5 Best Things To Do in Moab, Utah

By Redtail Air Adventures

Located just west of the La Sal mountain range and in close proximity to the east bank of the Colorado River, Moab, Utah is a beautiful location that has a deep and interesting natural history! While Moab is a hot destination to visit today for its unmatched hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing opportunities, archaeological evidence suggests that it was inhabited by Native Americans as early as 10,000 years ago. Today, there are ancient artifacts, pictographs, and dwellings remaining that you can visit- these historic remains give a little insight as to what Moab once was!

In 1878, the first permanent Mormon settlers arrived in the Moab area, establishing homesteads, ranches, and farmlands. For many years, the economy of Moab was fueled by the fruit crops produced on these farmlands. Moab was officially incorporated as a town in the year of 1903. By the 1950s, prospectors and miners from afar were drawn to the town of Moab by a uranium boom. This era brought new infrastructure, wealth, and prosperity to the up-and-coming town. 

The economy of Moab as we know it today is primarily fueled by the tourism industry! With the designation of national park land and national monuments in the area, the many hiking trails and scenic tours available, and the unbeatable scenery- Moab is a very popular destination for tourists from all over the world. While there are countless recreational activities to try out in Moab, there are a few that you simply won’t want to miss out on, especially if time is a limiting factor!

5 Best Things To Do in Moab, Utah

1. Arches National Park

From the Ground

What to Expect
Located just north of the beautiful town of Moab, Utah lies one of the most iconic National Parks in the American west! Established in 1929, Arches National Park is home to over 2,000 natural sandstone arches that have formed over millions of years of weathering and erosion.

How to Get There
Getting to Arches National Park from Moab couldn’t be easier! The park entrance is only 5 miles north of town, along highway 191.

How Long to See the Sight
There are so many interesting and beautiful sights to see when visiting Arches National Park. If you are crunched for time, as many tourists are, then you can pick and choose the top sights that you want to see! The road through the park has many turnouts and trailheads that will take you to the iconic features of the park. Arches is such an incredible place, that by the time your trip comes to an end, you might find yourself wishing you had just one more day!

From the Air

What to Expect
Taking a flight tour of Arches National Park will introduce you to the vast and expansive beauty of this iconic American landscape. From the air, you will be able to see many fins, cliffs, monuments, mesas, pillars, and- of course- arches that the park has to offer!

How Long the Flight Will Take
Trying to fit in sightseeing for all of the incredible features in Arches National Park can be time-consuming and even stressful if you only have a day or two to do it! This is where Redtail Air Adventures can come in and help you achieve your vacation goals. Taking the Arches National Park tour with us will allow you to see all of the grand sights of the park, within an hour’s time. Then, you have the rest of the day at your disposal for you to try another invigorating activity that Moab has to offer!

Testimonials

Guests who have experienced Arches National Park with us here at Redtail Air Adventures have nothing but amazing things to say about the experience! Our pilots have world-class expertise, and the views you get from 8,000 feet in the air are truly unbeatable.

arches national park at night

Arches from the ground – Photo Credit: Ken Cheung

Arches national park from the air during an airplane tour

Arches from the air – Photo Credit: Steve Ross

2. Canyonlands National Park

From the Ground

What to Expect
Canyonlands is another incredible National Park just outside of Moab. The park is home to incredible slot canyons, buttes, fins, mazes, mesas, and needles that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.

How to Get There
Many out-of-state visitors choose to fly into a nearby airport, and then drive throughout the park to see its grandeur! Grand Junction Regional Airport and Salt Lake City International Airport are your two best options. From moab, it is only a 35 minute drive to Canyonlands National Park. To get there, take Highway 191 for 10 miles north, and then get onto Highway 313 and drive southwest for 22 miles.

How Long to See The Sight
To see Canyonlands National Park by car and on foot can easily take up 2-3 days of your trip. The park is divided into four districts, which are divided by the Colorado and Green Rivers. Because of this, it takes a while to navigate between the districts! If you don’t have the time to spare to really take in this beautiful park, but you don’t want to miss out, then consider booking a flight tour with Redtail Air Adventures! This will allow you to see everything you want to see in about an hour’s time.

