Moab, Utah: A Local’s Guide for Eats and Sights
From restaurants to hiking trails, these are my favorite things in Moab, Utah!
My family spent 2 wonderful years living in Moab, Utah. It’s such a unique place, just a small rural town out in the middle of nowhere that overflows with tourists coming to enjoy red rock country.
From time to time I’ve been asked for recommendations for both things to do and restaurants to visit, so I’ve created a space for all of that information. Planning a vacation to Moab? Here’s what you need to know!
Where to Eat in Moab
Main Street is filled with lots of options, though in my opinion a lot of them are mediocre tourist traps. Still, good food does exist in Moab, and the options get better every year! Here are a few of our faves:
Miguel’s Baja Grill— My favorite Mexican food in Moab and the best margaritas in town.
Moab Garage Co— A new-ish trendy fast-casual option on Main Street serving breakfast and lunch, with great coffee and delicious dishes.
Milt’s— A Moab staple famous for its burgers, fries and shakes, and our go-to quick meal out. Expect long lines during peak season, or be like a local and call ahead.
Susie’s Branding Iron— Classic country cooking, burgers and comfort food. Their fry bread with honey butter is a must! It’s a few miles south of town so it’s far less crowded than restaurants on Main Street.
Quesadilla Mobilla— Moab’s original food truck! Killer (and HUGE) quesadillas with a trendy twist.
Lops Pop Stop— A fun soda drive-thru kiosk with pretty much any (non-alcoholic) drink option you can imagine. My favorite combo is their “Moab on the Rocks”.
Arches Thai— Fresh and flavorful Thai food!
Doughbird— Famous for their doughnuts and fried chicken sandwiches.
Sabuku Sushi— This sushi restaurant has been a Moab staple for a long time, and serves surprisingly good sushi for Moab’s remote location.
MoYo Moab Yogurt— Even though this is technically not ice cream, it’s still my favorite “ice cream” joint in town.
What To Do in Moab
Moab and the surrounding area have almost limitless options to keep you busy outdoors, depending on what you’re into— hiking, camping, biking, rafting, jeeping, climbing, etc. We’ve mostly stuck to hiking and mountain biking, and lots of rock “scrambling” since we have 2 young boys.
Moab is a great place to just park the car and let kids (and adults) explore!
Here are some of our favorite things to do around Moab:
Arches National Park— No introduction necessary, I’m sure. If you’re coming to Moab, you’re probably already planning a visit here. Favorite hikes include Windows, Double-O Arch, Delicate Arch, and Park Avenue. Note: as of April 2022 Arches is piloting a timed-entry reservation program. 2 miles north of Moab on Highway 191.
Corona Arch— A relatively easy hike leading to an impressive arch (pictured below). Not as crowded as Arches, but still a very popular hike. 1.5 mile hike one-way, 12 miles west of Moab on highway 279.
William Grandstaff Canyon— An easy hike along the riverbed leading to Morning Glory Bridge (arch). Lots of river crossings, so you may get your feet wet, which makes this a great hike on a warm day. 2 miles one-way, 4 miles east of Moab on highway 128.
Fisher Towers— Up close and personal with stunning and unique rock formations (pictured below). The drive out here along the river through Castle Valley is gorgeous! 2.2 mile hike one-way, 22 miles east of Moab on highway 128.
Canyonlands National Park— Canyonlands is huge, with 2 separate entrances for the mesa high above and the valley below. Lots of great viewpoints, easy hikes and more lengthy hikes. My favorites include Mesa Arch (go at sunrise!), Grand View Point Overlook, Cave Spring, and Big Spring Canyon Overlook. Island in the Sky District is 30 miles northwest of Moab on highway 313 and Needles District is 70 miles south of Moab on highway 211.
Mill Creek Canyon— This is the most popular watering hole in Moab. The creek makes for great swimming and wading in the summer, and brave visitors cliff jump into the pool below the falls (though I have personally seen serious injuries from this, so please be careful). Very crowded on summer weekends. 1 mile hike one-way (be prepared to get your feet wet), on Powerhouse Lane in Moab.
Dead Horse Point State Park— Breathtaking views of the canyons below, similar to some of the views from Island in the Sky, but with a cheaper entrance fee and dogs are allowed. Plenty of hiking and mountain biking trails, but also space to wander and scramble on the rocks. 33 miles northwest of Moab of highway 313.
Hunter Canyon— An easy hike along the riverbed with canyon walls all around. It’s off the beaten path so few crowds here. 2 miles one-way, 7 miles west of Moab on Kane Creek Road (the last few miles are a well-maintained dirt road).
La Sal Mountains— Escape the summer heat! The La Sals can be as much as 30 degrees cooler than Moab in the summer. Scenic drive, mountain lakes and hiking. 15 miles south of Moab on La Sal Mountain Loop Road.
Ken’s Lake— This is where we spent our weekend evenings in the summer. It’s a small man-made lake south of town with a pebble beach. Also a great place for SUP. 12 miles south of Moab on Flat Pass Road.
Moab Giants Dinosaur Park— Walk amongst 100+ true-to-life-sized dinosaur replicas. It’s fun for both kids and adults! There’s also an indoor museum and large outdoor playground. 9 miles north of Moab on highway 191.
Rotary Park— This city park is a great place to enjoy a picnic or just relax in the shade. It also has a wide assortment of percussion instruments that are fun to play with. On East Mill Creek Drive in Moab.
Moab Canyon Pathway— Walk or bike along the Colorado river and across the footbridge, with beautiful views of the canyon (pictured below). The bike path extends as far as William Grandstaff Canyon on highway 128, and on highway 191 from Main Street in Moab, passed Arches National Park, to highway 313 (the turnoff for Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point). Parking lot at the junction of highways 191 and 128, 1 mile north of Moab.
I hope you enjoy your visit! If you have any questions or recommendations of your own, please leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.