Red Rock Landscapes Near Moab
From precarious looking rock arches to smooth slickrock trails, Moab’s red rock terrain has an otherworldly appeal. Whether you rumble over the sandstone in a 4WD vehicle, ride mountain bike trails, or plot the ultimate sightseeing route through the desert, there’s a lot to see and do. These are Moab’s top red rock destinations.
Arches National Park
Just 5 miles (8 kilometers) from downtown Moab, this park has the highest concentration of natural sandstone arches on earth. There’s a scenic drive that takes in the park’s main areas, but it’s worth parking the car to visit places you can’t see from the road. Many of the most iconic arches, balancing rocks, and fins can be reached on short, family-friendly trails.
Canyonlands National Park
It would be easy to spend an entire vacation exploring Canyonlands, Utah’s largest national park. The Island in the Sky area, with a scenic drive that takes in sheer cliffs dropping from a bare mesa, is the most accessible portion. There are 4WD and hiking options in the region, which is about 32 miles (51 kilometer) from Moab.
Dead Horse Point
For endless views of buttes and pinnacles, look down from this high mesa onto the twists and turns of the Colorado River in Dead Horse Point State Park. A series of mountain bike loops makes this park a favorite with cyclists, and the trail system includes pet-friendly and wheelchair-accessible options. At about 33 miles (53 kilometers) from Moab, it’s easy to visit on a day trip or combine with a visit to nearby Canyonlands.
Sand Flats Recreation Area
Home to the famously difficult Slickrock Bike Trail, this area is a swooping landscape of bare, rocky slopes, bowls, and domes. In addition to mountain biking, there are 4WD roads and dirt bike trails. While the Sand Flats Recreation Area is not known for hiking, bring your sneakers for a stroll on one of the short loop trails with interpretive signs.
Eroded stacks of rock form the maze-like Fisher Towers, where you also see fins, deep canyons, and sheer cliffs. While driving to Fisher Towers means braving a sometimes rough dirt road, it’s worth the trip: Hiking trails loop through the spires, you can spot rock climbers, and there are views from the parking lot picnic tables. About 26 miles (42 kilometers) from Moab on Interstate 70, Fisher Towers makes a good first or last stop.