I gotta say, our Memorial Day trip to Moab was already my third voyage to that amazing place. And finally I can say I tried out all the main attractions Moab has to offer, so I think it’s a very good time to finally write that post.
So first of all, what Moab?
If you just thought that’s a ridiculous question, I’m really sorry, but I did meet people who I had to explain what is Moab.
So, Moab is a city on the East side of the state, about an hour from Colorado border and 6 hours from Denver. It’s a typical tourist city, with lodging and tourist attractions ads on every corner. Sometimes driving through there I ask myself a question- “Are there any people actually living here?”, because honestly, it’s really hard to find here a normal house.
I did mention tourist attractions, so now another question pops up. Why do tourists come to Moab? Hot, small and not very famous. But still, thousands of people come to visit every month. The reason for that is simple- wide variety of outdoor activities. Starting with famous Arches National Park, through plenty of wonderful mountain biking and ATV trails, amazing rock climbing and canyoneering places and finishing on beautiful rafting areas.
That was my first ever Moab adventure. My crossfit gym organized trip to Moab together with Front Range Climbing Company and canyoneering was the first thing we did after arrival. For those of you who don’t know what that means- canyoneering, I’d say, is a connection of climbing and hiking. Theoretically, you’re hiking down the canyon and very often encounter some obstacles, including steep drops down, where you need to rope up and rappel (see a dictionary in Rock Climbing 101).
Pool Arch was a fun canyoneering trail, I ended up doing twice. It has two longer rappels and a couple smaller obstacles, one of the rappels goes down an amazing arch, which is pretty spectacular. Technically it’s a dry canyon so it’s perfect for the rainy season.
Well, that was the main reason of two of my trips. Sandstone, that Moab is full of, is a brand new experience for someone who’s used to climbing in Colorado.
But I have to say, sometimes it gets really scary when you grab a hold and you have no idea if it’s gonna fall off or not. Especially if it was raining for a week.
The Wall Street is the most famous climbing area in Moab. It goes right by the Colorado River and climbing walls are so close to the street that you can literally belay from your car (if you find a spot huh).
The area also has some examples of Indian Rock Art (drawings and paintings on the rock) which are pretty interesting and worth stopping by even if you don’t want to climb.
The Ancient Art was the main reason for our second Moab trip. Located in Fisher Towers is a magnificent looking rock formation, that you actually can climb (actually there are many climbing towers in the area, one of the most famous ones is Castleton Tower). The Ancient Art is a multi-pitch with 3 pitches and mixed trad and sports climbing.
That was my first multi-pitch ever, and even though I cheated a lil bit, pulling on the gear few times, it was a magical feeling standing on the top of that tower, I felt like the whole world was open for me.
If you’ll decide to climb the Ancient Art or at least hike in Fisher Towers (which also can be fun) the highway 128 that you’re gonna take to get there from Moab was called US 2nd most beautiful highway (right after Highway nr 1 in California).
One of the Moab’s top rated mountain bike trails and actually the world- famous trail is Slickrock Trail. Unfortunately, I cannot say I did it because I’m just a shitty beginner, and even though Slickrock isn’t extremely difficult it’s not also a beginner trail. But for sure worth doing if you’re into that sport. Riding on the huge rock with breathtaking views is for sure a nice biking adventure.
If you’re starting playing with mountain bike like me, or trying to start, there is nice park right behind The Arches Visitor Centre, called (I think) Bar M with a couple nice, mostly easy, desert rides. Bar M Loop is 8 miles ride, mostly on the dirt road, but it can give you some desert experience. I did also a trail called Lazy/E-Z and that was a blast. It’s ranked as easy-moderate, so it has couple technical sections. It wasn’t very exhausting but it gave me for sure A LOT of joy.
There is also some road biking possibilities, like for example trail that goes from Moab east, along the Highway 191, or one that goes from Lion’s Park along the Highway 128.
The trail we did with our guide was called Hell’s Revenge and gave us a little taste of “extreme” with a couple good obstacles, like steep rocks or sand part of the road. We saw also Colorado River from above and the Echo Canyon (yes, it does make echo; yes, everybody was yelling). It was seriously so much fun, I just wish I could drive ;_;
Also, the trail very often crosses with, mentioned before, Slickrock Biking Trail.
Another pretty famous trail I discovered by accident, trying to find some nice running trail close to our condo, was Steelbender Trail, it’s ranked as two diamonds for mountain bikers and as difficult for ATVs, so it’s only for experienced drivers. But it was a really pretty area, very sandy with couple creek crossings. Unfortunately, most of the trail goes through private areas.
I cannot say much about rafting other than it’s pretty popular and there’s is many beautiful areas with different difficulties. One of the very popular, family-friendly ones is Colorado River by the Fisher Towers. What I can say is if you decide to go rafting with ADRIFT Adventures, don’t expect it to be real rafting experience. Even though our guide gave us some fun on couple rapids, most of it was pretty boring. Why? Because you don’t paddle… (whaaat..?)
So, Moab is a place to go for every outdoor/ adventure lover. That’s my conclusion.
I hope you liked it!