by Lorilee Larsen, Travel Time Travel Advisor
We just returned from our first weekend getaway to discover more of Utah. We had never heard of Moab until a co-worker of Lorne recommended it. What a lovely hidden gem, 2.5 hours southeast of Salt Lake City.
After an easy Friday afternoon drive, we arrived in Moab and the scenery was more than we expected, beautiful red rock on a grandeur scale, seemed to go on forever in each direction.
The existing hotels in Moab are all bustling and many have recently been renovated. We reserved a room at the Holiday Inn Express and were delighted to have a full mountain view. A new hotel building is also underway, due to the high occupancy in Moab, with the most recent being Marriott Fairfield Inn and Suites which is just opening its doors. Another great option is Moab Under Canvas - an upscale glamping experience on the outskirts of Moab.
Moab is surrounded by two national parks; Canyonlands and Arches National Parks.
We booked two tours during our stay. We enjoyed a 4x4 drive through Canyonlands National Park with our guide and drove to incredible heights, taking in tremendous sights. We learned that numerous movies have been filmed in this park, including "Thelma and Louise" 's infamous final cliff scene ! (See photo below with me in it)
After lunch, on our next tour, we rafted down the Colorado River in a 10 passenger dingy, perfect for our 35C afternoon. It was a great way to stay cool and continue basking in the gorgeous red rock backdrop.
As I mentioned Moab is an undiscovered wonder that North Americans have hardly taken note of, however, Europeans have visited Moab by the hundreds, for many years. At our hotel and at restaurants we heard primarily Italian, French, German and Swiss being spoken. They love Moab and have been instrumental in sustaining what Moab has become today.
Moab is known for fantastic hikes as well as being a bikers paradise. Every kind of bike tour is offered with extensive new bikes paths connecting the town to the parks and river.
On our first evening we drove down a pretty road beside the Colorado River. We stopped to climbed some rocks and the sun began to set, it was lovely. The next day our guide pointed out this same road and told us that National Geographic had voted it the #2 most scenic route in the US, second to California's Pacific Coast Highway. The drive is over 40 miles long and includes a restaurant and a well-loved winery.
For extra ease in getting to Moab, one can fly Boutique Air from Salt Lake City to Moab in plush, white leather seats, aboard a 15 passenger aircraft for a 55 minute flight at a cost as low as $60/person.
Keep Moab in mind for a new discovery of nature's beauty in Utah.