20 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.