostle with other eager photographers for a once-in-a-lifetime shot of perfect natural beauty.


Whale Rock Trail. Yup, it kind of looks like a beached sandstone whale out in the middle of the desert. The best part is that you can climb up the whale’s “tail” and wander across the bulk of its “body.” The whole hike is easy and provides fun as you let your imagination and feet roam.


Horseshoe Canyon. Found out in the remote Maze district of Canyonlands, this hike features some of the most breathtaking examples of ancient rock art in the Southwest, if not the entire country. You can camp at the trailhead, take a guided ranger tour, or simply wander through the canyon yourself, gazing at the huge pictograph panels left by long-gone, tremendously talented artists.

Horseshoe Canyon's Great Gallery of rock art

photo: snowpeak/Flickr


Tags: hike, hiking, outdoor things to do, trails

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