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!

Angelique G
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Angelique G
July 13, 2024

Had such an amazing time today! It was the first time any of us had ever gone rafting. Our guide Kira was wonderful! Super knowledgeable, friendly, and comical! Highly recommend Red River rafts and Kira has a guide!

Grace Johnston
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Grace Johnston
July 13, 2024

We loved Red River! My boyfriend and I started our trip in Moab & were fortunate to have Cage as our rock climbing guide. It was the perfect morning excursion to try new types of climbing like crack climbing as both of us were used to only climbing in a gym. A week later, at the end of our trip, we came back for a rafting trip and got Cage as our guide again. He was great & gave us awesome recs for future climbs & rafting trips! Thank you Red River, we will definitely be back :)

Dietrich Heide
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Dietrich Heide
July 13, 2024

Had a great time on the river. Fun guides who went out of the way to ensure people were having as much fun as possible. We will be back!

Brian Kruse
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Brian Kruse
July 12, 2024

My son & I had a great time climbing for the day. Having our guide Jon get us to awesome routes and just as importantly in the shade was great for a summer day of climbing. Even better was all the pointers for how to get some great photos to remember the trip. Would highly recommend Jon for anyone looking to get the most out of their climbing time here.

Richard Luper
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Richard Luper
July 12, 2024

Our guide Maggie is a 2nd generation Moabite and knows the river and area very well. She was awesome and the other guide followed her lead. It would be a pleasure to be on her raft again. Thank you for the great memories. Cheryll, Lucas, Richard Luper.

Chuck Swaney
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Chuck Swaney
July 12, 2024

Had a great morning on the water our guide Cage was great. Very family friendly trip.

Alexandra Rochester
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Alexandra Rochester
July 7, 2024

We did Rock of Ages with Cage as we wanted something a little challenging. What an incredible experience! The rappels were varied in length and style, and the hike through was gorgeous with so many different views. But Cage really made the day special. You can tell he loves his job and cares deeply about the outdoor adventure industry. We are chatty people who share a lot of his interests so it was a great match. Cage’s knowledge of local history, his explanations for what he was doing setting up ropes, and pointing out features of the canyon kept us engaged and excited the entire time. Thank you to Cage for such a great day!

Dwight Norris
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Dwight Norris
July 6, 2024

Our half day white water rafting adventure was a great experience for whole family. This was due in part to the high energy and knowledgeable staff staff. Our raft guide “Liz” steered our raft into the rapids perfectly and informed us about all the great things that the river and Utah have to offer. Thanks Liz!

Cindy F.
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Cindy F.
July 6, 2024

Great experience! Would definitely book again!

Rebecca Roberts
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Rebecca Roberts
July 6, 2024

We had a great time on an afternoon half day excursion. Raft guide was kind, knowledgeable and made the experience a lot of fun!

Darren Simons
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Darren Simons
July 6, 2024

Great trip . Would have like bigger rapids . It was still fun. Grace was are guide , she did a wonderful . Would definitely recommend .

Todd Hoopes
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Todd Hoopes
July 5, 2024

Our second trip with RR, 10 years apart and just as good as the first time! Our guide Kenzie was fantastic. Highly skilled in the art of repelling and a very nice person. Thanks Kenzie, will be back in another 10 years.

Karen Ericson
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Karen Ericson
July 4, 2024

This trip was awesome! Lunch was great. Guide was knowledgeable and lots of fun.

Joerg
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Joerg
July 4, 2024

It was awesome! Kira was out Captain and did a great job!

Andrea Chin
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Andrea Chin
July 4, 2024

Our friend group of seven (4 adults, 3 kids - 13, 13, 9) had a great time with Liz. She took great care of us, taught us so much about the landscape, the water, and animals! She has great energy yet matched our vibe in the boat. We did the full day trip with lunch which was delicious! Highly recommend doing the full day as it takes 45 minutes to get to the site then do safety training. It was really amazing seeing the landscape from a different perspective!

