Although winter brings cooler temperatures and occasional snow to this high desert climate, visiting Moab during this time gives one a new perspective on the desert! The sandstone buttes, arches, and rock formations take on a magical quality when blanketed in snow; offering plenty of opportunity to have fun indoors and out in this adventure town!
If you are one for winter happenings, head to the La Sal Mountain range, which dominates the skyline on the eastern edge of town. Utah’s second steepest range is a winter playground with miles of groomed trails for classic and skate cross country skiing, sledding, snowshoeing, and limited snowmobiling areas. The La Sal’s also have a reputation as being a play haven for back-country skiers and mountaineers, but don’t plan on partaking in back-country activities unless you have the necessary skills and equipment.
We have learned from experience that even though the area surrounding Moab is classified as a high desert, it has higher humidity due to the proximity of the Colorado River; making it feel colder than the actual temperature. Remedy this by dressing in layers!
Dead Horse Point State Park, as well as Arches and Canyonlands National Parks are open year round- the majority of the iconic hikes are still possible in the winter. While visiting Arches, try Delicate Arch or the short walk to Landscape Arch- both leisurely walks. However, don’t forget warm boots with thick tread, as the freeze/thaw cycle of the snow produces some slick surfaces.
Depending on the weather conditions with snow and ice, four wheeling is another great option. For a great four wheeling tour, try one of the following:
For those interested in the prehistoric, Moab Giants Paleo Safari is Moab’s only theme park dedicated to the prehistoric creatures that once roamed the area. Opened by a team of paleontologists, there are interactive displays, an informational film and life size re-creations of 100 different dinosaurs for you to explore. Keep in mind that they are closed in February.
Continue your education of the area while visiting Museum of Moab, which has informative exhibits on the geology, mining, paleontology, and archeology and current trends. The museum announced a capitol improvement project to a new and much larger facility that will enable them to bring some of their collections back home from the Smithsonian and Peabody.
Take your newfound wisdom outside and explore some of the many Indian writings- pictographs and petroglyphs- that are abundant in close proximity. US Highway 279 drawings, a 15-minute drive from Moab, are prolific and accessible. Or head up to the Mill Canyon Dinosaur Tracks and Trail, N on US Hwy 191, seven miles and take Mill Canyon Drive to the west.
Winter’s activities are abundant in Moab and don’t require you to be a hardcore adventure junkie to enjoy them. The storied past of this wild west town has something to offer for everyone!