6 BEST Hikes in Moab Add to Your Bucket List

This crazy desert town is an adventure lover’s paradise with plenty of beautiful Moab hikes. It’s one of the best small towns in the USA, with two nearby national parks, a state park, and plenty of surrounding Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land to explore.

While you can explore the area via raft through the river, by Overlanding on off-road trails, or on foot, some of the best hikes in Utah are located right near Moab. So, if you are ready to explore the red rocks of the desert southwest, choose one (or several) of these best hikes in Moab to get the true Utah experience.

The Best Hikes in Moab

Delicate Arch

Cameron Sits In Front Of The Delicate Arch
Delicate Arch at Sunset / One of the best hikes in Moab
  • Miles: 3.4 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 626 ft
  • Difficulty (1 is easiest – 5 is hardest): 2
  • Permit Required: No
  • Fees: $30/ vehicle to enter Arches National Park, covered on the “America the Beautiful” Annual Pass
  • Dogs Allowed: No

No trip to Moab would be complete without hiking to the Delicate Arch. This classic arch is featured on the Utah license plate and is a landmark of the American Southwest. However, this hike in Moab is in no way a hidden gem. It is important to complete this hike early in the morning on a weekday if you want any chance of solitude, although even then, it is not likely.

In the summertime, bring extra water as there is minimal shade along the trail, and the sun’s heat will reflect off the red rocks, making it feel warmer than you might expect. The trail can get icy in the winter, so microspikes are an essential hiking item.

If you are adventuring with children, those needing accessible options, or want to see the Delicate Arch but are short on time, consider the Delicate Arch Viewpoint Trail. This is not the recommended option but a shorter alternative. The Delicate Arch is a great thing to do with kids in Moab, as it’s a manageable hike.

Devil’s Garden Loop Trail

The Landscape Arch Seen From The Hiking Trail
Landscape Arch in Arches National Park. The first of several arches you will see on this trail.
  • Miles: 7.8 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1131 ft
  • Difficulty: 4
  • Permit Required: No
  • Fees: $30/ vehicle to enter Arches National Park, covered on the “America the Beautiful” Annual Pass
  • Dogs Allowed: No

This is one of the absolute best Moab hikes. Hiking the Devil’s Garden Loop is one of the more adventurous trails in Arches National Park. This trail allows you to see six different arches. The first arch along the trail is the Landscape Arch. Many people turn around at this point, shortening the trail to 1.9 miles and making it an easier trek.

However, if you continue after Landscape Arch, you will be rewarded with more arches and fewer people. The trail gets fairly sandy at points, and light scrambling is required, but it is worth it. As this trail is longer and there is limited shade, it is especially important to start early.

Fisher Towers

Climbing Down The Ladder To The Fisher Towers
The ladder portion of the Fisher Towers hike. The featured image for this post is also of Fisher Towers.
  • Miles: 4.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1653 ft
  • Difficulty: 3
  • Permit Required: No
  • Fees: None
  • Dogs Allowed: Yes

Fisher Towers is an excellent hike located outside the parks. This stunning location will make it hard to believe you aren’t in a national park. If you are a movie or television buff, you may also recognize this area from many popular shows, including the HBO series Westworld.

The Fisher Towers area is popular with climbers and hikers, so be on the lookout for people daring to adventure straight up the red walls. If you bring your furry friend, know that dogs must be kept on a leash for this hike. There is also a ladder section, and your dog will require some assistance as it is vertical.

False Kiva

Checking Out The False Kiva
The False Kiva Trail is in Canyonlands National Park. If you look closely, you can see the small rope keeping you from going any further toward the Kiva. Please respect the historical site.
  • Miles: 1.9 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 426 ft
  • Difficulty: 3
  • Permit Required: No
  • Fees: $30/vehicle to enter Canyonlands National Park, also covered under the “America the Beautiful” Annual Pass
  • Dogs Allowed: No

The False Kiva Trail is not one you will find on the Canyonlands National Park Map or in the informational guide that they hand out. And because of its location within the park, you are not likely to stumble upon this trail without looking it up in advance, but that doesn’t mean it’s not one of the best hikes in Moab.

Parking for this trail is at the Alcove Springs Trailhead on the opposite side of the road, about 200 yards away from the trailhead. This trail, especially the last 0.3 miles, is not well-maintained, but the reward is spectacular.

The National Park Service has closed the alcove at the end of this trail due to vandalism. However, the roped-off area is beside the Kiva, and you get a great view from the “legal” spot. Please be respectful of this ancient site and do not attempt to enter.

