We visited Moab, Utah for Memorial Day weekend in 2009. We had a lot of fun exploring Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Park, and mountain biking on slickrock trails. It is important to be aware of fragile cryptobiotic soil while exploring Utah’s desert areas. Click the following links to view maps, pictures, videos, and more information about the trails or view a map of Utah trails we have explored.
1. Mountain Biking on MOAB Brand Trails – Moab, Utah is known for its legendary slickrock mountain bike trails. The MOAB Brand Trails are a great place to start because they offer several loops that range in difficulty from beginner to expert. In addition, the 15 miles of trails are very well marked with maps at most intersections. Parking is free and there are several local bike shops that rent mountain bikes.
2. Cave Spring Trail in Canyonlands National Park – Cave Spring trail is a short, easy 0.6 mile loop that is ideal for families because it offers both scenic views and several interpretive stations. The interpretive stations describe the area’s rich history and culture that includes Ancestral Puebloan Indians and cattle ranching cowboys. The only drawback is the 75+ mile drive from Moab, Utah. The trail is open to hiking but neither mountain biking nor dogs. A week long pass is required to enter the park. I recommend getting an early start for a day trip to provide enough time to explore multiple trails like the subsequent Pothole Point trail.
3. Pothole Point Trail in Canyonlands National Park – Pothole Point trail is a fun, easy 0.6 mile loop that provides far reaching views of Canyonlands’ geological formations. Similar, to Cave Spring trail, it is in Canyonlands National Park’s Needles District so it requires a 75+ mile drive from Moab, Utah. The trail is open to hiking but neither mountain biking nor dogs. A week long pass is required to enter the park. I recommend getting an early start for a day trip to provide enough time to explore multiple trails.
4. Delicate Arch in Arches National Park – Delicate Arch trail is 1.5 miles long with a 500 foot elevation gain. Delicate Arch is a fun hike only 30+ minutes from Moab but on a busy day the crowds can detract from its otherwise serene landscape and, thus, I recommend hiking this trail in the early morning and/or on a week day. A week long pass is required to enter the park.
5. Big Spring Canyon Overlook in Canyonlands National Park – Definitely stop by Big Spring Canyon Overlook if you visit Canyonlands National Park because it simply requires getting out of your car to get an up-close view of one of the park’s canyons.