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 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.

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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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Caitlin Mollahan
April 22, 2023

Amazing trip and guide! Would do it again

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Michelle Harrison
April 20, 2023

We had a blast canyoneering the Bow and Arrow Canyon with Dan! He is a great well experienced guide. He is also super fun and patient. It was our first time canyoneering and we all loved it! We would highly recommend this trip to anyone!

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Jen Hocherman
April 18, 2023

This half day rafting trip was fantastic! We would absolutely recommend it! Our guide Dan was knowledgeable and had lots of interesting information to share along the way. We rafted through four sets of rapids, got soaked, and had fun!

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Makayla Taylor
April 17, 2023

Every part of this was amazing!! Dan was our tour guide and he was incredible! 100% recommend.

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Joyann McChesney
April 17, 2023

Great day, fantastic guides! Highly recommend.

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Alison Browning
April 12, 2023

We did Bow & Arrow route 2 adults, 2 middle schoolers. Kenzie was fantastic, especially with helping one child face fears on the big rappel. This is a great activity for adventurous families

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Adam Smith
April 10, 2023

We had an awesome experience! I took my 4 kids ages 9-16 on the Morning Glory canyoneering trip. Our guide Kenzie was awesome! The 2 rappelling spots of 90 & 120 ft in Grandstaff were amazing and the most memorable time for my kids in Moab. Thank you!

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Lisa reese
April 10, 2023

Carl was very easy to work with in planning your trip. All guides were fun, knowledgeable, and confident in their skills. I would recommend the Bow and Arrow as it has the most repels. The hike up and in was very scenic.

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Brandon Swenson
April 7, 2023

Honestly the best river rafting company group in Moab. They are local experts, the guide we had really gave us a good time out there. Next time we're in Moab we're comin back!

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George
April 3, 2023

Canyoneering was incredible! Our guide, Brian, was very knowledgeable about rappelling and the terrain. He made our group feel very safe the whole way. Highly recommended if you’re looking for an adventure!

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William Kellagher
April 2, 2023

I did the Rock of Ages Canyoneering trip today & it was AWESOME!! Brian was an amazing guide and the group I was with was great. The best day I had on my Moab trip! If you're afraid of heights like me, don't let that stop you from booking a trip. It was incredible day

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Brett Woodward
March 15, 2023

I took AIARE lvl 1 with Garth and Jeremy and I learned a ton and had a great time in the process, couldn’t ask for more!

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Jake Scheuerlein
March 15, 2023

Garth and Jeremy were fantastic instructors and I plan on taking my Level 2 first thing next season thru RRA.

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Antoine Rioux
March 7, 2023

Amazing experience! Our guide John understood very well our expectations for the day and chose safe options to have a lot of fun despite the considerable risk for avalanches (> 60 inches of snow in the last days).

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Nathan Dorfman
February 28, 2023

I could not be more satisfied with my AIARE 1 class with Red River Adventures and awesome instructors Jake and Garth. Engaging, educational and a ton of fun.

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Rebecca Raich
February 27, 2023

Great AIARE 1 class - instructors knew their stuff and were patient & professional. Class was pretty intensive, but I now feel like I can more safely adventure in the backcountry.

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hudsonm777
February 27, 2023

Highly recommend. Friend and I hired a guide for our first time ice climbing. Bryan was super knowledgeable and helped everyone grow and have a great time.

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Zoe Huish
February 27, 2023

Had my Avy 1 Course this weekend led by Garth Tino and Jake Scheinman. They were both fantastic instructors and people. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience!

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Nathan Hernday
February 20, 2023

Had an awesome time doing some ice climbing, guided by Jake. I was hoping to do as much learning as possible on gear and techniques, and he was fun and full of all the info that I was looking for. Jake and Red River Adventures are both highly recommended.

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Lisa Ryan
February 17, 2023

We just got done with our tour with Jake. It was amazing! He was very educational and also very helpful for our first time out! I would highly recommend Red River Adventures for any touring trip.

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Christine Patterson
February 14, 2023

Awesome experience with John in the backcountry. Perfect mix of fun runs and learning experiences. Definitely a day I won’t forget !

