One Day in Moab Itinerary: How to See Moab in a Day (2023)

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Have you been looking for the best one day in Moab itinerary? I’ve got you covered!

Moab is a stunning destination for outdoor lovers, offering endless opportunities for exploration. From the awe-inspiring sandstone arches of Arches National Park to the majestic canyons of Canyonlands National Park, Moab has something for everyone.

I’ve visited Moab multiple times and have been to all the national and state parks in the area. It was an easy weekend trip for me from Denver, and it was the perfect way to get outdoors and experience a different landscape than Colorado has to offer.

No matter how you choose to spend your day in Moab, it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience full of breathtaking scenery and amazing adventures! Here’s how I recommend spending one day in Moab.

🤩 Want to explore Moab with a guide? This morning rafting tour is a great option!

Moab in a Day Itinerary: Canyonlands, Arches, & More!

See the sunrise at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park

The sun peeks through an arch with a canyon behind.

Starting your day off with an unforgettable sunrise in Canyonlands is a must for any traveler! Make sure to pack breakfast or grab something quick from your hotel before you make the drive.

Give yourself plenty of time – at least 30-45 minutes – before sunrise so you can hike up to Mesa Arch and find the perfect spot to watch the sun come up over the landscape. And don’t forget: bring water, snacks, and sunscreen.

With so much beauty around, there’s no shortage of incredible views to take in while you get ready for an amazing day ahead.

Note that this is a very popular spot for sunrise, and the busyness of the arch will change depending on the time of year.

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    Take in the view at Dead Horse Point

    Muddy lake going through brown canyons.

    Dead Horse Point State Park is an absolute must-see for any traveler after exploring Canyonlands. This incredible park will take your breath away as soon as you park up and start the short walk to the viewpoint.

    The must-see spot here is Dead Horse Point. There’s a river that winds through the canyons here, creating a truly fascinating landscape. It’s definitely one of the most photographed places in Utah, too. By visiting earlier in the morning, you’ll be able to miss out on the crowds later in the day.

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    Have Lunch at Moab’s Food Truck Park

    View of a cheese pizza from above.

    After exploring both Dead Horse Point State Park and Canyonlands, it’s time to go back and have lunch in Moab. There are many restaurants to choose from!

    If you’re looking for lunch in Moab, the Food Truck Park is an excellent choice. Not only can you get a variety of delicious food, but the atmosphere is great too. With so many different options to choose from, it’s perfect for a group of travelers.

    Plus, the vibrant colors and smells of all the different food make it an engaging and uniquely enjoyable experience. The most popular food truck here is Quesadilla Mobilla, serving up the tastiest burritos.

    Explore Arches National Park

    Brick sign that says "Arches National Park."

    Visiting Arches National Park is a unique experience that will stay with you for a lifetime. The stunning red rock formations and vistas make it a must-see destination for travelers. However, due to the popularity of the park, you’ll have to get a reservation for a timed entry, depending on the time of year.

    Once you’re in, take some time to hike up to Delicate Arch (the arch famously seen on Utah license plates) – seeing it in person is truly breathtaking! Just be sure to pack plenty of snacks because there’s nowhere to grab food once you’re inside the park gates.

    See the sunset and stargaze at Panorama Point or Balanced Rock

    Rock formation silhouette lined by purple and pink skies.

    Your day is not done yet, so spend the evening in Arches to see the sunset and stargaze. There are two of the best spots that you can go to watch the sunset and stargaze: Panorama Point and Balanced Rock.

    At Panorama Point, one can find a sweeping 360-degree view of the park, perfect for watching the sun as it sets below the horizon. At Balanced Rock, travelers will have an unforgettable experience of watching the stars twinkle above them against a backdrop of incredible red rock formations.

    Regardless of which spot you choose to watch the sunset and stargaze in Arches National Park, it’s sure to be a magical experience that you’ll never forget. Be sure to bring a camera!

    Have dinner at Giliberto’s Mexican Taco Shop

    Close up of two tacos on a bed of chips with salsa.

