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6 days in Moab

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San Francisco...
posts: 42
6 days in Moab


After much debating, I've picked Moab for a late September trip. Its our first time in Moab and we love hiking/ biking/ adventurous activities.

Here's a draft itinerary:

Day 1: Drive from SLC to Moab. Stop at Arches Visitor Center, La Sal Mountain Overlook and do the Delicate Arch hike at sunset

Day 2: Open for canyoneering/ rafting trip. Yet to book.

Day 3: Sunrise at Landscape arch and complete the Devil's garden trail via primitive trail. Post lunch see Broken Arch and Sand Dune Arch. On the way back to Moab, stop at arches in Windows and Courthouse sections (assuming its quick to get to the viewpoints/arches in these sections)

Day 4: Fiery Furnace Guided hike. Corona Arch hike for sunset

Day 5: Dead Horse Point State Park for Sunrise. Viewpoints and short hikes at Islands in the sky (Mesa Arch, Grand View Point, Aztec Butte, Whale Rock, Upheaval Dome etc.)

Day 6: Neck Spring Tail and head back to SLC or head back to SLC stopping somewhere on the way


1. Any must-do hikes that I've missed or can I replace any of my hikes/site seeing with some other secret/special outing?

2. I've heard Canyonlands is one of the perfect parks for star gazing. Is there a specific place for star gazing, especially if you're not camping in the park, but staying at one of the lodges in Moab?

3. Any recommendations for getting packed lunches for hikes/ good, inexpensive dinner places?

4. Any recommendations for good adventure companies that help with canyoneering/ rafting? Also, any specific trails/tours?

5. Any interesting place(s) to stop by on Day 6 on my way back to SLC?

Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
posts: 42,479
reviews: 144
1. Re: 6 days in Moab

We did the Westwater Raft trip last fall with Sherri Griffith Adventures. I would recommend it for a fun day

Park City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah, Winter Sports
posts: 11,733
reviews: 232
2. Re: 6 days in Moab

Good trip plan. We use Cliffs and Canyons for canyoneering, Ephedra's Grotto trip is great. Others may have thoughts on this, but I'm not sure how great Corona Arch is for sunset. Powell Museum in Green River would be nice stop on way back. Town of Helper has some antique shops. Moab Diner, Moab Brewery, Hacienda all reasonably priced dinner. We also like Miguel's on Main Street, a touch more but well worth it.

Have fun.

Belfast, United...
posts: 99
reviews: 15
3. Re: 6 days in Moab

One of the great problems with Moab is that no matter how many days you allocate, it is never enough. You have a good itinerary planned but at the risk of overloading things, I would recommend allocating a day to driving down to the Needles and hiking in Chesler Park. Or save it for your next trip!

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah
posts: 1,690
reviews: 18
4. Re: 6 days in Moab

Day three the Windows Section can be done relatively quickly. Double Arch is about 1/4 of a mile and the Windows and Turret Arch is probably about a mile round trip. You have Sand Dune Arch listed for day 3 and that hike is probably 1/4 of a mile too.


There is a decent grocery store in Moab, if you would like to just make and pack your own lunches.

A couple of hikes up highway 128 would be Fisher Towers and Negro Bill Canyon. The Needles is always fun.

Generally, higher altitudes and less light and dust pollution create optimal conditions for night skies. Anywhere up on that rim should be fine.

I would definitely recommend rafting. The water is fairly low right now, but it will still be a great experience. I think they even do day trips through Cataract Canyon now, but it's a 100 mile trip on the river that is usually done in 3-7 days. The Westwater Canyon trip is 17 miles and might be better. I've used WRE and they were great.

A lot of people like doing Mesa Arch for sunrise to get that fiery glow on the underside of the arch, but Dead Horse Point wouldn't be bad either.

An alternate route coming back to Salt Lake, depending on how much time you have and how comfortable you are reading maps, would be driving through the San Rafael Swell and checking out the Little Grand Canyon (Wedge Overlook), Buckhorn Wash petroglyph art panels, the dinosaur foot print embedded in the rock. You won't need a 4WD drive, but the area is very isolated. It is only about 30 miles longer, but could add over an hour of drive time because the speed limits are lower.

You would enter the Swell from I-70 and travel about 45 minutes on Buckhorn Draw Road until you cross the San Rafael River and after seeing the sites, exit at Huntington on SR 10 and then on up to Price and the rest of the route is the same. I would allot 5-6 extra hours to look through. Make sure you have a full tank of gas and some water and food. There are no services between Green River and Huntington and it is more remote than driving straight to Price, where there is bound to be lots of other vehicles. You can get a Nat Geo. map of the San Rafael Swell online. Huntington to Salt Lake is about 2 1/2 hours.

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah
posts: 13,857
reviews: 126
5. Re: 6 days in Moab

1- Not often mentioned is the Tower Arch. It is down a dirt road that is normally passable for passenger cars. Check on it for day 4.

2- You can park the car almost anywhere on the Canyonlands mesa and enjoy the stars in the night sky....unless it is a full moon. Anywhere away from the lights of town would be fine. So you could even drive south for little ways until the lights are out of sight.

3- Milt's Stop and eat

4- Moab Adventure Center. Sunset Hummer trail!

5- The Prehistoric Museum in Price features dinosaurs that have been found in the area and is surprisingly good for the small college town.

San Francisco...
posts: 42
6. Re: 6 days in Moab

Thank you everyone, for your kind responses.

RedRox, unfortunately the 1 day Westwater rafting trip is not available during the days we're there.

TWC - will check out Cliffs and Canyons.

Utah Fan - Couldn't fit Needles in this time. Saving it for our next trip!

Shake801 - We'll check out the grocery store. I'm checking with WRE for their tours.

KbecJeans - I assumed tower arch can only be reached via 4WD. We'll have a small rental car and have been warned about their policies about going off road. Would that be a concern?

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah
posts: 13,857
reviews: 126
7. Re: 6 days in Moab

The Tower Arch road, being dirt and in the park changes year to year and season to season. We have taken a small passenger car as well as a station wagon on it, so at the time of course 4x4 was not needed. That doesn't mean it would be that way when you visit. I would keep it in mind and ask about conditions. As far as a rental car, it would probably not be in the rental agreement, but I've read plenty of people who disregard that clause and do just fine. As long as nothing happens to the car of course no harm done. You'll have to decide if it is worth the risk.

If you really want to try it however you could rent a jeep for a day from a company in town whose rental agreements WOULD cover that road as well as some of the other fun places to drive in the area.

8. Re: 6 days in Moab

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