With Utah’s iconic Delicate Arch and the infamous Dead Horse Point in Moab’s backyard (along with Canyonlands!) and a handful of other national parks and monuments within roadtripping distance, Moab is the perfect point of launch if you’re keen for a romp in some of America’s most beautiful and unique national and state parks.
And P.S. If you do plan on visiting several parks, definitely consider buying a National Park annual pass for $80. The pass is good for all national parks and monuments, and you’ll end up saving yourself some dough. Passes can be purchased at all park entrances.
National & State Parks in Moab’s backyard:
- Arches National Park – Home of the famed Delicate Arch, Arches National Park is a red rock wonderland filled with the largest concentration of natural sandstone arches in the world, plus an astounding variety of unique formations, balanced rocks, colossal sandstone fins, and soaring pinnacles and spires. Whether you only have one day to take it all in on a scenic roadside tour or you have a whole weekend to camp at Devil’s Garden and explore the Fiery Furnace and other awesome features on foot, it’s worth your time.
- Canyonlands National Park – This rippled landscape of deep red-walled canyons, arches, buttes, spires and innumerable other spectacular rock formations is so large and so diverse that it is carved naturally into three distinctive districts: Island in the Sky, The Needles, and The Maze. While they adjoin each other, each area must be reached from different entry points and will require some adventuring via boat, hiking or four-wheel driving in order to see the most stunning attractions. Island in the Sky is the closest district to Moab, and the travel time between each of the three districts is several hours so plan accordingly!
- Dead Horse Point State Park – Perhaps Utah’s most spectacular state park, Dead Horse Point is a promontory of stone surrounded by steep cliffs that provide breathtaking views of canyon country and the pinnacles and buttes of Canyonlands National Park. Here you can walk along Rim Walk, towering 2,000ft directly above the Colorado River or you can venture onto the Intrepid Trail System via foot or bike. Dead Horse is also a great place for camping, but remember, this is a Utah State Park so your National Parks Pass won’t be valid for any park fees required.
National Parks & Monuments a little bit farther away from Moab:
- Capitol Reef National Park – Located 150 miles west of Moab on Utah Hwy 24, this park is home to the 100-mile-long sandstone wrinkle in the earth’s crust resembles the domes of the U.S. capitol building, otherwise known as the Waterpocket Fold. Camp, backpack, enjoy!
- Hovenweep National Monument – Approximately 113 miles south of Moab, Hovenweep is spread over mesa tops and canyons with starkly beautiful groupings of high towers and six separate prehistoric ruins. The national monument also includes a kiva (a circular underground ceremonial chamber) that was built by the Anasazi. Hike, explore & camp.
- Four Corners Monument – About 145 miles south of Moab, this monument is the only point in the U.S. where four states meet. Want to take in the sights of Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah simultaneously? Now’s your chance!
- Mesa Verde National Park – Located in southwestern Colorado approximately 125 miles southeast of Moab, Mesa Verde National Park is the largest archaeological preserve in the U.S. and the only U.S. national park devoted entirely to the work of humans. It is an archaeological wonder with hundreds of homes in the rock preserved by overhanging cliff ledges. Bring your tent or your RV, or book your accommodation at the nearby lodge.
- Natural Bridges National Monument – Roughly 120 miles south of Moab, Natural Bridges National Monument is home to three natural bridges that were formed when meandering streams slowly cut through the canyon walls. The area also has one of the darkest night skies in the country and was designated as the world’s first International Dark Sky Park. Camp, relax and marvel at the stars.
Need more information about National Parks near Moab? Contact GuestGuides for a free publication or pick up your free copy in Moab.Tags: What to Do