Budget Travel

Top free (and almost free) things you can do in Moab

Moab is a great destination for free adventures. Aside from the occasional park entry fee, the trails, rivers, canyons and wilderness surrounding town are liberated to wander. There are even some methods to get involved with the Canyonlands and Arches National Parks free of charge, and you may save on accommodation by camping in certain of the primitive campsites available on BLM along with other public lands outside the parks.

Read on for more of our some tips for a budget-friendly trip to Moab.

Hiking Grandstaff Canyon

The five-mile hike through Grandstaff Canyon takes you towards the 243ft Morning Glory Arch. It's accessed just four short miles from Moab, so that you can actually bike here and hike in. Expect big, red-canyon vistas, several little streams and plenty of crowds.

Free days in the national parks

Most years the federal government provides around six free days in the national parks. This gives you accessibility best hikes, canyoneering, climbing, rafting and adventuring available in Canyonlands and Arches. Got a fourth-grader? Turns out the nation's parks provide free passes for the entire school year!

One thing to remember: the united states National Parks System relies on entrance fees to maintain trails, build visitor centers and protect the vulnerable ecosystems of the true national treasure. There are a number of annual passes, lifetime senior passes along with other methods to access these parks inexpensively, while still making your contribution for this amazing system.

Mountain biking

Recent estimates indicate there are over 2000 miles of biking trails outside of Moab. Some of our favorites include White Rim Road, the kid-friendly Bar-M Loop, the long downhill at Gemini Bridges, slickrock riding past dinosaur tracks on the Klondike Bluffs Trail, and high-altitude lung-busters in the Moonlight Meadow Trail. Some areas have nominal parking fees, and others are completely free. With new trails being built seemingly overnight, it's worth checking in at a local bike shop to pick up a roadmap and get advice.

If you're prepared to shell out $2-$10, snag a pass to gain access to the Slickrock Trail with the Sand Flats Playground. Since the trail receives over 100,000 riders annually, it's worth the little added expense to cover its preservation. What you get is amazing riding on a single of the very most iconic mountain bike trails in the world. Slickrock takes you over 12 miles of sandstone while you consume a marked path that can take you on swift downhills, some lung-bursting climbs and plenty of little drops and turns. For novices, the two.3-mile practice loop may be all you are able to muster on your first entry in to the world of Slickrock riding.

Road riding

People ride around Moab on skinny tires too. Put on the spandex and hit the road with amazing desert rides to Island in the Sky, Deadhorse Point State Park and along the Colorado River. The Park to Park Trail goes from Moab into Arches National Park – around a 30-mile ride – or switch off in the Colorado River and stick to the path along Hwy 128. The best riding is had in spring or fall, once the temps are cool.

Floating the Colorado River

If you've got a paddleboard, canoe or another floating device, you are able to paddle the Colorado River through Professor Valley with just a nominal parking fee. It's a beautiful run with Arches National Park on one side and the road on the other. There are a few smaller class II riffles here, so it's not advisable to do that within an inner tube. As well as for god's sake, wear an individual flotation device (you might realize it like a life jacket). It may save your life.

Hiking Moonflower Trail

Perfect for families with small children, the Moonflower Canyon Trail is simply 0.6 miles long, and gains just a little over 120ft in elevation. There are some cool rock formations to scramble on here, and it goes to a waterfall. It's a perfect spot for an afternoon picnic. Pickup your provisions or a deli sandwich at the Moonflower Community Cooperative in town. The sunsets have the freedom too!

Birding at Matheson Wetlands Preserve

Overseen through the Nature Conservancy, this 890-acre preserve just west of town has great views and is home to over 200 unique species of bird. Are available in the spring to trap migratory birds, including songbirds, shorebirds and waterfowl. In the summer, yellow warblers, common yellowthroat, black-headed grosbeaks, lazuli buntings, song sparrows and great blue herons nest here. You can also spot beavers, muskrat, mule deer along with other wild critters. It is a really unique ecosystem, a lush oasis inside a desert wasteland. A mile-long raised platform loop is handicap accessible.

Due to the delicacy from the ecosystem, the Nature Conservancy asks people to practice Leave No Trace – pack out that which you pack in and steer clear of setting fires. Camping is prohibited.

Moab Free Concert Series

Held monthly from June to August most years, this friendly and funky concert series in the Moab City Ballpark earns fun B-list national acts with occasional local stars opening up happens. Expect hula hoops, food trucks, and shiny happy people holding hands.

Driving Monument Valley

Two hours south of here, have a detour to Monument Valley. This is actually the spot you'll probably recognize from nearly every American Western movie, using its towering monoliths and stark desert backdrop. The Monument Valley Tribal Park manages accessibility area, and there is a small fee to get in. Worthwhile for that views that stretch to tomorrow. For any real treat, spend an hour or so just watching the clouds float by, their shadows dotting the desert landscape like little kisses from heaven.

(Almost) free camping

The Bureau of Land Management and National Forest Service (two chief managers for that public lands beyond town) are increasingly charging for camping even just in the primitive sites. This is generally just $15 a night and would go to maintaining the campsite in an area that's seen visitation skyrocket recently. Probably worth the extra cashola. There are a few what exactly you need to keep in mind when camping off-grid here. One: watch where you camp where you set up. A tent over just a twig of grass is tantamount to some high-plains flora homicide. Two: Only camp in already established sites. Three: Only do fires in established fire bowls. Four: Kind of gross- you need to pack out your poop, so bring a portable toilet (sometimes called a groover). Five: Have some fun, be respectful. It's a unique privilege to be able to use these public lands.

Free water at Matrimony Spring

They the best matters in life are free. As you show up the Colorado Scenic Byway on Hwy 128, you might notice people stopped at the side of the road tucking water bottles under an innocuous pipe. This is the Matrimony Spring. It's some of the best water you'll ever taste (company it's safe to drink).

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