- Hiking/Trail Running
Whether you are into short hikes or ultra marathons, Moab has it all. When I say that, I truly mean you can run the Moab 240 (yes, that is a 240 miles race) or you can hike .4 of a mile to the base of the Windows arches in Arches National Park. Of course, there is everything in-between as well. As the topography of Moab is relatively level, most hikes do not have significant climbs.
Another beautiful part of adventuring around is the trail system. As the desert environment is fragile, the trails often follow erosion-resistant paths such as slick rock. At times, the slick rock trails can be difficult to follow for those not accustom to cairns, but you will learn quickly.
For myself, I found packing a day pack, ideally one with a hydration system like the Arrio 24, to be the best way to hit the trail. Often, these hikes are gorgeous and the trails have offshoots that take you to great views not listed on the maps. If you have that curiosity and want to explore deeper, the desert can be a hot place, so make sure to have water with you at all times!
Hike/Trail Run Suggestions:
- Landscape Arch in Arches National Park
- Aztec Butte in Needle District of Canyonlands
Do you have a fear of heights or tight places and are looking to outgrow that? If so, you should look into canyoneering! Canyoneering is one of those awesome adventures where the difficulty ranges from non-technical canyons to very-technical canyons where you will be repelling in waterfalls using not-the-most-inspiring natural anchors.
Sometimes you need a wetsuit to endure the cold, while there are canyons that get sun for most of the day. Regardless of the adventure you chose, you are bound to have a great time and get a new perspective on the outdoors.
- Desert Highlights: https://deserthighlights.com/
- Red Rivers Guides: https://redriveradventures.com/utah-canyoneering/
As if Utah didn’t already have enough to offer in terms of climbing, but between Moab proper, Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Park, Joe’s Valley, and Indian Creek there are over 2,500 routes to choose from.
Now, the question is, “what do you like to climb?” If you want to plug gear and summit a few towers, then Indian Creek is your spot. If you want to pull hard, but stay close to the ground, check out Joe’s Valley for some bouldering. Are you a bolt clipper? If so, check out Potash road just outside of Moab. Luckily, there is climbing for all… even those aid climbers!
Pack of choice:
As a lover crack, here are some of my favorite moderate climbs at Indian Creek:
- Neat on Optimtor Wall
- Blue Sun on Way Rambo Wall
- Spaghetti Western on Pistol Whipped Wall
- Astro Photography
As Arches National Park is a registered International Dark Sky Park, meaning the light pollution from the surrounding cities is so minimal (a combination of low-population and blue-light regulation) that the possibilities with astro photography is literally out of this world!
While Arches may get the fame for the area, if you venture into Castle Valley or down to Looking Glass Road, the skies are equally as clear and there are less people.
Images to create with the Milky Way:
- Behind an arch
- Next to a desert tower
- In a slot canyon
There are endless adventures to be had around Moab, here are just a few more to get you planning your next trip:
- Bikepack the White Rim in Canyonlands
- Seek out petroglyphs, there are a lot. Please mind LNT practices!
- Join the largest slack-line gathering in the US
Blog post and all photography by Dalton Johnson
Follow along his adventures at @daltonjohnsonmedia