20 Facts About Moab You Probably Didn't Know  

Facts About Moab You Probably Didn't Know


The Moab area of southern Utah features some of the world’s most wondrous scenery and spectacular natural structures. The experience of traversing the rugged and exotic Great Basin Desert terrain surrounding Moab is something travelers remember forever. It can be enriching to learn some interesting things to know about Moab before you embark on your exciting journey to the national parklands of southern Utah. Here are 20 fun facts you may not have known about Moab and this mesmerizing region of North America:

1. A strange crater in the Canyonlands National Park, called the Upheaval Dome, is a weird geological anomaly. Rocks that were a mile deep in the earth are now on the surface.

2. There were Paleo-Indian people living in the canyonlands of the Moab area as early as 10,000 BC. The first European settlers arrived in the region in the late 1800s.

3. Over 1.6 million people visit Arches National Park every year, and a combined 160,000 visit Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point, for a total of over 3 million travelers to Moab each year.

4. The desert is rich with animal species around Moab. Some animals indigenous to the area include mule deer, black bears, mountain lions, bighorn sheep, kangaroo rats, and many others.

5. Dozens of movies have been shot in the Moab area, including major hits like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1988), Mission Impossible II (1999), and many more.

6. The world’s largest concentration of natural stone arches, more than 2,000, are located in the Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, just a few miles from Moab.

7. As a part of preserving the regional ecosystem, it’s illegal to use any wood you find in the desert around Moab. You can buy firewood for camping from local vendors.

8. “Moab” is a Biblical name for a kingdom between the Jordan river and the Dead Sea. “Utah” originates from the Ute language, and it means “people of the mountains.”

9. Fallen Pillar Balanced Rock is 128 feet tall. A smaller pillar beside it was named “Chip Off The Old Block,” after it fell from its parent pillar in 1975.

10. Moab is recognized as a mountain biking paradise. The Slickrock Bike Trail is known as one of the world’s most challenging natural courses for advanced riders.

11. Standing out among Moab historical sites is the Moab Mastodon, a petroglyph that actually appears to depict a Woolly Mammoth. It appears to put people and mammoths in the area just before the species’ extinction at the end of the ice age in 10,000 BC.

12. In the 1950s, as nuclear power gained familiarity, Moab became known as the “Uranium Capital of the World” when significant amounts of uranium ore were discovered nearby.

13. There has been potash and oil mining near Moab. The brilliantly blue water ponds visible from Dead Horse Point State Park are due to Potash evaporation.

14. More than 43 arches in the Arches national park have collapsed in the past 45 years since 1977. It’s a natural part of the lifecycle of Utah’s magnificent stone arches.

15. The Moab area is officially rated as having among the United States’ darkest night skies for ideal stargazing. Astronomy fans are awed by an unsurpassed view of the Milky Way.

16. The first person to successfully raft the length of the Colorado River was explorer John Wesley Powell (1869).

17. Moab’s population has increased by only 257 residents in the past decade, from 5,046 per the 2010 census to 5,303 per the 2020 census. And it is still the largest city in Grand County.

18. Airplanes are prohibited from flying above Arches National Park due to the risk of vibrations from the planes breaking delicate parts of the structures.

19. Green River and the Colorado River converge at their confluence in the Cataract Canyon of Canyonlands National Park, and Colorado continues flowing south from there.

20. Arches National Park features around 2,000 arches. New arches are continuously forming, while old ones are nearing collapse. To be classed as an arch, the opening must be a minimum of 3 feet in width.

What is Moab Known For?

Some amazing things to see in Moab include Canyonlands National Park, The Windows, Dead Horse Point Mesa Scenic Byway, Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, the Slickrock Bike Trail, and, of course, lovely downtown Moab. Things to do in Moab include all types of outdoor sports and recreational activities and outback Utah adventure opportunities for Moab visitors. From white water rafting to ice climbing, there are professional guides to help you make the very most of your Moab experience.

Where To Get A Guide For Moab Excursions

We offer the most fun and exciting Moab experience in the area for your family or other groups. We’re your guides for family fun afternoon excursions or multiple-day wilderness adventures!

For professionally guided adventure trips in the southern Utah national parklands, call Red River Rafting Tours at (435) 259-4046, or contact us here on our website anytime!

Red River Adventures is in the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame.

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The River People
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We strive to ensure that time spent with us is time that you will always look back on fondly. We want to leave you with a memories that bring a smile to your face no matter where you are, no matter what you are doing, and no matter how much time has passed. In addition to a deep reservoir of personal experience, our rafting guides are licensed by the state of Utah, have Wilderness First Responder and/or First Aid/CPR certifications, and are insured. Many guides also have swiftwater rescue training. Our climbing and canyoneering guides are AMGA-certified for the terrain in which they operate. Our skiing guides are certified for the terrain, and some are world-renowned for their experience. All of our guides are intimately acquainted with not only the river, rock and snow, but also with the incredible surroundings of the areas we guide.

River Rafting Reviews and Red River Adventure Testimonials!

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Anna Schapiro
October 23, 2022

We had a relaxing ride down the river in Moab with a guide who was extremely knowledgeable about the surroundings. Sadly Labor Day was the last day of the season for rafting. Keep that in mind!

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Bruce Whittemore
October 12, 2022

Ben was an awesome guide. He was great to hang with. Was safety conscious, and was extremely helpful. We would definitely enjoy climbing with him again

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David Zane
September 25, 2022

Unbelievably professional and skilled - amazing time

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Keilah Butler
September 7, 2022

Great guides, great experience! Thanks!

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Savannah Houle
September 6, 2022

It Was Absolutely Amazing, Had Such A Wonderful Time ! Loved Being Able To Swim And Enjoy The Views

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Joe Carissimi
September 5, 2022

Great full day tour!! Sarah was an awesome guide. Good time had by all. Highly recommend it.

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Nathan Moon
September 5, 2022

McKayla was an incredible guide, friendly, helpful and safety conscious. Thank you!

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Danielle Brokens
September 4, 2022

We did both the half day rafting trip as well as the Bow and Arrow canyoneering. Both trips were great, especially the canyoneering. I had a 21, 13, and twin 10 year olds and this was such a fun way to spend our time in Moab for the wide range in ages of my boys. The guides were super knowledgable and fun! We had a couple of scared kiddos to do the rappelling and our guide helped make the boys feel comfortable and able. So much fun and would definitely recommend!

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Cherrie Weisel
September 2, 2022

Had a blast. Guide was very informative.

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Brian Johnson
September 1, 2022

Top notch.

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Rob Brachowski
September 1, 2022

We had a great rafting trip with Red River Adventures. Our guide was very knowledgeable and was a lot of fun. If we are back in the area we would love to go on another trip.

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Greg Wiessner
August 29, 2022

We want to thank Noah and Red River Adventures for an amazing climbing trip. We booked a half day trip to the Ice Cream Parlor for our first Utah, crack-climbing experience. As East Coast gym climbers with limited outdoor experience, we were looking for a guide who could get us climbing immediately in a crag where we could have a great outdoor experience. Noah was very skilled at assessing our skill level, stamina and willingness to fall trying. We'd highly recommend Red River Adventures and Noah in particular for getting you to a great spot. Better still, Noah gave us great advice about camp sites and food. You will do great if you go with this sevice.

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Jessica Putvin
August 26, 2022

I had such a blast! The guides were incredible and full of fun/amazing information!!! They provided a beautiful experience!💫

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Pat Huff
August 26, 2022

I had a great time! The river guide was helpful and knowledgeable.

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Kim Cameron
August 25, 2022

Although Emily provided a fun and informative tour, it ended 45 minutes earlier than scheduled.

Fun time on the Colorado river. Our guide was very nice and knowledgeable. It was much less time on the river than expected. But we had fun. Next time would go for more rapids as this was more of a float than a white water experience.

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Dulani Kulasinghe
August 22, 2022

We had a really great day! Everything was organised super smoothly and the whole red river adventures team made everything easy and safe in a really relaxed way. We did the full day trip from Fisher Towers with a 10 year old and a 13 year old. None of us had rafted before (though we'd all done a bit of kayaking) and it was exactly what we wanted. Apparently the river was running a bit low, but we still had a fun day - never terrifying and occasionally relaxing. As an introduction to rafting we couldn't have asked for more and we'd definitely book again with Red River next time we're in Moab - thoroughly recommended!