Mesa Arch

Cameron Sits In Front Of The Mesa Arch
Mesa Arch Trail at sunset / best hikes in Moab
  • Miles: 0.7 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 85 ft
  • Difficulty: 1
  • Permit Required: No
  • Fees: $30/vehicle to enter Canyonlands National Park, also covered under the “America the Beautiful” Annual Pass
  • Dogs Allowed: No

Hiking to Mesa Arch is more of a walk than a hike. However, if you have already visited False Kiva, stopping at this iconic spot is worth it. Mesa Arch may be one of the most photographed spots in all of Utah and is especially popular at sunrise.

At sunrise, the sun lights up the underside of the arch, making it a beautiful orange color. If you plan to join the photographers, plan to arrive at least an hour before sunrise to set up your tripod in a good spot, and do not plan to have any photos of you in them during this time either. However, this trail is also incredible around sunset if you are less of a morning person. Here, you get the perfect lighting, reverse sunset colors and fewer crowds.

Corona Arch

Active Train Tracks On Hike To Corona Arch
On the hike to the Corona Arch, you will pass over these active train tracks. Please be careful.
  • Miles: 2.3 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 469 ft
  • Difficulty: 2
  • Permit Required: No
  • Fees: None
  • Dogs Allowed: Yes

Corona Arch is one of the most fantastic dog-friendly hikes in Moab. The Corona Arch hike is another classic hike around Moab. Not only will you get up close and personal with the Corona Arch, you will also see Bowtie Arch and some cool (but active) train tracks along the way.

This Moab hike is not within the boundaries of any national parks; therefore, it is dog friendly, although dogs must be on a leash. Like Fisher Towers, a ladder can be difficult to navigate with large dogs.

A Few Tips For Moab

Good to Know for Hiking

 Towers In The Desert Of Moab

If you are new to hiking in Moab or the desert, remember that the climate can be unforgiving, which is important when planning your hikes. To avoid the sun’s intensity, starting early during spring, summer, and fall hikes is best. If you miss your early morning alarm, an alternative would be hiking in the evening. We recommend that hikers pack extra water, electrolytes, sunscreen, clothing layers, and snacks, which are incredibly important to pack for your hikes in Moab, even if you plan a short hike.

On the contrary, winter in Moab can be very snowy and cold. To avoid getting caught in the dark, consider hiking midday instead of early morning or late-day hikes. In addition to your usual items, bring a headlamp with extra batteries, clothing layers, microspikes, and an emergency bivy. We have an article on hiking clothes for women and men if you want to learn more.

Where to Stay in Moab

Andrea Cannon Camping In Her 4Runner Outside Moab
Car camping at the Grandstaff Campground in Moab along UT-128.

You’ll need somewhere to stay while completing all these amazing Moab hikes. Fortunately, there are many places to choose from. Each of the major hotel chains has hotels and boutique hotel options. KOA and other more commercialized campgrounds are also on Moab’s main street.

If being in the middle of town is not your idea of the perfect adventure getaway, many BLM campgrounds along the Colorado River along UT-128 are stunning. These have designated sites with picnic tables, fire rings, and pit toilets. The sites are first-come-first-served, so keep this in mind for planning purposes.

Camping at these designated sites is $20/night, paid in cash or check only. A map of these sites along UT-128 and the Colorado River can be found here. If you plan to complete that hike, there is even a campground at the Fisher Towers Trail Head.

In addition to paid campsites, dispersed camping is allowed on BLM land, but this must be done at least 20 miles from Moab. Here, you can find additional information on camping in BLM campgrounds, including conditions, closures, and guidelines.

How to Get to Moab

Moab Towers In Early Morning Light

Before setting out on the best hikes, there are a few options for getting to Moab. The first is to fly directly into Moab (Airport Code: CNY) and rent a vehicle. This airport is located approximately 20 miles north of the town of Moab. There are also direct flights to Moab from Denver, Colorado, on Skywest Airlines, which does business as United Airlines.

Once you land in Moab, you can arrange a taxi or shuttle service and rent a vehicle in Moab or at the airport. While Moab is one of the cheaper destinations in the US, flying to Moab can prove costly or time-consuming. Another option is to fly into Salt Lake City (SLC), rent a vehicle, and drive approximately four hours to Moab.

Andrea Cannon Author Profile Picture

About the Author

Andrea Cannon is a traveler, pharmacist, and triathlete. She has lived in Utah for six years and has spent her time camping, hiking, and exploring the Southwest. You can connect with Andrea directly on her Instagram or on her blog, beaUTAHfulworld.

About Guest Contributor

Occasionally The World Pursuit brings on fantastic guest writers to share their expertise about areas Natasha and Cameron know little about. We're so happy to share their experiences with the world here.