Calling all adventurers! Looking for a fun-filled vacation that gets you outdoors? Moab is the perfect destination for those who like to have exciting days and relaxing nights. Whether you’re just there for the scenery or there for the hiking, there are definitely things to do in Moab Utah for the whole family.
Moab is located about four hours south of Salt Lake City and six hours west of Denver, making it a great road trip vacation location. This small resort town nestled in the majestic red mountains draws visitors from all over the world. It may seem like it’s geared more towards adults, but there are actually lots of things to do in Moab Utah with your kids!
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Arches National Park
No Moab itinerary would be complete without putting Arches National Park at the top of the list. There are spectacular views and, even if you’re not an avid hiker, this is definitely worth the effort. Here are our recommendations for the best, family-friendly hikes that will knock your socks off!
Start out with an easy, breezy walk to the base of a really interesting structure. You can see it clearly from the road and it’s hardly ever crowded. It’s just a five-minute walk from the parking area to the rock and gives the kids a great introduction to the park.
Double Arch + Parade of Elephants
Get double the views in one hike by going through to see the Double Arches! You get two for one on this hike because on your way, you’ll see the Parade of Elephants on your left! Don’t let that view stop you though! The Arches themselves are so much larger in person that you won’t want to miss out on experiencing it firsthand.
Feeling a little more confident? If you’re ready to step up your hiking game this one is the perfect segue. It’s a three-mile loop and you’ll definitely need to bring water, but the effort is well worth the stunning scenery you’ll see from this viewpoint.
Canyonlands National Park
If you’re all “arched,” out there are some incredible views in the park nearby. It’s only a 30 minute drive to Canyonlands and the viewpoints are unlike anything you’ll ever see.
Grand View Point Overlook
With a sweeping view of not one, but two canyons, this trail is a must-see. It’s extremely well-marked, easy to walk and is a great option for young kids.
While it’s technically not a hike, this spot is not to be missed. You can literally view a stunning piece of history of ancient petroglyphs that adorn the mountainside from the parking area. No hiking and educational? It’s definitely worth seeing!
Mesa Arch Overlook
Even if you’ve seen your fill of arches, this one should still be on your radar. Not only do you get a spectacular view with very little walking, but you get to see the overlook through the arch. It’s a very popular spot for sunrise and sunset though, so make sure to get there early!
More Things to Do in Moab Utah
Need things to do in Moab Utah that don’t involve hiking? We have you covered there as well!
Moab Giants Museum
Ever wanted to experience a visit to Jurassic Park, minus the risk of live dinosaurs? You can, at the Moab Giants Museum! With more than 100 life-sized dinosaurs spread through the park and a gorgeous desert backdrop, you can experience (safely and with a little imagination) what it would be like to walk among them! They also have 5-D virtual reality to showcase what a prehistoric aquarium would house, and a great cafe to have a snack. Don’t miss out on this one!
Moab Rock Shop
This quirky, local shop houses rocks, fossils, and even real dinosaur bones! Hours could easily be taken up perusing through all the different sections of the Moab Rock Shop and the staff is very friendly and knowledgeable. With trinkets, fun colors, and interesting surroundings, you’re sure to leave with a unique souvenir.
Bike Ride on River Road
Don’t want to hike, but still want to get outdoors? Go on a family bike ride! Many hotels and Airbnbs have bikes already waiting for you, and there are several rental shops to borrow from as well. The road is very smoothly paved and is part of a designated, “Watchable Wildlife Area,” so be sure to be on the lookout for fun wildlife on your way.
Desert Scavenger Hunt
Need an activity to keep the kids’ attention while you check out the shops? Put them on a desert scavenger hunt! The terrain is so open and vast, there are numerous things to look for! Have them search for lizards, cacti, an adobe house, or even a Utah license plate that pictures the Arch, and have them take a picture with it. Bonus: The photos make for a great photo book memento.
Many rental locations in Moab boast pool access, and for good reason too. The heat is easy to beat when you can enjoy a dip in the water. Don’t have a pool where you’re staying? No problem! The local recreation center has a pool, and even a water slide! With low prices and upscale ways to play, it’s a great option when you’re looking for things to do in Moab Utah for families and kids.
Read More: Tips for a Toddler Friendly Road Trip
Themed Movie Night
After a long day of hiking and swimming, it’s nice to get indoors and relax. Instead of reaching for your favorite Disney movie, why not watch a movie with ties to the area? Smoke Signals and The Fast Runner are some great movies with Native American themes, cast, and even directors that are family friends. Enjoy with a bowl of popcorn!
One of the most amazing things about being in Moab is the lack of city lights, allowing you to see billions of stars with the naked eye. Grabbing a blanket or two and lying down to see the beauty of the sky at night has all the potential of being a memorable vacation moment.
Want to end the night with a little sweetness? Create a simple s’mores bar with some interesting ingredients (think white chocolate, peanut butter, or even strawberries) and have a taste test with the kids. Have them rate each creation and see whose mix deserves a five-spoon rating!
A vacation full of wonder, education, relaxation, and bliss? What else could you ask for? Whether you come away from Moab with a new love for hiking or perhaps a bigger rock collection or not, one thing is for sure: There are plenty of things to do in Moab Utah, and endless opportunities for a uniquely memorable family trip.
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Photo credits: Mylyn Wood Photography