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Awesome Outdoor Adventures Without the Crowds


If you’re the kind of person looking for outdoor adventures of the biking, rafting, hiking or climbing kind – but don’t want to face crowds and confusion – then Moab, Utah is the place for you. Unmatched opportunity for thrill awaits any bold explorer. The breathtaking desert landscapes are provided at no extra charge.

Adventures in the high desert

A great way to avoid the vacationing masses without sacrificing any of the epic adventures has been hiding in plain sight around Moab, Utah. Prehistoric rock-art petroglyphs adorn a landscape of Jurassic-era dunes. Everything in the region has been carved by wind and sand into improbable shapes.

Even more striking are the colors. The “amber-tinted cliffs and spires” have been described by National Geographic as “an adventure traveler’s dream.”

This tiny city in the heart of the Colorado Plateau serves as a gateway to one of the most popular outdoor recreation hubs in North America. Just outside Moab are Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. Another half dozen or so major state parks and landmarks lie within day-trip distance.


Any outdoor adventures you can come up with will produce spectacular snapshots, backed by a landscape which can only be formed from millions of years of erosion.

The rock formations have a Martian-like feel which mountain bikers, hikers, campers, climbers, paddlers, and off-road drivers head for in droves.

At the height of the summer, popular spots can get crowded and reservations are a necessity but even at the peak of visitor numbers, there are always plenty of places nearby to disappear into the wilderness for private adventures of any variety.

Land of unlimited opportunity

In the warm weather vacation months, there are a huge number of parks, monuments and historic areas nearby which don’t fill up as fast, and some never fill up at all. Places like Aztec Ruins National Monument, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Hovenweep National Monument, Mesa Verde National Park, and Natural Bridges National Monument.

Any one of them can provide unlimited opportunity for memorable adventures, whether adults only or the whole family unit.

Because 94 percent of the land surrounding Moab is public, you can stake out whichever part suits your fancy. Nature lovers who like adventures outdoors can go rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, hiking and riding to their heart’s content.


When the campsites are wall to wall in the Arches, Canyon Rims Recreation Area, an hour drive south of Moab on Route 191 has two campgrounds to stage your hiking, biking, and driving adventures. Even at the peak use times, they don’t usually fill up.

Another great place in the vicinity to have adventures includes breathtaking views into Canyonlands National Park and the Colorado River 2,000 feet below. Called Dead Horse Point State Park, it’s only a 40-minute drive south of Moab. Hikers and photographers exploring canyon country can’t get enough of the place.

A little further south, Canyon Rims includes over 100,000 acres of BLM-maintained land. There are “three spectacular overlooks” and each “offers unique views of Canyonlands’ Islands in the Sky and Needles Districts and Bears Ears National Monument’s Indian Creek and Lockhart Basin sections.

What do you think?

Written by Mark Megahan

Mark Megahan is a resident of Morristown, Arizona and aficionado of the finer things in life.

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