From the Air

What to Expect
Taking a flight tour will allow you to see the incredible, vast expanses of Canyonlands National Park, without having any of your views obstructed! Being able to see for miles and miles over the incredible red rock formations and meandering rivers is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

How Long the Flight Will Take
Flying over Canyonlands National Park takes about an hour, but will leave you with amazing photographs and memories to last a lifetime. While seeing the park on foot is also a great option, it can be arduous and time-consuming. Booking a flight tour will allow you to see the park, and leave you with ample time to experience all of the other things Moab has to offer!

Testimonials

Each time we say our goodbyes to a departing group after a flight tour, it is evident that they have enjoyed the experience- by the smiles across their faces! Customers especially appreciate our knowledgeable and exciting pilots, and the breath-taking views they get from above the park. The Canyonlands National Park flight tour has been described as an “amazing experience” by many!

canyonlands view from the ground

Canyonlands National Park from the ground – Photo Credit: Nick Dunlap

canyonlands national park photo taken from airplane on air tour

Canyonlands National Park from the air

3. Bike the Slickrock Trail

From the Ground

What to Expect
The Slickrock bike trail is one of the most popular mountain biking trails in the world- people come from near and far to conquer this difficult and technical terrain on two wheels! While it is only 12 miles long, this trail can prove to be very challenging- even for advanced riders. Outlaw Jeep Adventures also provides UTV tours to Slick Rock that take you up steep climbs and heart-pounding descents.

How to Get There
Slickrock bike trail is easily accessible from the town of Moab. The trailhead is located just east of town, at a pulloff on Sand Flats Road. From main street in Moab, take a left onto 300 South. When the road ends, take a right turn- you will find yourself on a dirt road. You will see signs for the trailhead at the second left along this road. You can leave your car here!

How Long to See the Sight
While 12 miles may seem like nothing at all on a bike, give yourself around 4 hours to complete the trail. There are also many side spur trails that provide you with beautiful views that overlook the La Sal mountains and the town of Moab. If you plan to take many scenic stops and breaks, you may want to set aside 6 hours!

From the Air

What to Expect
If you aren’t quite up for the challenging adventure of biking the famous Slickrock trail, don’t worry! You don’t have to fully miss out on the experience. Taking a flight tour will allow you to see the same types of geological features, from the comfort and safety of an airplane!

How Long the Flight Will Take
Flying over Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Canyonlands National Park, or the Colorado River will provide you with the same (maybe even better!) views of the incredible landscapes that Moab has to offer. If you are not an experienced mountain biker, then risking your health and safety on a difficult bike trail might not be a great decision. While biking this trail is a grueling experience that may take up half a day, flight tours are typically about an hour long.

Testimonials

Redtail Air Adventures can take you on a flight tour that you will never forget! Many tourists that come to Moab have difficulty hiking, or simply find themselves crunched for time. Sightseeing in the Moab area via flight tour is a wonderful option!

bikers biking the slickrock trail

Slickrock Bike Trail

4. Raft the Colorado River

From the Ground

What to Expect
There are many rafting companies around the Moab area, Wild West Voyages being one, that will take you and your family out for a single or multi-day river rafting trip along the Colorado River! You will be able to view the towering picturesque scenery from below, enjoy feeling the refreshingly cool water, and experience sleeping out under the stars!

How to Get There
Depending on which section of the Colorado River you plan to raft and which company you choose to go through, the put-in spot and the duration of your trip will vary!

How Long to See The Sight
Rafting on the Colorado River will take at least ½ day, and may even take up to three days- depending on which trip you decide on. While rafting the Colorado River is an awesome experience, many people come to the Moab area with just a few days to explore. If this is the case, then we highly suggest taking a flight tour to see the beauty of the Colorado and Green Rivers!

From the Air

What to Expect
Maybe you are not a great swimmer, have a fear of rapids, or simply don’t have enough hours left in your trip to embark on a rafting adventure! That doesn’t mean that you need to miss out on this incredible river. This strong, enduring river is a force-of-nature that played a huge role in forming the incredible geologic features in the Moab area. If rafting isn’t for you, then you can still behold this incredible river from the air!

