By Annette Verlarde
Let’s head to Moab!!!
Throw some shorts and T-shirts in a grocery bag, get in your car and head south to Moab, Utah. Just four hours from Park City, this little town is jam-packed with outdoor adventure options amid the jaw- dropping splendor of Utah’s vast red rock wilderness.
In Moab, everything from serene moments of contemplation to scream-out-loud rides is available. The drive down alone is an adventure through geologic time. Four of the most celebrated natural attractions in the U.S. are within a stone’s throw of Moab: Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park, and the La Sal Mountains. All are uniquely beautiful and a must-see while you’re there.
Mountain biking is BIG in Moab. The whole town believes that the bicycle is a simple solution to some of the world’s most complicated problems. There are several organized competitions during the summer months, but the miles of trails and guided tours are spectacular any time of year.
Dreamride, LLC (dreamride. com) takes mountain biking seriously and they are fanatics about making sure you have the best equipment, riding plan, and guides. They’ve been in Moab since 1996 and know every inch of the trails. Moab Cyclery (moabcyclery.com) has great deals on rentals as well as guided tours and expert advice. If you’d rather ﬁnd your own way, discovermoab.com has maps and descriptions of over 90 trails in the area.
Rock climbing the walls of red canyons takes the sport to a new level. Moab Cliffs and Canyons (cliffsandcanyons.com) has safely introduced hundreds of people to the sport. Chosen by the producers of the box-oﬃce hit “127 Hours” as managers of on-site safety rigging and stunt work, their guides are some of the most experienced in the country. If you’re experienced and have your own equipment, there are dozens of climbs that are pre-marked. You can literally park your car and be climbing within minutes. The Moab Travel Council just produced the informational page discovermoab.com for an introduction to Moab’s climbing, canyoneering and bouldering for skilled visitors.
Sorrel River Ranch, located 17 miles northeast of Moab on Highway 128, is a scene right out of a western ﬁlm. Fiery sunsets light up the towering red rocks that overlook the Colorado River. The picture is so perfect you may think you’re on the set of a movie. Cabins with rustic exteriors are polished luxury on the interior, each one overlooking the pastoral scenes below.
The family restaurant features farm-to-table ingredients that are locally grown and expertly prepared. From riverside yoga in the morning all the way to sipping wine by the open bonﬁre at night, you will fully experience a natural paradise.
For such a small town, Moab has a remarkable variety of places to eat. New in 2015 are Bangkok Thai & Sushi House, The Spoke and the Moab Burger Company. Bangkok House offers traditional Thai dishes and sushi rolls, along with house special curries. The Spoke on Center stays true to its name and has built its menu around bicycling metaphors like “Over the Top,” which is a burger topped with loads of everything. The Moab Burger Company takes the hamburger to new levels of lusciousness. With names like Blue Duck (duck bacon and bleu cheese) or Atomic (sriracha onions, roasted jalapenos, and Atomic sauce), these will not go down in your memory as average. Look at moabhappenings.com for the Moab Menu Guide to get a look at prices and ingredients.
Red Cliffs Lodge is the destination for those looking for the ultimate National Park experience. Located on the banks of the Colorado River just outside Moab, it offers easy access to all of the natural wonders in the National Parks. The main lodge, styled after the grand lodges of yesteryear, offers gourmet cuisine and a full cocktail lounge. The pool, gym, winery, and riding stables guarantee every member of your family the ideal vacation experience.
Between September 3rd to 14th of this year, the 23rd annual Moab Music Festival will once again take to the grandest stage on earth: the red rock vistas of southern Utah. This miraculous landscape offers up a variety of concert venues, entertaining attendees with music in concert with the landscape. Musicians and audiences are ferried on the Colorado River to a natural amphitheater to perform in a wilderness grotto with perfect acoustics, taken on hikes to unknown destinations, and shuttled up the river road to experience music with such greats as Chick Corea and Bela Fleck playing beside the shore. On September 14th – 17th, a fortunate few music lovers will embark on the annual Musical Raft Trip, which wraps up each year’s festival. For three nights and four days, participants are immersed in the elating combination of nature, outdoor adventure, and daily concerts performed by world-class artists.
This once-in-a-lifetime trip ends with an exhilarating run of the Class III and IV rapids in renowned Cataract Canyon.
Moab’s list of celebrated outdoor activities is long. You can choose any level of diﬃculty from “cautious ﬁrst-timer” to “show me something I haven’t seen before expert.” If this is your ﬁrst trip, begin by reviewing the list of guides and outﬁtters, at discovermoab.com. The road is calling you. Don’t ignore
its invitations to experience something new and get outside to play in Moab, Utah!