(These are the powerboat kind. See our river section for rafting and standup paddle boarding ideas,
To see Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point from the bottom up, take a Canyonlands By Night & Day jet boat ride down the calm stretch of the Colorado River to the boundary line of Canyonlands National Park in a large, stable jet boat. This is one of the most comfortable ways to see the beauty of the backcountry from the river. With large windshields and shade awnings, jet boats are specifically designed for sightseeing cruises on the Colorado River. Geology, history, and humor make this an enjoyable trip. Ask about their one-hour express trip or sunset trips.
Throttle up river with awesome music playing on their Spin & Splash tour. You’ll speed upriver towards some of the Colorado River’s finest rapids for some fun spinning and splashing. Tours depart several times a day but require a minimum number of guests per trip.
Take a ride on Moab’s only New Zealand Style Jet Boat with Moab Jett. The smaller open-air boats offer a more intimate experience with stadium seating holding up to 10 passengers so each seat is exceptional. The tours travel along Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Dead Horse Point, and Canyon Rim Recreation Area, through majestic canyons rich in beauty and historic significance. All tours are scenic and informative making lifetime memories for the whole family.
If action and adventure are your game try the Adventure Tour. It will get your adrenaline flowing with the “Hamilton Spin”—a flat spin within the boat’s own length. The tour navigates turns and rapids that include Big Bend and Salt Wash. Splash jackets are provided and smiles are guaranteed.
Scenic jet boat tours invite you to sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of canyon country. Your captain will share the history of the area. The three-hour tour includes a short walk to a petrified forest. Look for the little blue boats, 435-259-5538, moabjett.com.
NAVTEC Expeditions offers a half-day tour to explore the beauty and geology beneath 2,000ft canyon walls. Traveling in a rigid hull inflatable boat (Zodiac), the guides will stop to show you Native American rock imagery and cruise around the Goose Neck of the Colorado River. 435-259-7983, navtec.com.
river tube Rentals
Cool off by floating down the Colorado River on a river tube. Canyonlands By Night & Day rents river tubes for floats from 2 to 10+ hours. A shuttle to one of their four drop-off points is included. For more details, 435-259-5261, canyonlandsbynight.com.
Spend a hot day bouncing on a water trampoline on Ken’s Lake. The tramp will bounce up to 10 kids and will be sure to delight. Moab Watersports and Gear Rentals, 435-355-0343, moabwatersports.com.
Moab is a great town to get around in on a bike. The Mill Creek Bike Path and Moab Canyon Path are paved and fun to ride. The Moab Canyon Path follows the Colorado River for about two miles.
Bike racks are placed on most of the sidewalks in front of businesses. Be safe and always lock your bike.
Double Down Bike Shop, 435-259-9196, doubledownbikeshop.com, and Chile Pepper Bike Shop, 435-259-4688, chilebikes.com, both rent townies (a cruiser-style bike made to just cruise around).
Located in historic Spanish Valley, Moab Golf Clubis a picturesque course with dramatic views from every hole. This is an 18-hole, par-72 course. From the back tees you’ll play to 6,819yds with some challenging dogleg turns and mild elevations. The front nine has a couple of holes up against red-rock cliffs.
This is a well-maintained municipal facility, usually not crowded, and offers a pro shop, lessons, rental clubs, snack bar, pull and motorized cart rentals, a driving range, and a grill open for breakfast and lunch. Denim is allowed.
Location is just a few minutes south of Moab at 2750 SE Bench Road. Reserve your tee time by contacting the pro shop, 435-259-6488, or request your tee time online at moabgolfcourse.com.
Canyoneering is one of the defining activities in this part of Utah. Few places on the planet have the unique topography and geological features that create the perfect recipe for this unique adventure sport.
Canyoneering allows you to check out remote areas of sheer walls, petrified dunes, domes, and vast canyons, all sculpted by nature and having evolved for thousands of years. There will be a bit of rappelling, wading, swimming, scrambling, and in rare instances, waterfall navigation.
The local canyoneering guide services can find a trip suitable for you and your group’s fitness level and enthusiasm for excitement. Half-day, full-day, and custom trips are offered in various canyons from the Moab area and down towards Bluff. It just depends on the type of adventure you are seeking.
Learn. Explore. Grow. Play. Get muddy. No other activity invites you to fully embrace the Utah desert so intimately.
Grab your friends, your sense of adventure, and go dangle from a rope.
