There are no five star hotels on this list (we figured you can find those easily online yourself), but rather hidden gems and places that will make your trip an adventure that won't break the bank! Book these options early for best availability.
1. BEST VIEWS: Moab Valley RV Resort - this place offers clean, cozy cottages for just under $100/night. The resort has spectacular views and a pool to cool off on hot days. It's like camping, but with a comfy bed and air conditioning! Check availability here
2. BEST LOCATION: Canyonlands RV Resort & Campground - sister resort to Moab Valley with same style cottages and a pool. Perfect location in the middle of town, walking distance from shops and restaurants. Check availability here.
3. BEST VALUE: ACT Campground - no pool here, but it's an even better deal at $69/night per private room at a place that is dedicated to environmental education. Awesome communal kitchen and an outdoor fireplace. Check availability here.
4. BEST ADVENTURE: Red Rock Teardrop Trailers on Airbnb - we found this cool listing for $89/night. These guys will set up a teardrop trailer (they have three!) with a bed and a camp kitchen for you at a campground of your choice (extra for site rental). For those who you want to camp under the stars without the hassle of setting up and taking down camp (not recommended in summer months). Check availability here.
CAMPING IN MOAB - It doesn't get any better than camping in the desert (no bears!), but the best and most affordable camping on public lands, along the Colorado river, is hard to come by (ex. Goose Island) It is first come first serve so we recommend to book your first night at a commercial campground and scope out the site you want for the following nights. However, if you are coming on a busy weekend or during a holiday or an event, you should have all your reservations in advance. Moab does sell out!
You can see all of these "must see" sights in one long day. Save yourself a ton of driving and learn about the fascinating geology by taking an all day tour of Arches, Canyonlands, and Dead Horse Point with Moab In A Day Jeep Adventures.
1. Arches National Park - this national park is one of America's most visited national parks and for a good reason. Over 2000 arches dot the landscape and numerous idiosyncratic formations inspire the imagination.
2. Canyonlands National Park - this national park rivals The Grand Canyon. You will be inspired by the incredible vistas and blue skies above. It's a spirit recharging station!
3. Dead Horse Point State Park - situated near Canyonlands, this state park contains one of the most photographed views in all of Moab and the best vantage point to view the mighty Colorado river.
4. River Road 128 - for a spectacular evening drive, travel along the Colorado river toward Castle Valley. Have dinner at Red Cliffs lodge of Sorrel River Ranch and come back to town while stopping to photograph the towering sandstone cliffs on both sides of the road.
5. Downtown Moab - take a moment to walk around Moab in the evening. The town is vibrant, the shops are fun and you will be mingling with people from all over the world.
National and State Park Passes - If you're going to see more than 4 National parks on your trip, invest in an annual pass for $80 on your first entry. It will pay for itself faster than you can say "cheese". State parks are a different fee system, but the entry fees are usually much more affordable per park than for national parks. If you're planning on seeing many they also offer annual state park passes. Each annual state park pass is state based.
Experience the adventure capital of the southwest by engaging in one of these fun activities. Get in shape, get an adrenaline rush, or just relax and have fun.
2. Float down Colorado River - go with a commercial tour company and do an easy float on the Colorado to see the sights along River Road 128 and Castle Valley from the river itself.
3. Hell's Revenge Jeep Tour - join a commercial company and see what a jeep can do. You will crawl over steep mounds and ride along narrow sandstone fins. Sit back and grab your "oh no" handle because it's a wild ride!
4. Bike along River Road and Arches N.P. - you can ride a bike along the Colorado river on a flat, paved surface for miles. It's a beautiful way to spend a few active hours without much exertion.
5. See Petroglyphs - Moab has many petroglyph sites, and the most famous ones are easily accessible by car. Visit Potash Road Indian Writings and Courthouse Wash Panel for a great insight into Native American culture.
6. Learn photography - acre for acre Moab region is the most photogenic landscape in the world. Here you will find world-class photographers offering their time and expertise to show you how to take beautiful photos yourself!
2. Hike Fiery Furnace - either by yourself or with a park ranger, weave your way through a maze of sandstone fins and challenge yourself on a few obstacles. One of the most fun hikes out there hands down! Permit can be acquired 7 days in advance, in person, at the Arches Visitor Center for a nominal fee. Sells out quick so book early!
3. Do Some Mountain Biking - Moab is the mountain biking capital of the west. There are many intermediate trails to explore. Rent a bike from one of the myriad of rental places and have a wild adventure on 2 wheels!
4. Rent a Jeep and drive the Shafer Trail - this 3-4 hour jeep drive is fun and it will give you a taste of "jeeping". You start on Potash Road and continue through the backcountry of Canyonlands N.P. At the end you are treated to some spectacular views of the Shafer canyon along the steep switchbacks. Not for those with fear of heights!
5. Westwater Canyon Rafting - this all day rafting trip will take you down class 3-4 rapids through a narrow canyon where you can touch 1.5 billion year old rocks!
2. Hike the Needles District - Canyonlands is divided into 3 districts and Needles is the one with the most interesting hiking. It's an hour and a half drive from Moab, but the trails are well worth it!
3. Bike the Whole Enchilada - if you are a mountain biking enthusiast, the Whole Enchilada is the holy grail of mountain biking trails. A shuttle will take you up the mountain and you do all the fun work getting back to town!
4. Cataract Canyon Rafting - Cataract canyon is the ultimate in white water rafting. You can do this in one day, but most people choose an overnight trip. Thirty class 3-5 rapids await you on this ride!
5. Skydiving, Climbing, Canyoneering - if you've never done these things, Moab is a world-class venue to try these activities. People come from all over the world to skydive, climb and canyoneer in Moab!