If you’re planning a trip Moab with the family (and you should), here are a few easy adventures that the whole gang will enjoy:
Take a Sunset hike to Delicate Arch
The hike to Delicate Arch is an easy 30-45 minute hike. Be sure to enter the park about two hours before sunset, so you have enough time to drive to the trailhead and hike before it gets too dark. Don’t forget a flashlight for the hike out. While this classic hike is worthwhile anytime, the desert light is at its finest as the sun sets. Pro Tip: If you don't want to fight the crowds in Arches National Park, try the Grandstaff Canyon Trail. It's closer to town, it's easy, it follows a scenic stream, and the canyon views are breathtaking. Plus, there's no entrance fee, so you can use the money you save to buy ice cream back in town.
★★☆☆☆ Solitude: The chance of finding solitude on this hike isn't great--it's simply too popular. But if you go at sunset, there's a relaxing ambiance that tends to bring out the best in people.
★★☆☆☆ Challenge: It can be scorching hot in summer and if the wind is blowing the last third of the trail can feel a bit exposed. But overall, it's an easy to moderate hike, even for kids.
★★★★☆ Wonder: While it sometimes can get crowded, there's a reason this hike is so popular--the arch is one-of-a-kind.
Bike along the Colorado River
Moab is world famous for mountain biking, but most of the single track is geared toward intermediate and advanced riders, not for little kids with tiny bikes. If you’re looking for something tamer (with fewer cactus and rocks for the little ones to crash into) then your best bet is the paved path along the Colorado River. It’s scenic, flat, and starts only a mile north of downtown Moab. The path begins at the pedestrian bridge that crosses the Colorado River on Highway 128. It follows the river for two easy-going miles before it merges with the main road. Pro Tip: There's a natural spring on a cliff wall near the trailhead parking lot. A sip from the ancient spring is a fun and memorable way to wrap up the ride (and the water tastes great).
★★☆☆☆ Solitude: You'll occasionally hear cars passing from the nearby highway, and you'll pass through a few campgrounds, but you'll also hit a few long stretches in which the canyon feels as if it's entirely yours.
★★☆☆☆ Challenge: It's flat, easy, and paved from start to finish. The biggest challenge is not being overly distracted by the beautiful scenery.
★★★★☆ Wonder: This is one of the prettiest paved bike trails around, all the more remarkable considering how easy it is to access. Best enjoyed in the morning or just before sunset.
ZipLine over the slick rock
Raven’s Rim Zip Line Adventures runs a zip line course right out of Moab. The guides are excellent with kids and the scenery is spectacular. The course starts with a UTV ride up into a privately-owned expanse of slick rock. Once there, the guides help you clip into a series of cable runs, some of which are longer than 1,000 feet. You’ll soar over pristine red rock while enjoying views of Arches National Park the often-snowcapped La Sal Mountain Range. Pro Tip: Call in advance and make sure your little rippers meet the height and weight minimums).
★★☆☆☆ Solitude: Touristy as ziplining is, there’s something to be said for the feeling of freedom that arises (brief though it may be) when you’re gliding above red rock.
★★☆☆☆ Challenge: For many kids, ziplining presents a safe and supervised way to test themselves. In a world of sanitized playgrounds, a little danger might be just what your kid needs.
★★★★☆ Wonder: Ziplining isn’t the cheapest way to enjoy the local scenery, but zipping above the red rock certainly provides a unique perspective.