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2-3 days in Moab

Virginia, USA
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148 posts
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2-3 days in Moab

These few days will be part of an 8-10 loop trip from Salt Lake City. We are planning to arrive in Moab around noon. I'm wondering about priorities and time. How many of these can we reasonably do in 2 1/2 days? We'd like to do several short hikes and maybe one or two moderate hikes (2-3 hrs) each day. I've read about most of the hikes on the NPS site, but would like to have destination experts opinions.

Dead Horse State Park - are there "must do" trails there or is the scenic drive with stops the way to go there?

Canyonlands - are there "must do" easy to moderate hikes there? or is it mostly drive from viewpoint to viewpoint?

Arches - Delicate Arch is on my list, but are there others?

What is the best way to combine these parks/hikes to fit in 2 1/2 days?

And are there recommended places to be for sunrise and sunset?

I'm just beginning planning this trip for early May. I'm doing one step at a time, so there will be more questions as I plan for different stops. Hope that's ok.

Thanks.

Thanks

Park City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah, Winter Sports
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1. Re: 2-3 days in Moab

Spend arrival day in Arches with a sunset hike to Delicate Arch. Spend day two in Canyonlands and Dead Horse. We like hiking Aztec Butte in Canyonlands to see the ancient ruins. Mesa Arch is nice for sunrise if you want to get out there that early (50-60 minute drive, 10 minute hike/walk). Green River Overlook or Dead Horse Point are great for sunset. For day three, do whatever you've missed.

One challenge that time of year is sunset does kind of take you out of dinner time so limits your choices when back to town.

Also, look at lodging ASAP as that time period is probably pretty booked out already.

Have fun.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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2. Re: 2-3 days in Moab

I'd do it exactly opposite of Tumbleweed. Stop at Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point on the first half day, even before checking in to Moab.

In Canyonlands there are several short trails, and some very long ones. The only one I think is vital is the Mesa Arch. Then the viewpoints (Shafer Trail, Green River, Grand View). If you want to do the park completely I suppose you need to see Upheaval Dome, but it is a longish drive to it and not that cool imo. So I'd skip that. I haven't done Aztec Buttes, but that sounds like one I should have. All that should only take 3-4 hrs.

Dead Horse Point is a quick 1/2 - 1hr visit, depending on how long you are in the visitors center and if you take the trail around. You could spend longer if you are a photographer and looking for the best shot, but then you'll want to be there for sunset or sunrise.

Then next day spend all of it in Arches. Most of the trails there are short. Take them all... Park Avenue, the Windows, Sand Arch, etc. Delicate Arch is a little longer, if you take Devil's Garden to the end it is longer. See now if you can get tickets for Fiery Furnace (check the nps.arch website). It would be a good ranger talk and a fun and easy hike. (and btw bring a cooler with food for a picnic, no facilites in the park)

Then you have one day for some of the other things to do in Moab. You could do a jeep tour, or rent one yourself for some of the dirt roads in the area, mt bike, canyoneering, rafting, take the scenic drive up hwy 128 to Negro Bill canyon/Morning Glory Arch and Fisher Towers and Castle Valley, you could take the other drive up to Corona Arch and Jughead Arch. Obviously can't do them all in one day, so choose what most interests you.

Virginia, USA
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3. Re: 2-3 days in Moab

Thanks for your suggestions. Would you recommend a jeep tour? Probably would want a rental, diy tour....what would you suggest?

Salt Lake City, Utah
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4. Re: 2-3 days in Moab

Jeeping in Moab keeps the town alive. There are all kinds of roads. If and when I ever rent a jeep there I intend to go with Farrabee's since it is often recommended by Tumbleweed. They can help you decide which trail you would be able to handle.

A trip up Long Canyon?

Over Kane Creek to Hurrah Pass?

Gemini Bridge?

White Rim and Shafer Trail?

Something more difficult like Fins and things?

5. Re: 2-3 days in Moab

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