Have you ever watched a movie and wondered where they shot some of the beautiful, desert landscapes? As it turns out there’s a good chance it was Moab, Utah with films like Once Upon a Time in the West, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and even Star Trek choosing to film there. However, the beauty of Moab isn’t movie magic — it’s mother nature.
Located in eastern Utah near the Colorado River, Moab encompasses a vast and gorgeous terrain including the Arches National Park. The Moab area is home to dozens of trails, making it a hikers paradise. Here are some of the best hiking trails in the Moab area for everyone from beginners to true adventurers:
Perhaps the most renowned of all of the Moab area trails not located in a national park, Corona Arch offers beautiful views for relatively little work. The trail itself is 1.5 miles one way and can be accomplished by beginners and families (with kids over 7 years old). Nearby Bowtie Arch is also visible from the path.
Despite the intimidating name this trail located inside of Arches National Park actually falls in the easy to moderate range of hikes. Although the main trail is 2.5 miles going up, more adventurous hikers can try the extended 8 mile loop of the area. One big highlight of this trail is the 306-foot Landscape Arch.
Not only does this trail offer views of amazingly impressive rock towers but also gives you a view of the Colorado River in the distance. The trail is about 4 miles round trip and can be a bit more strenuous for beginning hikers. Also be sure to keep an eye out for rock climbers who often take on the towers and be mindful not to hike underneath them… just in case.
Negro Bill Canyon
This canyon trail will lead you to the bottom of Morning Glory Bridge — the 6th largest natural bridge in the US with a length of 243 feet. Climbing through the narrow canyon will require you to cross a small stream several times so be sure to plan accordingly. Otherwise the the 4.5 mile roundtrip hike is fairly easy one that will take you about 3 to 4 hours to complete.
Rated as a “moderate” level trail, this 6 mile round trip hike does have some steep sections to challenge you. However, you’ll be handsomely rewarded with views of the Moab Valley and Behind the Rocks. Seasoned hikers recommend bringing plenty of water with you before embarking on this trail as there are no hydration sources along the way.
If AllTrails users (who gave the trail a perfect 5-star average) are to be believed then hiking Delicate Arch Trail is an absolute must. The 3 mile out and back trail is rated as a “moderate” for some steep areas. Be sure to bring along your camera as well because there’s a good reason why this arch has become a landmark.
Fiery Furnace has much to be explored. However the area contains no marked trails making it difficult to navigate if you don’t know where you’re going (some have even referred to it as a labyrinth). Because of this hikers must get a permit from the visitors’ center in order to head out on their own. Alternatively ranger-guided hikes are available at a cost of $10 per person. Don’t let that fee deter you as Fiery Furnace is one of the must-see attractions of Moab.
Moab, Utah is not only one of the most naturally beautiful areas of the country but also contains some of the best trails to hikers of all experience and skill levels. Whether you’re looking for fun family vacation that’s not another theme park or feel like getting out and exploring mother nature on your own, Moab should be at the top of your to-do list.