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Hiking Suggestions near Moab

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Hiking Suggestions near Moab

Hello, myself and a couple of friends are going to Moab the first week in October to hike so I'm looking for some suggestions on the best hikes. We have 7 full days to hike. I was thinking of the following hikes/days:

Day 1 - Little Wild Horse/Bell Canyon Loop

Day 2 - Thompson Canyon

Day 3 - Arches (Fiery Furnance/Delicate Arch)

Day 4 - Arches (Devils Garden)

Day 5 - The Needles Area

Day 6 - The Needles Area again?

Day 7 - ?

Any suggestions for other hikes or maybe not do some of the ones above? What is the best hike in the Needles area? Should we go back to the Needles area twice?

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks,


Salt Lake City, Utah
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1. Re: Hiking Suggestions near Moab

The Needles is at least a 90-minute drive from Moab and Little Wild Horse will also be about 90- minutes away. Just so you know. If going into the Needles, I would do Chesler Park for a full day loop. Not sure if you'd want to drive that far another day. besthike.com/northamerica/…chesler.html

Some things I see you have missing are Corona Arch, Negro Bill Canyon, Fisher Towers, and Canyonlands' Island in the Sky for places like Upheaval Dome. www.utah.com/hike/canyonlands.htm#island

I also think you could squeeze more into each day at Arches or combine the two.

If you are into the petroglyphs in Thompson you might also try Horseshoe Canyon. Check dirt road conditions if you decide to do this one, and keep in mind that it will be about a three hour drive from Moab. Not sure if it's the best use of time. The entrance is driving back towards LWHC and Bell, but couldn't be done in the same day as those two. …latimes.com/2012/…la-tr-horseshoe-20120610

If you want to bag the highest peak in Utah, not in the Uintahs, you could try to conquer Mount Peale.


This is the highest peak you see towering over Moab when entering from the North. It is the 2nd most prominent peak in all of Utah and one of the top 25 most prominent peaks in the lower 48. http://www.peakbagger.com/list.aspx?lid=41203

It all just depends on what you would like to do with your time. I always recommend rafting down the Colorado too. And of course, Moab is THE mountain biking mecca. http://www.discovermoab.com

Roosevelt, Utah
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2. Re: Hiking Suggestions near Moab

Ditto on everything Shake recommends. Horseshoe Canyon is a FULL DAY from Moab, what with driving and hiking. But it is a stunning canyon and the rock art there is the PREMIER art of the Colorado Plateau. (Don't attempt to drive on the San Rafael Desert road to Horseshoe unless you have 4x4 or at the very least AWD.)

You will love Sego and Thompson Canyon, but I'm not so sure that would be an entire day trip. You could combine that trip with Dead Horse Point or other hikes out that way, like Mill Canyon: blm.gov/ut/…mill_canyon.html. Or, you could enter Arches (again) via Willow Springs:

blm.gov/ut/… and enjoy the scenery coming in from the west side of the park.

I *love* the Needles area; I could (and have!) spent many days there. I really like to encourage hiking Davis Canyon, accessed via a road near North and South six-shooter peak: http://www.utahtrails.com/DavisCanyon.html. Exploring this canyon would be a good day hike from Moab.


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3. Re: Hiking Suggestions near Moab

Wow, I've been researching all these suggestions, there are some beautiful looking hikes in this area. Thanks for all your help but I have a few more questions.

1) Could we do Arches in one day? Fiery Furnace, Delicate Arch and Devils Garden

2) I was looking on a website about The Needles and in one long day do Cheslar Park, The Joint and Druid Arch. Is that feasible?

Mt Peale looks interesting. That is more the type of hike around here that we do. Does it ever get snow on it?

Salt Lake City, Utah
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4. Re: Hiking Suggestions near Moab

I was looking at your day 3 and 4 and thought you don't need two days to do that. So Arches in one day is possible even in October with the shorter daylight and a Fiery Furnace tour.... if you are strong hikers and use all available hours.

Yes, Mt Peale does get snow... October may be a bit early for it though.

I can't say about all that in the Needles in one day, still on my to-do list.

Woking, United...
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5. Re: Hiking Suggestions near Moab

Dogstar, there is no way you can do all the things you suggest for Arches in one day. We have recently returned from there and Devils Garden all the way to Double O Arch is pretty much a 4 hour round trip, Fiery Furace is best done with a Ranger and will be a 3 hour trip and finally the full trek up to Delicate Arch is a strenuous 3 hour round trip. To do all three in a day would be an admirable achievement but I doubt you would get the best from it. It is possible to drive round Arches in a day and skim the surface of it but to do specific hikes you suggest would need to be spread over a few days. We stayed in Moab for a week and managed to do pretty much all of Arches (you can never do it all!) and Island in the Sky and a day trip to Monument Valley. Tragically we had no time for Needles....we will just have to plan another trip!!

Moab, Utah
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6. Re: Hiking Suggestions near Moab

We're yet to climb Mt Peale. Between being in shape and being there at the right time of year the stars have never aligned. As far as October goes, last year we drove to the trailhead with no intentions of hiking just checking out the road and the fall colors in the mountains. Turned out to be a glorious day and we wished we had gone prepared. Mid October 2010 there was snow on the mountain already. Other times I've just been to fat to handle it.

"The Needles in one long day do Chesler Park, The Joint and Druid Arch. Is that feasible?" It is feasible but it will be a long day. We've only ever done these as two separate day hikes from Moab. Druid Arch we started early and were on the trail at sunrise, back at the carpark by noon. In our case it was July so that was enough but that leaves plenty of time on a nice October day to cut across from the Druid Arch trail to Chesler Park and then The Joint. Off the top of my head you are probably looking at about 18 miles of hiking all up. Add up the numbers on this map for a more accurate estimate. nps.gov/cany/…NeedlesTrailsandRoads.pdf

It's a full day but if you get a 2pm Fiery Furnace Tour then you could get all of your planned activities in. Working around the timing of the ranger guided tour would be the hardest part. As mentioned before, highly recommended to only do it with a ranger. Many people visit Delicate Arch for sunset after the FF tour so that gives you the whole morning for the Devil's Garden; make sure to take the primitive trail back from Double O Arch.

Edited: 5:22 pm, September 07, 2013
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7. Re: Hiking Suggestions near Moab

I'd recommend on focusing on hikes closer to Moab, as alluded to by other posters. Little Wild Horse, for example, is quite a haul from Moab for a day hike. I think the Island in the Sky portion of Canyonlands is a superb option. There are multiple trails that drop off the mesa down to the White Rim below. The ones I've done are the Murphy Loop and the Syncline Loop. Both were excellent. There's also Gooseberry, Wilhite, and Lathrop. Haven't done them, but have always wanted to. I don't suspect these trails are ever crowded.

Mt. Peale is a great choice as well, though October could be iffy conditions. I did it once, in August. Not only "does it ever snow" on Mt. Peale, but the high elevations of the LaSal Mountains are basically guaranteed to be snow covered for much of the year. The drive to the trailhead is a bit long, and does require driving unpaved roads, it should be noted.

8. Re: Hiking Suggestions near Moab

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