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Moab, Utah: A Magnificent and Spectacular Place

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My husband and I love exploring new places. Currently, we reside in Utah. Someday, we would like to travel all across the United States.

Sand Dune Arch and Broken Arch in Moab

Sand Dune Arch and Broken Arch in Moab

Last weekend, we went to Moab for our final trip of the year before the long holidays. Situated in eastern Utah, Moab is a gateway to massive red rock formations in Arches National Park. There are many incredible hikes in this area, as well as lots of other activities.

In this article, I'll share a few tips about visiting Moab, as well as some details and photos of its main attractions.

An Excellent Place for Outdoor Lovers

If you're an outdoor lover, Moab is the place for you! It draws all types of outdoor adventurers. Experts claim Moab has some of the best trails in the world, and not just for rock climbers and hikers.

No doubt there are plenty of activities you can do in Moab. However, my husband and I are avid hikers. We planned to hike one of many landmarks in Moab: the Delicate Arch—a world-famous natural sandstone arch.

Arches National Park

One of the best attractions in Moab is Arches National Park. It boasts an abundance of mountains, hiking trails, and geologic formations. We were super excited to take it all in.

To make sure we managed the time right, we left our room early in the morning and spent the whole day hiking and exploring these endless attractions. Did you know that since 2010, Arches' visitation has topped 1 million people? The park is popular for good reason; its breathtaking scenery attracts people from all over the world.

Tips and Information for Visiting Arches NP

  • The park is open 365 days a year. The visitor center is open daily from 9 am to 4 pm.
  • Arches National Park charges fees for park entrance, camping, and some permits. Eighty percent of the fees collected at Arches are returned to the park to address priority needs in maintenance, infrastructure, resource management, and visitor services.
  • There is no food, gas, or lodging in the park. The town of Moab about five miles from the park entrance has a full complement of restaurants, lodging, grocery stores, and gas stations.
  • If you want to camp, the campground is full every day, March through October. The best thing you could do is to reserve a site before you arrive. However, if you don't have a reservation, plan to use other area camping options. For more information, please visit
  • You may have your pet at Devils Garden Campground. You may also walk them along roads and in parking lots. However, you may not have pets on hiking trails, at overlooks, or anywhere in the backcountry, even in carriers. Pet also must be on a leash at all times.
  • It's prohibited and dangerous to climb on any arch or on prominent features like Balance Rock.
  • It's easy to become dehydrated even in cold temperatures. Plan on drinking at least 1 gallon of water per day.

There is an entrance fee to enter the park. The charges are as stated below:

  • Single Vehicle (per vehicle) $30
  • Motorcycle (per vehicle) $25
  • Pedestrian/Bicycle (per person) $15
  • Interagency Annual Pass $80
  • Southeast Utah Parks Pass $55
Delicate Arch is a 52-foot-tall (16 m) freestanding natural arch located in Arches National Park.

Delicate Arch is a 52-foot-tall (16 m) freestanding natural arch located in Arches National Park.

Our Adventure of the Day—Delicate Arch

As we were prepared to hike, we had been warned that we must hike up the steep, deceptively difficult trail to Delicate Arch. Along the way, before getting to Delicate Arch, we encountered many other natural wonders. We also stopped at different parks to take photos before heading to the Delicate Arch trailhead.

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Delicate Arch Hike

The parking lot is located on Delicate Arch Road. We drove to the parking area and park the car. From the parking area, we set off from the Delicate Arch Trailhead and cross the bridge over salt wash. The trail to see Delicate Arch up close and personal is 3 miles (4.8 km) roundtrip and climbs 480 feet (146m). Along with the hiking, we saw endless amazing views.

A Shorter Alternative

By the way, those looking for a shorter hike can drive to the end of Delicate Arch Road. Then take a walk to Upper Delicate Arch Viewpoint, providing a unique but more distant view of the arch.

Be Prepared for the Weather

If you're coming during summertime, this hike can get very hot, so park officials discourage hiking this trail at midday during the summer. The best time to visit the park is during spring and fall. We were lucky that the weather was on our side when we visited in winter. However, know that wintertime in Utah is cold. If you plan to do this hike during the cold season, be prepared for the weather with proper jackets, hats, gloves, socks, and boots.

After completing the trail to Delicate Arch, we returned to the car. I was awestruck by the beauty of the arch. However, we had not yet completed our adventure. There were many other arches to see! So, we decided to continue our drive and stop at different arches.

A closer shot of Delicate Arch. It is the most widely recognized landmark in Arches National Park.

A closer shot of Delicate Arch. It is the most widely recognized landmark in Arches National Park.

Tips: When to Hike Delicate Arch

  • Through the spring and fall, the park’s temperature usually reaches 65 to 85 degrees during the day, with nights as much as 30 degrees cooler.
  • In the summer, daytime temperatures routinely hit 100 degrees, so hikes in the morning and evening are preferable.
  • Make sure to bring along sunscreen and extra water for any summer hike.
  • The trail is open year-round, and in the winter you can take advantage of the near solitude. But be aware, you may need poles or shoe spikes to navigate the trail, which can get icy.

Ute Indian Petroglyphs

On our way back and shortly before returning to the trailhead, we visited Wolfe Ranch and a wall of Ute Indian Petroglyphs. The stylized horse and rider surrounded by bighorn sheep and dog-like animals are typical of Ute Indian artwork.

These petroglyphs were carved sometime between A.D. 1650 and 1850. This rock art panel is important to many Native Americans in this region because it was created by their ancestors.

These petroglyphs were carved sometime between A.D. 1650 and 1850. This rock art panel is important to many Native Americans in this region because it was created by their ancestors.

Arches National Park

More Things to Do in Moab

If you're planning to visit here, there are plenty of other things to do such as:

  • Drive scenic road
  • Stargazing
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Backpacking
  • Climbing and canyoneering
  • Photography
  • Horseback riding
  • Enjoy sunrise or sunset at Delicate Arch
  • Paddleboarding
  • Moab sand hill

An Unforgettable Experience!

Before leaving the park, I thought to myself that this was one of my favorite trips because I got to see the beautiful scenery of eastern Utah with breathtaking desert landscapes and dramatic panoramic vistas. I felt fortunate to witness such an incredible display of nature on earth.

This landscape has many stories to tell, from marine wonderland to dusty desert. We can't wait to come back again for another adventure!

© 2021 Liza

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