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Ben Romney
February 6, 2023

Did a one week guided ski trip in Hokkaido with Carl and local guide Mako. It was, without hyperbole, the best damn trip of my life. Skiing was phenomenal, followed by an amazingly relaxing, refreshing, and energizing onsen visit, then wonderful drinks/dinner, at a different spot every night for a great variety of Japanese cuisine. I honestly could t have asked for more.

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Steven Obrzut
February 4, 2023

Great, friendly, and knowledgeable

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Ema Waring
January 30, 2023

Brian J was a great guide for the beginner, full-day ice climbing tour in UT! Coming in with no prior experience, my party felt safe the whole time. It was a great workout and experience.

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Kyle W.
January 30, 2023

Brian was an amazing guide for our ice climbing excursion and Red River made the whole experience super seamless and easy. 10/10 would book again.

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Brian
January 29, 2023

The pow was legendary. The laughs were all time. One of the best trips of my life. Carl and co have it dialed.

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Austin McMullen
January 25, 2023

Amazing experience with Jake in my Level 1 course!

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Scott Conway
January 17, 2023

John and Adam lead us through the 3 day Avi 1 experience. It was very informative, well-managed and adaptive for the different skill levels of the class and accounting for the weather changes. I can not wait to take the next course with them.

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Sarah Clark
January 15, 2023

Great day in the mountains with a great guide

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Andrew Grimes
January 14, 2023

Really knowledge and professional guides. We had a super informative, well organized Avy1 class that was also a fun time. Thanks John and Adam!

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Mark Holbrook
January 10, 2023

Wonderful trip with them skiing in BC with Northern Escapes Heli skiing!

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A Google User
January 10, 2023

Red River put on a great Avy AIARE 1 course. Great knowledgeable guides giving practical skills that can be used everyday we are planning to go into the backcountry.

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Mark Sghiatti
January 9, 2023

Instructors were great. Super friendly and accommodating.

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Andrew Upton
December 30, 2022

Knowledgeable folks that are precise and efficient. Added a lot of fun to an avy 1 course while highlighting the dangers of the activity

Awesome experience. Carl was great at picking terrain to match ability and gave helpful tips /instruction

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Brian Cain
December 24, 2022

We took an avalanche rescue class in the Wasatch with Red River. Our guide, Jake, was awesome! Small group, great/welcoming educational environment, fun all around. Update: came back for AIARE 2 and I'd give another 5 stars if I could. Another small group size. Chris & Sam were gurus. Both Red River classes were like an AMA with the snow oracle.

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Ada S
December 21, 2022

Derek was a great guide, would highly recommend.

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Luke Counterman
December 21, 2022

Took the AIRIE-1 course through Red River Adventures. Our guides John, Jake, and Garth were fantastic. The layout of the three days worked very well. There was an emphasis on participation especially in mapping and pre-trip planning. Group size was small on field days, 5-6 people per instructor, which enhanced learning. Overall exceeded my expectations for the course and had a blast skiing in the Wasatch backcountry to boot.

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Max Valverde
December 15, 2022

Had an incredible avalanche one course. John, Jake, and Garth are true professionals and total legends in the backcountry. I’d learn from these guys, or go on a tour with them as guides any day of the week! Thanks again gents.

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Shawn Gordon
December 10, 2022

Great Avalanche Rescue course. A good refresher for the season. Highly recommend John as a guide! His help and advice doesn't end when the class is over.

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Jason L
December 10, 2022

John taught our avalanche rescue course and was fantastic. I am so much better prepared to respond in an emergency.

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Ashley Bovee
December 8, 2022

Red River Adventure is the place to go for an Avy course! The guides are extremely educated, fun, and it is clear they love what they do. They were able to answer all my questions and beyond. John and Jake did a great job with the course, leaving me with more confidence, but respect, in the backcountry than ever before.

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Pr3Historic
November 30, 2022

Kaya, Mary, and Spencer were the best guides one could ask for in every way

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Ellie Jacques
November 30, 2022

Had an epic time with Kaya, Spencer, and Mary at crack camp. HIGHLY recommend crack camp for other climbers who have been on a couple cracks but lack formal instruction in crack climbing. Staff was professional and RRA/Carl was super helpful and communicative.

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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.