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Trip Report

Hiking in Moab, Utah

Hiking in and around Moab is an adventurers town in the middle of Utah, where you can sleep in a tent and do hikes the entire day. We hiked for 3 days, I will tell you how to make the most out of it.

by bikAbout Me:A student of the performing arts in the Netherlands, while still catching as much abroad experience as possible. On top of all the cities and countries visited with my mother, who works as a cabin attendant with the airlines, I am taking a... read more

North AmericaUnited States1 day / April 2022

Highs & Lows

The most beautiful sunrises you will ever see.

Running out of time is very annoying, get up early so you can do all the hikes you want.

Itinerary Overview

Since we only had three full days to spend hiking in Moab we had to rush and were not able to do the longer hikes we normally like to do, but we looked for the best hikes to do and do it in a way that we made best use of our time. Moab is a town five hours car drive away from Salt Lake City, and has the national parks Canyonlands and Arches nearby. Arches has one road and a couple of hikes you can do, you could spend one or two days doing Arches, and Canyonlands has three districts, with their own entrance. You cannot drive through the national park, you have to drive around it to get to each entrance, you could spend two or  three days PER DISTRICT in Canyonlands National Park! We only had 3 days in total, so we did Arches National Park and skipped one of the three districts of Canyonlands and only did Island in the Sky and The Needles. After some research we figured that the third district, The Maze, wasn't worth it for these three days. One important thing we did is that we got up very early every day, it was easier because of our jetlag, and really worth it because you can catch the sunrise and start your hikes early before it gets too crowded.

We left Salt Lake City early in the morning and stopped halfway at a supermarket to stretch our legs and get some groceries for the rest of the day, because we didn't want to waste time going to a supermarket again that day. In Moab, we wanted to sleep in our tent on a campground, and you have to arrive early at these campgrounds because otherwise they will be full. They are non-commercial campgrounds and are scattered around the place, they have compostable toilets, no water and you put the money in a box when you leave. We quickly set up our tent  when we arrived in the early afternoon to claim the spot and we hopped back in the car for our first hike in the Island in the Sky district. After this we had dinner in town, did some groceries for the next day (you need to do it in the evening) and went to sleep right away.

The second day we woke up at 5:00 pm, packed our stuff and drove 20 minutes to the entrance of Arches National Park where we had to wait in line with the car to enter. We watched the sunrise and did a good hike in the park, but we had to leave in time because we had to drive to The Needles district of Canyonlands National Park, which is a two hour drive, claim a spot on the campground and catch the sunset.  We did groceries for the next day on the way and were lucky to have a spot for the car and the tent when we arrived since we got there in the evening.

The last day we got up at early again to watch the sunrise and do a short hike. We had breakfast and did another short hike of around two hours, before having to drive 7 hours back to Salt Lake City and catch our flight back home the same afternoon.

  • Day trip: Island in the Sky
    We wanted to try to see if we could catch the essence of this district in one hiketrail, and catch some views with the car.
  • Day trip: Arches National Park
    We wanted to do the Devils Garden trail and catch the sunrise.
  • Day trip: Needles District Canyonlands
    It is very different from the Island in the Sky district and really worth a visit.

Q & A

  • What would you have changed?

    I would have wanted more time!

  • How was the food?

    A really good quesedilla/taco foodtruck in Moab, ask the locals, i forgot the name and it might not be there.

  • What tips would you give a friend?

    There is no water at the campgrounds, so you cannot shower there. You can shower in town or just break into another campground and shower there. You also need to buy jerrycans and take them with you, otherwise you will have nothing to drink and you have to drink a lot, since its basically desert.

  • Packing tips?

    Mornings are super cold, afternoons are super hot, dress in layers and keep in mind you have to carry around the clothing you take off during the day.

  • Transportation Tips?

    No, you need to do everything with your own car, or be lucky enough to be able to hitch hike.