Go with the Pros
Contact these companies for a variety of trip options and locations.Moab Adventure Center, 435-259-7019, moabadventurecenter.com or NAVTEC Expeditions, 435-259-7983, navtec.com or Wild Expeditions, 435-222-5708, riversandruins.com.
If you are headed out rock climbing or need to make sure your pack has the essentials, head to these two stores.
GearHeads has one of the largest supplies of climbing gear in the United States.
Moab Gear Trader, next to Walker Drug, sells a large assortment of climbing gear as well as all sorts of outdoor gear.
hole n’ the rock
Make sure to stop at the world famous Hole N’’ the Rock. Take a guided trip of a 5,000 square-foot-home that is carved out of a huge rock. The home is rich in history. There are also three unique shops to look for your perfect souvenir.
Get up close and personal with their animals in their feeding zoo. Buy a bucket of feed and every animal will follow you.
They have sculptures, antique tools, vintage neon signs, and two penny smashers.
A cold a delicious ice cream cone will finish off your trip.
Located just 10 miles south of Moab, this is a fun stop for the entire family. 435-686-2250, theholeintherock.com
Swanny City Park, located downtown at 374 Park Ave., has seven acres with a large playground, two barbecue grills, covered picnic tables, covered gazebo, public restrooms, drinking fountains, lots of wide-open green space, and big, old shade trees. No dogs are allowed on the grass, not even leashed.
The Moab Recreation & Aquatic Center has an indoor six-lane pool, one-meter and three-meter springboards, shallow-water area, 18ft-high spiral water slide and numerous water features, and a 50ft-long obstacle course. Water junkies can swim outdoors May through end of September in an outdoor lap pool with adjoining current channel, a bubble pool, and large leisure pool for the little ones. Relax poolside in a chaise lounge or under a canopy after your swim.
The fitness area has weight and cardio machines. There is a group exercise room and classes, childcare center, and locker rooms. $5 showers for campers. SilverSneakers participating facility. Daily aquatic or fitness rates for nonresidents: $5 seniors 55+, $7 adults, $4 youth 4-17, $1 children three and under. 435-259-8226, moabcity.org.
Classic elegance meets turbo-charged performance. A Vanderhall is an American-made three-wheel vehicle that blends the open-air thrills of a motorcycle with the stability of a car. Excellent on-road touring option for the National Parks and open-road exploring.
This car is sporty and so much fun to drive. Rent one for a half day, full day, or 24 hours. Grab a picnic, take to the road, and discover your motoring soul.
High Point Hummer & ATV/UTV Tours,435-259-2972, highpointhummer.com.
Experience a once in a lifetime adventure for one or two passengers and relive the barnstormer times of the 1930s in an open cockpit WACO BiPlane! Goggles and leather aviator caps are provided and your flight can be captured on video cameras mounted on the aircraft. Definitely something you will remember! Redtail Air Adventures, 435-259-7421, flyredtail.com.
bike ‘N boat
Canyonlands By Night & Day offers a cool package. They drop you, your mountain bike, and an experienced guide at the top of the Shafer Trail in Canyonlands National Park. From there you descend to the White Rim Trail for 20 miles through stunning scenery that brings you down Lathrop Canyon on the Colorado River.
There, a jet boat is waiting to zip you up the Colorado back to Moab on a well-earned, relaxing ride. 435-259-5261, canyonlandsbynight.com.
Go on a New Adventure
Thrill seekers will love the new Via Ferrata course—a protected climbing route with steel cable rails affixed to the rock, climbing rungs, metal steps, and ladders. Ascend vertical fin walls and climb down into an epic space net for an up-close look at the natural deep craters.
Traverse their 50ft slackline and test your nerves with a jump off the 100ft suspension bridge, then finish with an exciting rappel to end a perfectly epic adventure. Raven’s Rim Adventure Tours, 435-260-0973, ravensrim.com.
Never too old
Being the publisher of this book, I often find myself playing tour guide. I recently brought my Godparents to Moab as they had never seen Arches National Park. While planning the trip, they asked about ziplining as they thought that looked pretty cool. (I had sent them a copy of this book and they read it cover to cover.) So we went! They laughed and giggled like little kids as they went zipping along over the landscape below.
The hikes between each zipline are short with little elevation gain. The staff were very helpful and we all took our time and soaked up the sites.
The only disappointment for Jack, then 88, was that he had not been the oldest to go on this course! A 90-year-old had gone only a few weeks prior to our trip. He’ll have to come back in a few years for the record!
Talk to the folks at Raven’s Rim Adventure Tours at 435-260-0973, ravensrim.com.