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Joanne Brunetti
August 20, 2022

Five years ago we did rafting with Red River Adventures & wanted to replicate the experience. We booked half day trip & we enjoyed this adventure as well. Our guide, Samantha, was lovely and really qualified. She answered all of our many questions about the river, the landscape and the life in Moab. We had fun in the 2 hours we spent together. We also loved the road trip to reach the drop off area as the bus drives through one of the most beautiful panoramic roads in the U.S.A. Highly recommend! Italia

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Papa Fitzgerald
August 18, 2022

Our guide rocked!

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Brenda Fitzgerald
August 18, 2022

Noah was awesome!

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Svet Mc
August 15, 2022

This was well organized whitewater rafting. With timing , transportation , and safety masseurs. Our young guide Hudson was excellent. With a lot of experience in water sports and mountaineering . Did great job to help us skillfully go down the river with ease and it was fun . Will go back to Red River Adventures .

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Rhiannon Seneli
August 15, 2022

Guides were great and entertaining. Great family activity! Our youngest was 7 and he had as much fun as the adults.

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Féodora Zussy
August 14, 2022

Magnifique descente du Colorado, on a pu se baigner et profiter de la fraîcheur du fleuve. Une équipe jeune et dynamique.

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Jisu Kim
August 14, 2022

My son has really gotten into climbing for the past 4-5 months, so we booked this guided tour and took a quick trip out to Park City area for our first outdoor climbing adventure. I called a local climbing gym prior to booking and they highly recommend Red River Adventures and they did not disappoint. Full disclosure, I was a bit apprehensive and nervous, since I've only been climbing for a few weeks (to build up callouses mostly!). Thus, I was probably a bit "overzealous" about asking questions by calling and emailing, haha... However, Carl and the staff at Red River were AWESOME. They were patient and were able to guide me to the appropriate package (Full day climb, single pitch, top-roping, Wasatch mountain range). On the day of the climb, we met our guide, Cass, and she was able to feel out what we were capable of as well as what we wanted to get out of the day. Cass was a fantastic guide who was super friendly and worked HARD to set things up for us. She gave us enough instructions, but wasn't intrusive at all. That is, she allowed us to feel out and explore the climb on our own without just telling us where the next hold is, etc. This made us really think about what we were doing up there and made the experience much more personal...like, "I really did that on my own!"...a feeling of accomplishment. We were able to get in excellent climbing at all levels. Although we spent the whole day at the single location (Salt Lake Slips, Central Wasatch), there were plenty of climbs of different levels to push us (me, mostly!). The final climb, Witchhunt (5.10a), was awesome. Although it was a challenge I was unable to overcome, it ended up being the highlight of a fantastic day. I would highly, highly recommend Red River Adventures to anyone who asks and have already told a couple of my friends about them.

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Brian Deyaert
August 13, 2022

Wonderful, fun & safe experience. From checkin to drop off, smooth and top notch experience. Will use company again!

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Nick Bernfeld
August 13, 2022

What a true Amazing trip! Loved this white water rafting trip class 3/4 rapids, the guides did a great job at making us feel safe, would def try it again!

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Erin L
August 12, 2022

This was an Amazing trip! We came from Illinois and had never seen or done anything like it! Our guide, Kenzie was so great! I highly recommend this if you are looking for an adventure!

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Marco Colombo
August 12, 2022

Great Experience, Great Team, Great Ride ! Our leader Sam was super, RedRiver remains top rated in Moab ! Marco (Italy) .

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Gina Marino
August 11, 2022

This was an amazing first time adventure! From the well organized briefing to assigning safety gear to 30 minute bus ride, which was highly entertaining, to traveling down the gorgeous Colorado River! Huge shout out to all our guides! Yall funny! Emily was our river guide and we loved her! This ride is a nice and easy introduction to rafting, great for young and old! We wanted to wish those who are returning to their studies a great year!

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Brandon Nelson
August 10, 2022

We really enjoyed our 1/2 day river rafting trip. There was a bus full of guests that morning but our family of 5 got our own boat and guide Ryan. Ryan was awesome, professional and fun and let us swim and enjoy the water.

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Johnathan Hintz
August 9, 2022

The staff at Red River were fantastic and fun. Our guide was knowledgeable about the area, the geology of the region and shared a lot of info beyond rafting. The ride to and from the Moab site was beautiful. Our bus driver was a delight. It was a nice diversion from hiking in the parks on our weeks vacation.