Easton Hamblin
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Easton Hamblin
July 4, 2024

We loved our visit! Guide Jordan was excellent! Thanks for a great experience!

brandon squires
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brandon squires
July 2, 2024

Great experience today. Guides were fun and helpful. Great for our family with kids ranging from 8 to 16. Guides were funny and entertained us with jokes on the drives.

Christy Dimos Jones
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Christy Dimos Jones
July 2, 2024

Great experience…wonderful guide who was great with my children

Heather Averett
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Heather Averett
July 1, 2024

5 stars for the adventure. 5 stars for the bus ride. 5 stars for lunch. 5 stars for our guide, Savanah. 3 stars for the sun as it was a little too bright. I would absolutely do it again. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Z Mac
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Z Mac
July 1, 2024

Savannah was awesome! Thanks for being our guide today! Food was great too! No complaints about anything! Excellent time, super fun family experience!

Max Chambers
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Max Chambers
July 1, 2024

Great guides and amazing scenery! The river was fun, mostly class I and a few class II rapids in late June. The best part was lunch, particularly how accommodating Red River was for food allergies (e.g. gluten-free). I would definitely book with them again!

Jennifer Hardy
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Jennifer Hardy
June 30, 2024

Great ride today with Red River Adventures. We did a full day of white water rafting which included a delicious home made lunch. Our guide, Jake, was fantastic, great sense of humor and a kind soul.

Christine Millett
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Christine Millett
June 30, 2024

Great trip!

Chelsi Lee
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Chelsi Lee
June 30, 2024

An adventure almost anyone could enjoy, very grateful for the experience!

Dow Hardy
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Dow Hardy
June 29, 2024

Had a great trip with Jake as our tour guide today. The trip was a great blend of Class 1-2 rapids and smooth running spots. He was a personable, skilled and knowledgeable tour guide, who made our day the best. Highly recommend.

Anna Habben
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Anna Habben
June 29, 2024

We loved our half-day rafting trip with Red River. Their guides were engaged, fun, and knowledgeable. Our kids were a little nervous for their first white water and our guide did a great job at helping them to feel safe so they could have a great time. I’ve rafted the Colorado with other companies and will for sure book with Red River again next time we go.

Marcin Kruszyna
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Marcin Kruszyna
June 28, 2024

We took the whole day tour,it was very well organised , nice lunch, friendly staff. Highly recommended.

Elena Lopez
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Elena Lopez
June 28, 2024

We did a half day rafting tour, it was an AMAZING experience!! Jonas was our guide, he was awesome and great with kids!

Candy Killian
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Candy Killian
June 25, 2024

An exceptional experience with our river rafting guide, Jonas! We will be back again and again!

Megan Wolfe-Polgar
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Megan Wolfe-Polgar
June 25, 2024

We had the best time canyoneering with this company. Our guide Cage was amazing and super knowledgeable about the area. Would definitely return for more trips!

Morgan Macenka
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Morgan Macenka
June 25, 2024

I took my daughter (who is autistic) for her first experience river rafting. Our guide, Emily, was kind, knowledgable and enthusiastic. She was able to pull a group of complete strangers into a cohesive unit, making it a wonderful bonding experience. The scenery was amazing and the rapids were thrilling. I would highly recommend Red River Adventures to anyone.

Stephani Jones
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Stephani Jones
June 24, 2024

Savannah was a great tour guide and made us feel safe and let us have fun! My boys enjoyed the ride and had a great time!

elizabeth larsen
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elizabeth larsen
June 23, 2024

The full day raft was fun, the guides are very friendly and fun to be around, lunch was delicious. I would have liked more rapids as there was only about 5 rapids in 6 hours. But i would do it again. :)

Jed Milne
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Jed Milne
June 23, 2024

All the guides were friendly and informative. Jake was our guide and he kept my 3 boys (all under 10) engaged and made them feel safe. He also let them know the importance of their responsibilities. They all can't wait to do it again. Half day was the perfect amount of time for my fam. Thanks!

Pam and Patrick Breslin
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Pam and Patrick Breslin
June 23, 2024

We had a great time. Easy to schedule and answered all my questions to make me comfortable taking my seven year olds. Emily was an excellent guide and made sure we all had fun. We all wished we’d done a full day!

John K
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John K
June 22, 2024

Red River Adventures are awesome! From booking to arrival, to the bus ride out to the boat ramps, the process is organized and seamless. The guides are friendly and knowledgeable, and are there to make sure you have a safe and fun time. Both the full day and half day tours are a lot of fun and definitely memorable experiences in Moab. I’ve gone on three tours with Red River Adventures and each has been a wonderful experience. This most recent trip, we had folks from 25-66 and our guide Jonas did an amazing job making sure everyone felt comfortable and was having fun. Highly recommend and will be back again!

Richard Luedtke
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Richard Luedtke
June 22, 2024

Red River had an awesome full day tour ~ Grace was a fantastic guide! Adam drove the bus like a pro, such a great experience ~ highly recommend.

Josh Wyman
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Josh Wyman
June 22, 2024

Awesome time!

Lyndsie Memory
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Lyndsie Memory
June 22, 2024

Great fun in a beautiful setting with fun guides!

Andy Weigel
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Andy Weigel
June 21, 2024

Easy booking online for half day rock climbing. Great communication before the outing. Our guide, Kenzie, was fantastic!

Torrey Hunter McCann
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Torrey Hunter McCann
June 20, 2024

We had an amazing experience with the crew at red river adventures. It was a 40 min drive up the canyon on a bus and was a shorter and more relaxing float then we expected but still an amazing time! The views are great and water was calm.

David Koiter
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David Koiter
June 18, 2024

Had an amazing day climbing with John in Little Cottonwood and Big Cottonwood Canyons! Tacked on an extra day to a work trip to the area to do this. My first time doing multi-pitch, and first time climbing on rock beyond the limestone of southern Ontario. John was just great, I felt comfortable and confident with everything we tackled, and tried/learned so many new things. So happy I chose to do this, and would recommend Red River Adventures to anyone interested in doing something like this!

Wesley Steeb
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Wesley Steeb
June 18, 2024

Can’t wait to come adventure with them again! Kenzie was an amazing guide to do my first rappels with. She is knowledgeable both about climbing and the beautiful land we were in and an all around lovely person to spend a morning outside with. Shout out also to the business team for their graciousness when I had a scheduling issue. Can’t recommend enough.

Kyle Vogel
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Kyle Vogel
June 17, 2024

We took the morning half day trip in mid June. The trip was well managed and our guide Jordan was wonderful.

Jill Lampen
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Jill Lampen
June 17, 2024

Awesome 1/2 day trip with our amazing guide, Liz! She provided a lot of information about the river, vegetation, scenery, and wildlife. We loved the other people in our boat and the other guides were friendly and knowledgeable as well. Probably would’ve have been happy staying on the water longer…full day trip next time! 🙂

Greg Stremcha
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Greg Stremcha
June 17, 2024

Perfect day trip for the family! We had a great time doing the full day trip, which included a fantastic, yet simple lunch. Our guide Jonas kept us laughing and engaged the whole time. He even interacted with the kids, getting them to play games when the water was right. If you’re on the fence about doing a half day or full day- do the full day, you won’t be disappointed!

Dennis Potami
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Dennis Potami
June 17, 2024

Liz was amazing. Smart, entertaining, and professional. Fun facts and stories the whole way. Great day on the river!

Edward Frech
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Edward Frech
June 17, 2024

Trip was incredible! My family had a wonderful experience with our guide Maggie, who was very personable, fun, and kind. We highly recommend Red River and will certainly be back.

Jenn S.
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Jenn S.
June 17, 2024

We booked a half day rafting trip with Red River adventures and had a great time! Our driver Keelee was great, Jake gave us an entertaining ride to the river and our river guide Liz was absolutely fantastic! She is knowledgeable, highly skilled, personable and made us feel at ease. Thanks for a fun afternoon on the water!

Jason Prendergast
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Jason Prendergast
June 16, 2024

Mikayla was an awesome guide. We had a great time.