Moab: The Desert City That Never Sleeps
PHOTO: The adventure mecca that is Moab, Utah. (Photo courtesy of Thinkstock)
Moab, Utah, is truly the desert destination that never sleeps. There is adventure to be had here no matter what the time of the year. While rafting and stand-up paddleboarding have just wrapped for their seasons, the temperatures have just cooled enough to make hiking and mountain biking ideal.
A truly desert destination, Moab receives very little rainfall each year — an average of just 9 inches and only about 6 inches of snowfall. Not only that, visitors are almost guaranteed to see some sun with an average of 244 sunny days per year. Temperatures are colder in the winter months, obviously, but not too cold that you wouldn’t want to explore outside. November temps range from 56 degrees during the day to 30 degrees at nighttime. In December, temperatures hover between 44 and 21 degrees. It begins to warm up in February where highs are in the low 50s and March is temperate with highs in the 60s.
Desert Hiking and Biking
Hiking and mountain biking are at their peak at this time of year. There are two national parks close by, which are home to some of the region’s most popular hikes. Countless one-of-a-kind arches, sandstone formations and panoramic vistas provide options all within minutes of downtown Moab at Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.
The Moab Adventure Center offers guided hikes, bus tours and flights over the parks. Take the five-hour Arches Fiery Furnace Hike with a guide who leads guests through the maze-like passages and past monolithic towers, spires and arches. For those who want to get an aerial view of the parks, the Canyonlands Scenic Flight is a one-hour ride that soars over Dead Horse Point, the Confluence and Angel Arch.
Moab is a mecca for mountain biking. Its red-rock terrain, stunning vistas and myriad trails make the region ideally suited for any level of biker. There are a number of guided rides available through some of the parks’ most well-known trails, including the Courthouse Loop and Canyonlands Sunrise Bike Ride, two easy rides offered by Moab Adventure Center. There are more moderately paced adventures that take visitors to the Klondike Bluffs and on the Intrepid Trail at Dead Horse Point State Park.
Hot Air Balloons and Hummer Safaris
You don’t have to get down and dirty with nature to enjoy the beauty of Moab’s scenery. Hummer safaris and hot-air balloon rides are also available year-round.
Explore the vast desert landscapes in custom Hummer vehicles with raised seating for the best views. The specialized vehicles can climb some of the hardest-to-reach peaks, giving access to seldom-seen overlooks. This option is available as a two-hour, four-hour or sunset safari.
At sunrise, you may opt for a more peaceful type of ride: hot air ballooning. Float over the sandstone valleys and springs of Moab as the sun rises over the desert and watch the 13,000-foot-high La Sal Mountains take shape in the distance. The ride is one hour long and the entire tour takes approximately 3.5 hours.
While these activities are available in Moab year-round, seasonal activities include snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. There are also opportunities for ziplining, obstacle courses, horseback riding, climbing and canyoneering and more, making this desert city the truly a place that never sleeps.
For more information on tours and activities, visit Moab Adventure Center.
More by Janeen Christoff
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