The desert holds a magical place in my heart - I love the sweeping views, stark landscape, desert towers and the ability to see an impending rain storm from miles away. Last June my husband, myself, my brother and an intrepid group of Coloradans (the most adventure seeking crew I know!) made our way to Moab, Utah for a week of camping, crack climbing, cliff jumping, hiking, exploring and rock climbing. If you are an outdoor adventurer, Moab is most likely already on your trip list, but even if you are not quite the extreme adventurer, Moab holds plenty to do.
Stay - I definitely recommend camping, but there are lots of options (including, yes, hotels, for the non-campers out there).
- Air B&B. Pretend you're a local and grab an Air B&B for the weekend or week.
- Indian Creek Camping. We stayed at the Superbowl Campground which has plenty of room for small or large groups. Build a huge campfire and welcome your neighbors.
- Moab Camping. There are lots of little campgrounds just outside of Moab. On our last night, we stayed in one located off of Mountain Loop road. It is situated in a gorgeous canyon, but the road approach is not for the faint of heart.
Do - Moab is the home to Indian Creek, an area known for having some of the world's (yes world's) best crack climbing.
- Rock Climbing. It goes without saying that you pretty much need to do some rock climbing while out here. The options are endless: crack, tower, sport, trad. Plus there are some great views to be had from some of these routes.
- Dirt Bike -
- Mill Creek Canyon. Need a rest day from climbing? If it's summer, visit Mill Creek Canyon for a day of cliff jumping. Feeling adventurous? Follow the trail as far as it goes, forge the small creek, and continue exploring into the unknown.
- Canyonlands Needles District. If you want to feel like you are walking on a different planet, plan a few hours hike around Canyonlands.
- Arches National Park
- Newspaper Rock. A historic monument, Newspaper Rock holds hundreds of ancient Petroglyphs. While the stories and meanings are lost to us today, it's nonetheless an impressive and unique site.
- Dead Horse State Park. On your way in to Moab, make a detour for a hike around Dead Horse Point. If you have time, plan for a few hours to walk the entire canyon rim. Take in the history and enjoy the views.
- Arches National Park. Desert, towers, sand, arches. Views that will take your breath away.
- Visit "town". Moab is small, but it's a tourist district (seeing as how it's the only town around) with lots of fun shops and places to eat.
- Moab Brewery. The only place you can get full strength alcoholic beverages (all beer in Utah is capped at 3.2% alcohol), it may be your go-to for 6 packs to sip around the campfire, but their hearty food will give you energy for your next adventure.
- Love Muffin Cafe. We stopped in this little cafe for breakfast one morning while waiting for the rocks to dry out after a night of rain. It is a hopping spot, so get there early or be prepared to wait, but the burrito options are worth it.
Wear - The gear for Moab depends a little on what you are doing and when you plan to go. That said, it's always a good idea to keep the following on hand:
- Rain layers. You will want water repellant clothes, not just a rain layer for your trip out west. Everything from light drizzles to full on rain could be facing you.
- Hiking shoes with good tread. Approaches for rock climbing in the Indian Creek area are often as hard as a climb itself. Steep inclines, loose soil and rocks, and narrow pathways are common.
- Wool socks. Even in the summer wool socks are great for keeping feet cozy during the day or snuggling up in the tent and after a good day's adventure .The natural fibers of wool resist oder, making them a great choice for active people.
- Head lamp. This should always go with you on any trip, you never know when you may veer slightly off course or get stuck out after dark.
Shop - You most likely will only be in Moab for some serious outdoor adventures, but if you happen to want to do a little shopping, Moab has you covered.
- Gearheads. The place for gear in Moab and they have free water (a major plus when in the desert!).
- Rave 'N Image. Perfect for the fashion forward outdoors woman, you will no doubt find fun pieces in this little boutique.
- Tumbleweed. A great little shop for one-of-a-kind gifts and local art.
Thrift - It's practically tradition for me to find a vintage/thrift store in any town I visit.
- Moab Gear Trader. What's better than a really good gear store? A second hand gear store!
- The Remnant Vintage & Thrift (formerly Three Sisters Thrift). LOVE this thrift store. It meets all my hall marks of being dark, stuffed to the gills, and pretty messy. This means you may need to take your time, but treasures are sure to be found.
- WabiSabi (2 locations). Not much in the way of clothes, but great for all your home decor needs.
T R A V E L - P H O T O S
All photos taken by myself with an iPhone 5, 6 or Nikon D7200.