I spent 4 days in March touring the Moab area. Over the course of those days, I completed 4 beautiful hikes in Moab, enjoying the best of Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Dead Horse Point State Park. Despite the inconsistent weather and some spring break crowds, every day was filled yet another incredible hike.

Here’s a list of the 4 hikes I did to get your own Moab trip going!

Arches National Park

Devil’s Garden Loop

  • 7.8 miles round trip with 1,131 feet elevation gain
  • Features 7 arches, my favorite being the Navajo Arch. It can be a bit crowded but is an enjoyable hike to see the best of Arches
  • Recommendation: Follow the trail clockwise, with more crowds at the beginning of the loop. Some minor scrambling up the slickrock and route finding at the second half of the loop.
Arch from Devil's Garden Loop

Canyonlands National Park – Needles District

Chesler Park Viewpoint

  • 5.4 miles round trip with 1,151 feet elevation gain
  • The Needles District of Canyonlands is farther out from Moab than the more popular part of the park known as Island in the Sky, about 1.5 hours to be exact. However, it’s worth the extra time in the car! The views and landscape of the towering rock pinnacles out there were stunning.
  • Want to go farther? You can continue on and complete the full 10.4 mile Chesler Park Loop.
  • This is also where the Wine Hiking Society does their beginner backpacking trip in April and October.
Chesler Park Overlook in Canyonlands

Canyonlands National Park – Island in the Sky District

Syncline Loop

  • 8.6 miles round trip with 1,630 feet elevation gain
  • This hike is challenging but very cool! In less than 9 miles round trip, you hike down into the canyon to the valley floor. As a result, it does have some steep downhills and requires some scrambling and easy rock climbing on the way back up. However, we found it all fun and not too scary, especially being on the slick rock.
Sycline Loop in Island in the Sky

Dead Horse Point State Park

Rim Loop Trail

  • 4.9 miles round trip with 908 feet elevation gain
  • A beautiful hike, even in the fog and occasional snow we got while we were there! You’ll enjoy beautiful views of the canyon from various sides and even going out to the dramatic overlook at the point. The east rim side of the trail was especially nice.
Dead Horse Point

Other Recommendations

As your own personal guide, this app made our national park visits so much more informative and fun. With this app, we learned about the interesting geology and history of the area. As it’s GPS-enabled, “Jim” (as we affectionately named our narrator) knows exactly where you are on the road and suggests stops accordingly. He also has guides for several other parks like Yellowstone and Grand Canyon.

  • Get an annual park pass – support the parks and save some money on your future national park visits!

$80 for a National Park pass

$100 for a Utah State Park pass which includes Dead Horse Point

Although I explored Moab in the spring, fall is also a great time to visit to avoid the extreme heat.  What hikes are your favorite in Moab? Which ones would you add to a 4-day itinerary?

Written by Erin McKalip

Written by Erin McKalip

Summit County Ambassador

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