When it comes to majestic scenery and outdoor adventure, Moab has it all. In this adrenaline seeker’s paradise, you can rappel down a sandstone pinnacle at Stolen Chimney; mountain-bike along the side of a cliff on Captain Ahab Trail; or take a heart-stopping raft trip down the Colorado River. Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park are situated nearby, providing some of Utah’s most awe-inspiring scenery. As you research Moab vacation rentals and figure out what to pack, consider the time of year you plan to visit. This ultra-friendly town is beautiful year-round, but each season puts a different spin on your outdoor adventure.
Visiting Moab in the Summer
Summers in Moab can be described in one word — hot. From June through August, temperatures hover in the mid to high 90s, often jumping above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The near-complete lack of humidity creates a dry, comfortable heat. Stay safe while you enjoy the sunshine by packing plenty of water, planning hiking trips and biking tours in the early morning and evening, and wearing lightweight, breathable clothes. All of Moab’s tour companies are in full swing during the summer, so you can ride Jeeps across the red rock, mountain bike, hike, raft, rock-climb, and see the dinosaur tracks at Moab Giants Dinosaur Park.
Summer is a popular time for families on school breaks, so it’s important to book larger vacation rentals well in advance. If you’re looking for nightlife, summer is a great time to visit. During an evening out at Woody’s Tavern or The Ghost Bar, it’s not uncommon to meet climbers and bikers from around the world.
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Visiting Moab in the Fall
Fall is one of Moab’s most beautiful seasons. The small trees in the canyon turn a brilliant shade of yellow, the forests near the La Sal Mountains burst into shades of orange and red, and the La Sal Mountain Loop Road Scenic Backway and the Gemini Bridges Trail bustle with leaf peepers. Autumn also brings relief from the intense summer heat, with September temperatures that hover around the high 80s. If you’re planning an active vacation, October and November are particularly comfortable, with temperatures in the 70s and 60s, respectively. For late-fall trips, pack light, breathable layers and a light jacket to account for daytime temperature swings and cool evenings.
September and October are busy months in Moab, with tour companies running at full steam. Look out for events such as September’s Moab Music Festival. Weekday crowd levels drop off slightly after Labor Day, but weekends are bustling through November.
Visiting Moab in the Winter
For travelers who want to enjoy the desert in peace and solitude, winter is the perfect time to visit Moab. Temperatures often stay in the 40s and 50s between December and February, but it’s not uncommon for cold fronts to bring in temperatures below freezing. The cold weather and occasional winter storm brings spectacular beauty; it’s hard to beat the sight of Delicate Arch under a fresh dusting of snow. Although most tour companies are closed in the winter, hiking, biking, and climbing trails are open and easy to access. Whether you’re planning a serious ride on Slickrock Trail or gentle hikes to take in the view of Canyonlands at Dead Horse Point State Park, pack for cold winds. A winter hat, gloves, and a warm, wind-resistant jacket are a must. For hiking, waterproof boots can keep your feet dry when the snow falls.
Visiting Moab in the Spring
Moab vibrates with activity in the spring as adventure seekers from all over the world come out of their winter hibernation and descend on this tiny town in search of Utah’s spectacular scenery. The spike in traffic creates a fun, energetic atmosphere that’s appealing for both families and groups of friends. This activity usually picks up in late April, when most tour companies begin operating and the temperatures stay in the 70s and 80s. During this period, you can get away with lightweight layers during the day and a light jacket for cool evenings. March is quieter and cooler, with temperatures in the 60s; if you’re visiting then, it’s important to pack a warm jacket, hat, and gloves to stay comfortable during the occasional cold snap.
Starting in late March, the local event calendar fills up with outdoor-oriented events, including the Skinny Tire Festival, the Moab Rocks bike race, and the Rally on the Rocks off-road vehicle gathering. Spring also brings a burst of desert wildflowers in Arches National Park, as well as bright green new leaves in the nearby La Sal Mountains.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Moab?
The best time to visit Moab is in the spring, primarily due to the pleasant weather and high availability of tours. During this period, temperatures are comfortable, so you can enjoy Arches and Canyonlands without planning for extreme heat or cold. Tour companies begin to open in mid-March, providing access to all of the area’s wild adventures. Water levels in the Colorado River are family-friendly in late March and April, rising to a thrilling, high-volume flow in late May.
If crowds aren’t your thing, March is your best best. Tourist traffic is relatively low during this month, but temperatures are comfortable and there’s plenty of availability on Jeep and bike tours. Traffic levels in Arches National Park are low near the beginning of the month, and visitor levels in town don’t start to rise in earnest until early April.
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