(Photo Credit: Kaya Lindsay

Welcome to springtime in Moab! Any minute now the wildflowers will start blooming, but while we wait we can enjoy the warm weather, sunshine, and plenty of nearby hiking trails. If you’re new to Moab and you want to see some of the best hiking trails in the area, look no further! Listen below we have some of the most enjoyable springtime hikes around. 

A Note On Biological Soil Crusts

(Photo Credit: Bearfoot Theory

Before you read on! If you are new to the area (or even if you’ve been coming here for years) you may not know about the biological crusts that are super important to maintaining the ecosystems in Moab. These biological soil crusts can be found on the surface of the soil all throughout our little corner of the Colorado Plateau. They consist of algae, lichens, and lots of tiny bacterias that hold water–among other things–that plants and animals rely on to survive in this harsh environment. These crusts are very delicate and grow slowly, one footstep can crush these biological soil crusts and destroy decades of growth. As a visitor and a lover of the Moab landscapes, please do your best to stay on trail (This includes pets!). This is the most important thing visitors can do to help protect this beautiful place that many of us call home. 

The folks over at Bearfoot Theory have an excellent write-up on a Desert Hiker’s Guide to Biological Soil Crusts. 

Delicate Arch 

(Photo Credit: Kaya Lindsay

Location: 38.735127, -109.520684

Distance: 3 Miles Round Trip

Difficulty: Easy 

If you are new to Moab, Delicate Arch is a must-see all year long. (You can check out a more detailed guide to Delicate Arch Here) The hike itself meanders along a short man-made path, passing a few cool ancient petroglyphs, and then leads you over and through some of the classic Moab sandstone fins. In the distance, you can see red cliffs, wildflowers, and wide-open blue skies. A final interesting bend in the trail will lead you around a corner to Delicate Arch! It stands at 52 feet tall and is the largest freestanding arch in the whole park. The trail is mostly uphill but has plenty of space to sit and rest. 

There is a parking lot at the trailhead with a much easier-to-view access point for those who aren’t up to the full 3 miles round trip. 

Landscape Arch 

(Photo Credit: Kaya Lindsay

Location: 38.782820, -109.594860

Distance: 4 Miles Round Trip

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Landscape Arch seemingly defies gravity. It appears paper-thin from far away and spans such a distance that it’s almost comical. Because of its delicate nature, visitors are unfortunately not allowed to hike underneath it. There is historical precedent for this, considering that in 1991 visitors looked up from their afternoon picnics to the sounds of cracking and popping, which was followed by 180 tons of rock crashing down onto the ground below. 

The exact cause of this arches structural failure is not known, however, it is likely heavy rains caused the delicate sandstone to saturate with water, making the arch heavier than it could bear at the time. 

All that being said, the hike to Landscape Arch is wonderful–and safe! The only thing that makes this trail moderate is the length, other than that you are mostly hiking along flat wide pathways that wander through interesting sandstone rock formations. There is a parking lot directly at the trailhead, and no dogs are allowed on this trail. To read a more in-depth guide to this hike please click here. 

Corona, Pinto, & Bowtie Arch

(Photo Credit: Kaya Lindsay

Location: 38.574339, -109.632577

Distance: 3 Miles Round Trip

Difficulty: Moderate

Three arches to see for the price of one! This is a great moderate springtime hike for folks who want to get out but don’t want to wait in line at Arches National Park. This hike is fairly straightforward, with bathrooms and parking at the trailhead, and nicely managed pathways for most of the hike. The hike leads you up a short hill, crossing a set of train tracks, and then out into flatter sandstone terrain. You can read through a more in-depth guide for Corona Arch Trail here. However, towards the end of the hike, there are a few minor obstacles you will have to climb through. Any reasonably fit person can manage with no problem, however, if you’re hiking with elderly folks or very young children, this might not be the hike for you. 

On the way back to the car from Corona Arch you can see Bowtie and Pinto Arch, which are only a very minor detour away from the main trail. 

Dogs are allowed on this hike, although please keep them on a leash! There are delicate biological soil crusts present on this hike that dogs can disturb if left unattended. 

Dead Horse Point 

Kaya Lindsay Dead Horse Point

(Photo Credit: Kaya Lindsay

Location: 38.488677, -109.736660

Distance: Choose your own adventure!

Difficulty: Easy to Difficult (depending on the route you take)

Dead horse point has many different hiking trails for enthusiastic visitors to explore. The shortest and most popular hike is simply a short walk from the parking lot to the Dead Horse Point viewpoint, which has some spectacular views! If you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous, there is a loop trail that can take you to several beautiful viewpoints including, Big Horn Overlook, Rim Overlook, Shafer Canyon Overlook, Meander Overlook, Dead Horse Point, Basin Overlook, and finally the Colorado River Overlook. It is fairly easy to hike out to each one individually, but if you do all of them the total distance is about 7 miles. The terrain is mostly flat, so it’s not too strenuous, however the distance makes this route fairly difficult. 

There are dogs allowed on these trails, as long as you keep them on leash! Additionally, you will have to pay a small fee to access the Dead Horse Point State Park. 

Enjoying Springtime Hikes in Moab 

(Photo Credit: Kaya Lindsay

Springtime is the busy season in Moab for a reason! The spectacular wildflowers begin to bloom this time of year, and the stunning landscapes change from rust red to a collage of color. Whether you’ve been coming to Moab for decades, or this is your first visit here, please take some time to enjoy the serene beauty of these otherworldly landscapes. 

And remember, Moab Gear Trader has the best gear, at the best price, for the best adventures! We can help you prepare for all your desert adventuring needs. Stop by on your way through, we promise you won’t be disappointed. 

See you soon!