While well known as the gateway to the Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, Moab has a great deal to offer outside the boundaries of the parks. Surrounded by natural beauty, Moabâ€™s scenic wonders are definitely not limited to the national parks, and, in fact, most of the activities visitors come to enjoy, i.e. rafting, four-wheeling, ATV riding, are not permitted inside the parks.
For those seeking stunning views, the beautiful Dead Horse Point State Park offers view that rival those found in the Grand Canyon National Park. Perched upon a 2,000 foot mesa just a few miles outside the entrance to the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands, the view from this park is one of the most photographed scenic vistas in the world. Used to portray the Grand Canyon in many films, the park has earned the nickname of â€œThe Little Grand Canyonâ€. There are miles of pet-friendly developed hiking trails in the park, including a paved trail which provides easy access to some of the most scenic views. Mountain bikers will love the new Intrepid Trail System at Dead Horse Point. With slickrock sections, looping single-track, sandy washes, and incredible scenery, the Intrepid Trail System provides a great taste of what Moab mountain biking is all about. This is the perfect ride for families and offers spectacular views of the Colorado River and Canyonlands National Park.
Want arches? Those too can be found outside the park with the popular Corona Arch and Bowtie Arch trail located off of Highway 279 or visit the popular Morning Glory Bridge at the end of the Negro Bill Canyon Trail. (Highway 128)
The Sand Flats Recreation Area (SFRA) is beautiful in its own right, with miles of slickrock domes, fins and bowls just waiting to be explored by foot, Jeep, ATV, or mountain bike. Home to the world famous Slickrock bike trail & Porcupine Rim bike trail, the SFRA also has nearly 40 miles of Jeep trails and 120 camping sites.
The Colorado River offers both wild and mild. The Westwater and Cataract Canyons provide thrilling Class IV whitewater rapids, while the Fisher Towers provides a great family friendly adventure. River fun doesnâ€™t stop when the sun goes down; enjoy a sunset jet boat ride or a world famous sound and light show as you float under amazing dark skies of canyon country.
Hiking trails are plentiful outside the parks such as Hidden Valley, Fisher Towers, Moab Rim, Hunter and Portal Overlook Trail. In addition, there are over a hundred miles of paved non-motorized paths, from casual in-town riding to the new Moab Canyons Pathway that will take you along highway 191, past Arches National Park, to the Moab Brands Trail, then crosses under the highway and meets up with Scenic Byway 313 to Dead Horse Point State Park.
There are not one, not twoâ€¦but three State Scenic Byways to explore; Upper Colorado River Scenic Byway (U-128); Potash-Lower Colorado River Scenic Byway (U-279) and Dead Horse Point Mesa Scenic Byway (U313). State Scenic Byways help recognize, preserve and enhance selected roads throughout the United States based on their archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational and scenic qualities.
Experience the unexpected when you find yourself amongst quaking aspen, bubbling springs and picturesque Lakes of the Manti La Sal Mountain National Forest, just minutes away from downtown Moab. Cool Aspens are welcome relief on hot days and miles of hiking/biking trails, make a day in the LaSals a must do when planning a trip to Moab. During winter, these hiking trails become a cross-country skiing wonderland.
With so much to see and do outside of the national parks, Moab, where our outdoor wonderland is always open, is the place to head for your next outdoor adventure. For more information visit www.discovermoab.com or call the Moab Travel Council at 800-635-6622.