It’s that time of year when Moab warms up and Spring arrives while other cities and towns are still layering themselves up to get outside. Although this year is still fairly cool compared to years past, I won’t complain. We could be hit with that ‘polar vortex’ like the Northeast. I’ll enjoy every ounce of sun I can get.
With these sunny days comes more time to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, the warm sun and see everything Spring has to offer… flowers, caterpillars, birds, flowing creeks, and animals and insects coming out of hibernation.
Spring Activities in Moab
Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail
Learn about dinosaurs that inhabited the Moab area and see their fossilized remains embedded in rock. This is a short easy trail with interpretive signs posted along the way.
Remnants of an old copper mill can be seen on the south side of the canyon and the remnants of the Halfway Stage Station are located east of the Dinosaur Trail. The Halfway Stage Station served the traveling public between Moab and the railroad at Thompson.
Scott M. Matheson Wetland Preserve
This wetland preserve is home to 200 species of birds, amphibians, including the northern leopard frog, and aquatic mammals such as the beaver, muskrat and river otter.
The preserve is located on the west side of town and it is a great location to allow your kids to run loose. Great educational material is posted at the entrance of the preserve.
There are a handful of trails and boardwalks that lead you to different viewing areas of the preserve and kids will have a blast exploring the maze of trails.
One trail leads you to the Colorado River and another takes you to a wildlife blind. In the evenings and mornings deer can be spotted grazing or resting in the area.
Mill Creek Parkway
This is a wonderful paved parkway that follows Mill Creek as it winds through town and empties into the Colorado River. Walkers, joggers and casual bikers are welcomed along the path. You’ll stroll pass the Youth Garden Project where numerous fruits, veggies and plants are being cultivated for the community. The parkway is mostly shaded with large Cottonwood, Hackberry and other trees. The parkway begins or ends at Rotary Park depending on which way you travel.
Hidden Valley Trail Hike
Hidden Valley trail just south of town is a great trail that provides a wonderful view of the Moab Valley. It is 4 miles round trip (if you go to the pass) but you can make the length however long you want. There is a climb to the top with switchbacks and once on top it flattens out into a valley nestled between cliffs of redrock. It is beautiful up in the valley and at the pass you can find petroglyphs on some of the rocks.
Along the trail you will come across tiny lizards scurrying from one side of the trail to the other. Sometimes if you are lucky, you will see bigger lizards sunning themselves on a rock.
Cactus blooms this time of year along the trail.
Located off of Kane Creek Road, Moonflower Canyon provides a great escape with kids. View petroglyphs up close and climb a log ladder. Large cottonwood trees provide ample shade.
Bar M Trails
These biking trails are located just north of town and offer a wide range of trails for almost any ability. There are single track trails, as well as, wider trails for families.
During warm Spring days Ken’s Lake just south of town is a great place to visit. The lake fills from the snowmelt in the La Sal Mountains, which are 30 minutes southeast of town. You will find many locals and tourists enjoying the warmer days there. Fishing, swimming, kite surfing, stand up paddle boarding and non-motorized boats are allowed.
Located close to Ken’s Lake is Faux Falls. A man-made waterfall with easy access to the top and your canines can come along, too.
Devils Garden in Arches National Park
This hike is one of the most popular trails in Arches National Park and with little elevation gain it is perfect for younger kids. You can make the length of the hike as long as you desire. Devils Garden area contains the largest concentration of natural arches in the world and is a great place for the whole family.
Two of the most popular arches are Landscape Arch and Double O Arch.
Along the trail you will see soil that is called Crypto Biotic Crust. Cryptobiotic soil crusts, consisting of soil cyanobacteria, lichens and mosses, play an important ecological role in the arid Southwest. It increase the stability of otherwise easily eroded soils.
There are many places to stop, take a break or have lunch and allow your kids to explore.
This is a very short list of the numerous outdoor activities that are available in the Moab area. Get out and have fun!
Have you been to Moab? What’s your favorite activity or place to visit here?