How Long the Flight Will Take
From the air, you can fly along the amazing Colorado River along the west side of Canyonlands National Park. This flight tour allows you to see the famous Cataract Canyon rapids, and view the many twists and turns that the water takes as it continues to carve out the landscape! This tour will also afford you views of the popular local lake, Lake Powell.

Testimonials

Flying over the Colorado River is an absolutely amazing experience- the views are simply spectacular and you will be able to see all of the incredible colors and shapes that make up the landscape! Looking over the river takes you back in time, and affords you the opportunity to see how the incredible rock formations came to be.

group rafting the colorado river

Rafting the Colorado River

colorado river from the air during a redtail air adventure

Colorado River from the air

5. Monument Valley

From the Ground

What to Expect
Monument Valley is another iconic landscape near Moab, Utah that you will definitely want to check out during your visit! It is chock full of neat sandstone buttes, gigantic mesas, and incredible panoramic views.

How to Get There
Getting to Monument Valley from Moab will take a bit of a drive- it is about 2 hours and 45 minutes away by car, so give yourself plenty of time if you plan on taking the trip! From Moab, take Highway 191 for 146 miles southbound, then make a left onto Monument Valley Road. This will take you right to the valley.

How Long to See The Sight
Driving through and seeing everything from the car will take about 2-3 hours. If you want to really explore and hike around the area, give yourself a day or two! There are plenty of stops along the road that are worth spending some time at.

From the Air

What to Expect
This flight tour will take you over the vast expanses of Monument Valley. You can forego the long car drive from moab to get there, and zip on over on one of our flight tours- accompanied by one of our friendly and knowledgeable pilots at Redtail Air Adventures!

How Long the Flight Will Take
Monument Valley is one of our longer flight tours available, and typically lasts for about 2.5 hours. You will get unbeatable views of a landscape that sustained Native Amerians for thousands of years.

Testimonials

From our unbeatable flight tour, you will be able to see enormous cliffs, giant canyons, and incredible mesas that have formed over millions of years of weathering and erosion! What you can see in just a couple hours on an airplane tour might take you days or weeks to see on foot!

monument valley from the ground

Monument Valley from the ground – Photo Credit: Marc Phillips

Monument valley in the air during airplane tour

Monument Valley from the air – Photo Credit: Tom Till

Explore Moab, UT With Redtail Air!

Moab, UT and the surrounding areas provide such wonderful outdoor experiences. With its vast vistas and deep canyons, arches and other scenic views, Moab is a place you can miss.

If you are pressed for time on your day trip or weekend getaway to Moab, booking a flight with Redtail Air will allow you to get the richest experience possible out of your short stay. 

Planning How To Get To Moab Still?

Whether you have your transportation plans already mapped out to get to Moab or you’re still looking for fun travel ideas, we have a few suggestions.

By Rail

If you haven’t already, we’d recommend looking at the Rockies to the Red Rocks rail route on the Rocky Mountaineer. This scenic, multi-day “rail trip” is a unique way to travel to and from Moab. Along the way riders can see sights like the Ruby Canyon, Mount Logan and cross the Continental Divide. This route has options to depart from Moab and end in Denver, or vice versa, depart from Denver and arrive in Moab. This is a 4 Day / 3 Night experience of the American Southwest that includes various dinning, cocktails and accommodations along the way.

For those planning to embark on this new Southwest rail experience, we’d recommend a scenic airplane tour of one of Utah’s National Parks near Moab. These flightseeing adventures take off in the morning while temperatures are cool, and typically last 30 minutes to 1.5 hours.

By Plane

The closest major airports to Moab are located in Salt Lake City (236 miles from Moab – 4 hour drive) and Grand Junction Colorado (110 miles from Moab – 1 hr 45 min drive). There are some direct flights to Moab from various airports. However, if you’re interested in a direct flight or a connecting flight from Salt Lake to Moab, Redtail Air does offer charter flights into Moab. You can leave the hassle of renting a car and driving, and focus on scenic views and the ease of traveling with a charter flight. Round-trip and one-way options are available.

By Car

Many visitors road trip to Moab by car. Car road trips are great for those looking to make various stops along the way at the national parks and monuments. We’d recommend checking each national park and monuments official website to ensure there are no car travel restrictions in place. We’d also recommend checking your route before driving to avoid major traffic delays.

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