    Giliberto’s Mexican Taco Shop is the perfect place to end a night of traveling and exploring in Moab. It’s one of the top spots for Mexican cuisine in town, full of delicious dishes that will make your mouth water.

    Not to mention, it’s open until 2 a.m. most nights, so no matter how late you explore Arches National Park, you can still enjoy all the flavors Giliberto’s has to offer! It’s the perfect way to cap off an exciting adventure in Moab.

    Best Time to Visit Moab

    Brown sign that says "Moab Again & Again" with a desert behind.

    While you can visit Moab any time of the year, fall is the best.

    October in Moab is a great time to visit for both experienced travelers and those who are new to the area. Accommodation rates are typically lower in October, meaning that you can enjoy the beauty of Moab without breaking the bank.

    The weather at this time of year is generally sunny and pleasant, making it ideal for outdoor activities like hiking and mountain biking. Plus, with fewer visitors than during peak season months, you get to experience Moab’s natural wonders with an added sense of peace and quiet.

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    Where to Stay in Moab

    Storefronts on a street lined by shops.

    There are many great places to stay in Moab, from cabins to bed and breakfasts. Here are a few of our top picks.

    Element Moab offers guests a unique and sleek experience with modern amenities tucked away in a massive Slickrock amphitheater. This is where we always stay on our trips to Moab.

    🤩 Book a stay at Element Moab!

    Aarchway Inn provides travelers with a range of rooms from one King bed to studio apartments that accommodate up to 6 people. It’s the perfect lodging choice for those looking for comfortable accommodations near Arches National Park.

    🤩 Book a stay at Aarchway Inn here!

    Hoodoo Moab allows guests the option of suites with a separate living area or single rooms, all offering 1-king and 2-queen variants. Mini fridges are available in all rooms. However, full kitchenettes are only available in suites.

    🤩 Book a stay at Hoodoo Moab!

    Getting Around Moab

    View of a canyon under a blue sky.

    Moab, Utah is best explored by car, as it offers a chance to experience the unique and varied terrain of the region.

    Moab is situated between two major airports — Las Vegas International Airport and Salt Lake City International Airport – so renting a car is easy and convenient.

    Both airports offer rental car services allowing for easy transportation around Moab, giving visitors the freedom to explore all that this beautiful area has to offer.

    🤩 Click here to see rates for renting a car in Moab!


    Arches on rocks under a blue sky.
    How many days in Moab?

    With its red rock canyons, natural arches and bridges, and unique geological formations, you can get the full Moab experience in just one day.

    How much money do I need for 1 day in Moab? 

    Moab, Utah, is a popular destination for outdoor adventurers and nature lovers. The amount of money you will need for one day in Moab depends largely on your accommodation choices and activities. Expect to spend $200 to $400 USD, not including car rental prices.

    What is the best way to get around Moab, Utah in one day?

    The best way to get around is by car. Rent a car nearby if needed!

    What tourist attractions should I visit in Moab, Utah?

    Moab, Utah offers many attractions that will keep visitors busy in one day. The Arches National Park is a must-see with its famous rock formations, while nearby Dead Horse Point State Park offers incredible views of the Colorado River as well as trails for hiking and camping activities. Canyonlands National Park is also a must-see.

    Are there any outdoor activities I can do while visiting Moab?

    Yes! Outdoor adventure seekers will find plenty of activities to enjoy in Moab, Utah! Popular activities include kayaking on the Colorado River or hiking in the national parks; mountain biking across slick rock terrain; jeeping through off-road trails; river rafting; and stargazing under dark skies at night.

    Final Thoughts: Moab in a Day

    No matter how you choose to explore Moab, make sure you take the time to really appreciate the beauty and history of this unique corner of America. Enjoying your trip to Moab is something that will stay with you long after you’ve returned home, so make sure you take all the right steps to make it a great experience.

    As you plan your next visit to Moab, remember that there are plenty of resources and activities available for travelers looking to explore this special destination. Pack some snacks and plenty of sunscreen, pack your camera and get ready for an unforgettable day in one of the most beautiful places in the US.

    Check out our vlog from when we visited Canyonlands National Park & saw the sunset in Arches National Park!

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