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Amanda Bailey
August 9, 2022

Such a fantastic day. My girls (9 and 13) were disappointed when it ended. Lucas was such a great guide. He totally knew what would make a great tour for us and just ran with it. We would absolutely book again and probably the full day next time. Such fun!!!

Great trip. Scenery was fantastic. Sam our guide was thorough and provided history of the area.

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David Stutman
August 8, 2022

Our trip was great and Hudson was a great guide. Thanks!

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Greg Lawrence
August 7, 2022

Lucas was a good guide, very good for neophytes to work with. Connor & Hudson are real good, too, good info on the bus rides up & back. We got to float out IN the river, too, very enjoyable. Highly recommended; my wife & I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves as the oldest in our 3-boat group (63 & 55yo).

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Amanda DelliColli
August 6, 2022

Unfortunately due to drought the rapids were a little lack luster but our guide Hudson was amazing! He was telling jokes, spinning us in the rapids and keeping us very entertained! Def ask for Hudson:)

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Justine McGinley
August 6, 2022

We booked the 1/2 day float trip and had a great time. The entire staff was very friendly and knowledgeable about the area. The entire trip was very well organized and our family of 5 (including 3 teens) really enjoyed the experience. I would definitely recommend!!

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Nora & Damon Duncan
August 5, 2022

Had a blast with Sam @ Red River Adventures!

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Erin Arnoldi
August 4, 2022

My kids enjoyed the rock-climbing experience. The most experienced climber would have liked more challenges, but the lesser experienced climbers were challenged appropriately. I felt like they were safe at all times.

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Knox25
August 2, 2022

One day Guided Rock Climbing - Salt Lake City Could not recommend enough. Highly professional, very organised and an incredible intro to climbing outdoors. Shout out to Cass my guide who was seriously brilliant, so knowledgeable about everything I asked and was able to tailor the day to doing some intro to lead training too! Being a female (travelling alone) I was a little bit nervous about going alone - if you are in a similar situation, this is the company to go with. Thanks again, you made my trip. Hope to be back another time.

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Dany Elsener
August 2, 2022

Freundlicher Staff und motivierte Guides. Im Sommer wohl eher eine einfache Gummiboottour, denn River Rafting.

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Devon Davies
August 1, 2022

Our guide Emily was fantastic on the Chamisa canyoneering trip. I doubted my ability to complete some of the challenges on this hike and she encouraged and instructed me the whole way. She was equally great with the more able guests. Highly recommend.

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Jennifer Goldman
August 1, 2022

We had the best experience. Incredible hike, repelling and guide! Thank you. We’d definitely do it again.

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Samantha Walker
August 1, 2022

My friends and I did the 1/2 day Towers trip as our first time rafting. The guide, Hudson, was very knowledgeable and great at directing us on the paddle boat. It was so much fun! We can’t wait to try some higher level rafting next. Thank you!

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Maeve Kammerer
August 1, 2022

Carl is an awesome guide! My husband and I needed help learning multi-pitch climbing. Carl was super Knowledgeable, patient, and attentive to our needs. Thanks Red River Adventures for such an awesome experience!

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Jarrod Clark
July 31, 2022

We arranged a half day Canyoneering tour for me and 4 girls (ages 8-14). Red River Adventures was great in offering suggestions for this group. Booking online was easy. A member of this group had reservations about going, but Dan spoke honestly and gently. She decided to participate and was so happy she did. Dan is a great guide and helped when needed, but encouraged everyone during this great Canyoneering adventure. Looking forward to returning for another adventure.

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Judy Stoldt
July 30, 2022

We had Alex as our guide and she was wonderful!! The view is amazing and we had a lot of fun getting off the raft and swimming. My teenage girls really enjoyed it and got a lot of pics to share with their friends.

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Leah Sewell
July 29, 2022

Red River Adventures is so organized, thorough, and friendly. Appreciated all the information they shared about the area, the terrain, stories, and more. Emily is an amazing guide—personable, informative, and such a good driver of the raft. Any age would find this enjoyable!

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Jonah Neal
July 28, 2022

We had a blast! Sophie was an excellent guide and my 9 yo son said we need to do the full-day tour next time. :)

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Erin Gantz
July 28, 2022

Emily was a great guide! Relaxing trip down the river and lots of knowledge given about the area.