Category Archives: Moab Area Information

ARCHES NATIONAL PARK

Arches National Park preserves over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, like the world-famous Delicate Arch, as well as many other unusual rock formations. In some areas, the forces of nature have exposed millions of years of geologic history. The extraordinary features of the park create a landscape of contrasting colors, landforms and textures that is unlike any other in the world.

The entrance to Arches is located 5 miles north of Moab, UT along Highway 191.

For more information about Arches National Park, visit their website.

CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK

Canyonlands preserves a colorful landscape eroded into countless canyons, mesas and buttes by the Colorado River and its tributaries. The rivers divide the park into four districts: the Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze and the rivers themselves. While these areas share a primitive desert atmosphere, each retains its own character and offers different opportunities for exploration.

There are two paved entrances into Canyonlands: Highway 313 leads to the Island in the Sky, while Highway 211 leads to the Needles. Roads to the Maze are a mixture of graded dirt and 4WD. These roads may become impassable when wet.

For more information about Canyonlands National Park, visit their website.

DEAD HORSE POINT STATE PARK

Stroll along the Rim Walk, towering 2,000 feet directly above the Colorado River. The mesa that is Dead Horse Point provides breathtaking views of the canyon country of southeastern Utah and the pinnacles and buttes of Canyonlands National Park.

The entrance to Dead Horse Point is nine miles northwest of Moab on US 191 and then 23 miles southwest on Utah 313 to the end of the highway.

For more information about Dead Horse Point State Park, visit their website.

MANTI-LA SAL NATIONAL FOREST

The 1,413,111-acre Manti-La Sal National Forest is located in southeastern Utah. It is managed for multiple uses such as range, timber, minerals, water, wildlife, and recreation. The Forest is divided into three land areas: the Manti Division, the La Sal Division at Moab, and the La Sal Division at Monticello.

The Manti Division is part of the remnant Wasatch Plateau (5,000 to 10,000 foot elevation) exhibiting high elevation lakes, diverse vegetation, near vertical escarpments, and areas of scenic and geologic interest.

On the La Sal Division-Moab, mountain peaks (12,000 foot elevation), canyons, and forest add climatic and scenic contrast to the hot red-rock landscape of Arches (5,000 foot elevation) and Canyonlands National Parks.

The La Sal Division-Monticello offers timbered slopes to provide a welcome middle ground and background contrast to the sand and heat of Canyonlands National Park, Natural Bridges National Monument, and the surrounding desert. Pictographs, petroglyphs, and stone dwellings are evidence of past civilizations.

For more information about Manti-La Sal National Forest visit their website.

NATURAL BRIDGES NATIONAL MONUMENT

Natural Bridges preserves some of the finest examples of natural stone architecture in the southwest. On a tree-covered mesa next to deep sandstone canyons, three natural bridges formed when meandering streams slowly cut through the canyon walls. In honor of the Native Americans that made this area their home, the bridges are named “Kachina,” “Owachomo” and “Sipapu.”

Located south of Moab, the entrance to Natural Bridges is at the end of Highway 275, which is roughly 35 miles west of Blanding, UT on Highway 95. Driving time from Blanding is roughly 45 minutes.

For more information about Natural Bridges National Monument visit their website.

HOVENWEEP NATIONAL MONUMENT

Hovenweep National Monument protects six prehistoric, Puebloan-era villages spread over a twenty-mile expanse of mesa tops and canyons along the Utah-Colorado border. Multi-storied towers perched on canyon rims and balanced on boulders lead visitors to marvel at the skill and motivation of their builders. Hovenweep is noted for its solitude and undeveloped, natural character.

Located south of Moab, Hovenweep National Monument is situated along the border between southeast Utah and southwest Colorado, just north and west of Cortez, Colorado. Paved roads lead to the visitor center and Square Tower Group from Cortez, Colorado (County Road G / McElmo Canyon Road), from Highway 191 south of Blanding, Utah, and from Pleasant View, Colorado. All roads into the outlying units are dirt and are not maintained regularly. High-clearance vehicles are recommended for visiting these sites.

For more information about Hovenweep National Monument visit their website.

MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK

Mesa Verde, Spanish for green table, offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from A.D. 600 to A.D. 1300. Today, the park protects over 4,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. These sites are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States.

Located south of Moab, Mesa Verde National Park is in Southwestern Colorado. The Mesa Verde Headquarters is a one-hour drive from Cortez, Colorado, heading east on Highway 160 to the park turnoff, and a 1.5 hour drive from Durango, Colorado, heading west on Highway 160 to the park turnoff.

For more information about Mesa Verde National Park visit their website.

MONUMENT VALLEY NAVAJO TRIBAL PARK

This great valley boasts sandstone masterpieces that tower at heights of 400 to 1,000 feet. framed by scenic clouds casting shadows that graciously roam the desert floor. The angle of the sun accents these graceful formations, providing scenery that is simply spellbinding.

The landscape overwhelms, not just by its beauty but also by its size. The fragile pinnacles of rock are surrounded by miles of mesas and buttes, shrubs, trees and windblown sand, all comprising the magnificent colors of the valley. All of this harmoniously combines to make Monument Valley a truly wondrous experience.

Located south of Moab, on the Arizona / Utah border.

For more information about Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park visit their website.