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If you’re looking for a trip that combines adventure with beautiful scenery, look no further than the charming town of Moab, Utah. You’ll find plenty of opportunities for desert fun including Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Dead Horse Point State Park. When you’re not out exploring, Moab is a nice place to call your home base when you’re ready to shop or unwind in the pool.

If you’re wondering what to do while you’re in the area, take a look at what our family did during our three nights and two full days in Moab. For this post, I’ll only be sharing the activities we actually participated in, though we only scratched the surface. There is plenty more fun that we didn’t have time for on this visit to Moab, which happened to be our first! We had such a great time, we hope to return one day.

Our Moab, Utah, Itinerary

Since it was our first visit to the area, we weren’t exactly sure how to go about exploring the Moab area. Plus, we had a couple of unexpected things pop up that changed our plans a hair here and there. We’ve always believed in flexibility, so in the grand scheme of things, these “mishaps” weren’t that big of deal.

Night 1

Check in to our cabin (we arrived after dark)

Day 1 and Night 2

Morning: Dead Horse Point State Park; Canyonlands NPS Visitor Center at Island in the Sky

Afternoon: Swim at the campground; early dinner at the cabin

Evening: Arches National Park; Windows area, Fiery Furnace area, attempt to hike to Delicate Arch

Night: Stargazing in Arches National Park

Day 2 and Night 3

Morning: Canyonlands National Park; Grand View Point Road; Hike to Mesa Arch

Afternoon: Shopping in Moab; lunch at the food trucks in Moab

Evening: Arches National Park; Park Avenue and Courthouse Towers area; ; Delicate Arch Viewpoint

Night: Dinner at the cabin

We checked out and continued our road trip the next morning. Our next destination: Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. To read more about Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, click here. To read about our relaxing hike at Bear Lake, click here.

Where We Stayed in Moab, Utah

Pool at KOA Campground Moab, Utah

We stayed right outside of town at the Moab KOA Holiday. It was our first stay in a cabin at a KOA, but it wasn’t our last. These cabins are super nice, and ours had a bathroom, a kitchenette, and air conditioning. We had a grill and a firepit. I feel like we get a taste of camping in a campground while still having the feel of a hotel. This is nice for when you don’t want to haul a bunch of gear across the country.

KOA cabin Moab, Utah

Of course, if you have an RV, this is a great place for you, too! If I were tent camping or had an RV, I would probably consider staying up near Canyonlands or Dead Horse State Park. The stargazing there would be awesome. We could see more stars at the KOA than we could at home, but there is still a bit of light pollution near Moab. I would go into the wilderness for the best experience.

Click here to read more about our Moab KOA Holiday experience!

Where We Dined in Moab, Utah

Quesadilla Mobilla Moab, Utah

One of my favorite food experiences during the entire road trip was eating at this food truck in Moab. Quesadilla Mobilla is a chain, apparently, but this one was the first we’d ever encountered.

Quesadilla Mobilla Moab,

These quesadillas are so yummy and filling!

Quesadilla Mobilla Moab,

Since the pandemic was on, and it was before vaccines were available, we were reluctant to eat indoors. Food trucks to the rescue! Though there is also a food truck park next door to this food truck. There are all kinds of options.

Food trucks in Moab, Utah

It’s also worth noting that the food trucks are right in the middle of town. You’ll see the area when you drive down the main strip in Moab.

We also grabbed Pizza Hut and took it to the cabin one evening. Another night, we grabbed groceries and grilled at the cabin.

Deluxe Cabin at KOA Campground Moab, Utah

What We Did in Moab, Utah

National and State Parks

As noted in the itinerary, we spent most of our time in the parks in the area.

Arches National Park

Arches National Park

We spent the most time in Arches National Park, and it is probably the most popular. We visited in July, and I never felt like it was crowded or overrun with people. Still, we traveled in 2020, so the pandemic was on. Also, since it was so hot, we visited Arches in the evenings.

Arches is a park you can easily drive through and stop at viewpoints and short hikes. There are also longer hikes if you’re interested in that. We should’ve set out for Delicate Arch much earlier, and we didn’t make it to the arch. If you’d like to read more about experiences in Arches National Park, click here.

Canyonlands National Park: Island in the Sky

Canyonlands National Park Island in the Sky

We spent two mornings at Canyonlands National Park: Island in the Sky. The first morning, we had a slight detour in our plans because I’d left my purse in a restaurant an hour away the night before. We spent some of our touring time retrieving it. Luckily, it was only an hour away!

Canyonlands National Park Island in the Sky

When we did get to Canyonlands, it was really starting to warm up. We did the visitor center and a viewpoint before heading to Dead Horse State Park and making a plan to return to Canyonlands the next morning.

Canyonlands National Park has two other sections that we didn’t even make it to! You could definitely plan to spend more time in this area. We also didn’t do any 4X4 tours that are popular, and we didn’t do any long hikes. You could easily spend a week here and still not do everything!

To Read more about our experience at Canyonlands National Park: Island in the Sky, click here.

Dead Horse Point State Park

If you’re into gooseneck river overviews, be sure to check out Dead Horse Point State Park. There are a lot of trails, but we just walked around the main viewing area. It’s a view not to be missed!

Dead Horse Point State Park

To read more about our visit to Dead Horse State Park, click here.

Exploring Downtown Moab

Moab, Utah

Though many people claim to not enjoy “touristy” areas, we embrace them! We love checking out the local shops and restaurants. For us this is half the fun!

Moab, Utah

We usually try to get a magnet, and t-shirts are never out of the question.

Moab, Utah

I also bought a small piece of Ute pottery. I love having little pieces of our trips in our home.

Moab, Utah

If you are traveling with kids, you’ll probably want to make time for some swimming. It is hot in July, and if your place of lodging has a pool, you’ll probably want to take advantage of that.

Moab, Utah: The Wrap-Up

This is one of my favorite places we’ve explored. You have the parks and adventure, but you also have the tourist town to explore. The area is gorgeous–as Midwesterners, we’d never seen the red rocks of the Utah desert before this road trip. We hope to make it to the area again. One thing I’d like to do is complete the hike to Delicate Arch. I’d also like to check out the other sections of Canyonlands National Park. Plus, we didn’t get to try a lot of restaurants this time. I’d be game to repeat this part of the trip anytime!

Moab, Utah
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  1. You had me at food trucks. Love the outdoors so this would be a great spot for me to visit.

  2. Utah keeps calling my name! This is a great resource on how to spend two fabulous days in Moab.

  3. Lisa Manderino Reply

    Moab is one of our favorite Utah trips. We have stayed at that KOA many times….it is the closest to camping we usually commit to! Cabin…yes, please!

    • Stacey Reply

      I agree! We had a camper for a while until a tree fell on it during a storm. We haven’t replaced it yet, but we probably will in the future. Until then–cabins and hotels!

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