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 features on the planet. The experience of traversing the rugged and exotic Great Basin terrain surrounding Moab is something travelers remember forever. Interested in learning more 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. Upheaval Dome
A crater and popular hike in the Canyonlands National Park, called the Upheaval Dome, is a geological anomaly. Rocks that were a mile deep in the earth are now on the surface.
2. Puebloan Communities Dating Back 10,000 BC
There were native 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. 1.6 Million Visitors
Over 1.8 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. Moab Animal Species
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. Many visitors get the opportunity to see wildlife in their natural environment during a Moab rafting trip.
5. Movies Shot in Moab
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. Over 2,000 Natural Arches
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. Firewood Collection and Burning
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. Where Does “Moab” Get its Name?
“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
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. A Mountain Biking Paradise
Moab is recognized as a mountain biking paradise. The Slickrock Bike Trail is world renown and often a challenge for, even, advanced riders.
11. Moab Petroglyphs and Historical Sites
Standing out among Moab Petroglyphs and 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. The “Uranium Capital of the World”
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. Mining Near Moab
There has been potash and gas mining near Moab. The brilliantly blue water ponds visible from Dead Horse Point State Park are due to the mining of Potash through evaporation.
14. Collapsed Arches in the Park
More than 43 arches in Arches National Park have collapsed since 1977. It’s a natural part of the lifecycle of Utah’s magnificent stone arches.
15. The Darkest Night Skies in the USA
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. John Wesley Powell
The first person to successfully raft the the Colorado River below the confluence with the Green River was explorer John Wesley Powell (1869).
17. The largest City in Grand County
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. Airplane Regulations
Airplanes are prohibited from flying above Arches National Park due to the desire to limit noise.
19. The Confluence of the Green River and the Colorado River
Green River and the Colorado River confluence just above Cataract Canyon of Canyonlands National Park, and Colorado continues flowing south from there.
20. Arches Continuously Fall and Collapse Today
Arches National Park has around 2,200 arches. New arches are continuously forming, though on a huge timeframe, 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, the Slickrock Bike Trail, and, of course, lovely downtown Moab. Things to do in Moab include all types of outdoor sports and recreational activities. Moab, Utah has almost endless adventure opportunities for it’s visitors. From hiking trails in Moab to Moab rafting and guided rock climbing, there are professional guides to help you make the very most of your Moab experience.
Where To Get A Guide For Moab Excursions
At Red River Adventures we offer the most fun and exciting Moab experiences in the area for you, your family or group. We’re your guides for family friendly full and half day adventures! We started offering rafting trips in 2003 and have since expanded to rock and ice climbing, canyoneering, guided ski touring, and outdoor education in Moab and beyond. We’ve had the pleasure of welcoming more than 100,000 guests and spending a staggering 13,000 days in the great outdoors! We take great pride in achieving a consistent 5-star rating across all online review platforms.
For professionally guided adventure trips in the southern Utah, call us at (435) 259-4046, or contact us here on our website anytime!
Red River Adventures is in the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame.