Have you ever had a week where it seems like you’re constantly putting out fires and cleaning up messes either at home, at work, or both? Days where shit is just constantly hitting the fan?! We were having just that kind of week, and come Thursday night we were both exhausted.
It was definitely time for a mental reset.
If you read my post about ways to elevating your mood (read it here), you know that I am all about a quick weekend getaway to literally get – away – from – it – all.
I had been craving fresh air and the outdoors for quite some time, so we decided to venture down to Moab for the weekend. We checked the weather (low 80’s), loaded up the car, and headed to Utah’s outdoor playground… MOAB.
A few things about Moab
Moab is about a 3 hours from Salt Lake City and is considered the ‘gateway’ to Arches National Park and CanyonLands. If you’re a nature freak, love adventure or adrenalin, or just love stunning scenery, you need to plan a visit to Moab! Aside from the National Parks, there is SO much to do and see in Moab. You can spend an entire weekend here without even stepping foot inside of a National Park.
The weather in Moab can get pretty hot in the summer. By hot, I mean sweltering dry desert heat. Fall and spring in Moab, however, is heaven on earth. Warm summer days accompanied by cool evenings. It’s the perfect time to head to Southern Utah where you will find some of America’s most unique landscapes and scenery.
Where To Stay
I’ll be honest with you, if you’re looking for luxurious accommodations you need to look elsewhere. Hotel options are not the best and most of your choices are glorified motels. (They are in the process of building a 4 Star Hotel that should be completed early next year.) Having said that, there are tons of options and a lot of them are pretty nice. You’ll be having so much fun during the day that you really don’t need anything fancy….
I grew up camping with my dad every weekend in the Uintah Mountains so I have a certain nostalgia for roughing it in the woods. My hubby, who is a Cali boy at heart, isn’t keen on the idea of sleeping in a tent. I decided to save him the pain of camping and booked the SpringHill Suites a brand new hotel that is located right next to the Colorado River.
If you choose to camp in Moab I recommend camping along the Colorado river on Route 128 or up on the Sand Flats Rec Center. It can get pretty busy during peak season and reservations fill up months in advance. Most campsites have first come first serve spots but make sure to get their early!
Glamping is for me. It’s a perfect mix of the outdoors and luxury. You get the pleasure of sleeping in an actual bed instead of blowup mattress, and who doens’t want a hot shower after being out in the desert all day? Under Canvas Moab is where it’s at when it comes to Glamping! They even have Teepees connected to some of their suites for families. You can shove all of the kids into a tepee so you can enjoy some one on one time with your significant other. Don’t tell me your kids wouldn’t be thrilled about sleeping in a Teepee!
Our Weekend Recap + Where to Eat and Play in Moab
We checked into our hotel and immediately went to the pool. It was about 85 degrees but it felt like 105. We were NOT used to the warm weather! That evening we headed to Main Street, the touristy part of Moab. Moab is such a cute little town! Main Street is home to many restaurants, a few shops, and tons of activity centers and tour companies.
We ate at a cute little Italian restaurant called Pasta Jays. It was nothing fancy (think red checkered table clothes) but the pasta was pretty good. It’s no Gordon Ramsey… but remember, you’re in a little western town… not L.A. I ordered a huge chopped salad (per usual) and ate some of Jason’s pasta (also per usual).
Speed Boats on the River
The next day we headed to our first outdoor adventure out on the Colorado River with Moab Jett. This was crazy fun! It’s the perfect amount of adventure and sight seeing. Seeing the canyons from the water was incredible!
I forgot to record my videos horizontally (WHOOPS) you’ll just have to take my word for it.
Hold on tight when the driver whistles because it’s time to do a 360 degree spin in the water! It was pretty cold in the morning so our guide took it easy on us and only got us a little wet. If you go in the summer you WILL get soaked but that’s all part of the fun!
After our tour we headed to The Spoke On Center for lunch where we custom built our own burgers. I was pretty damn proud of my creation ( if you’re vegetarian/vegan you’re going to die for this!)…
- bunless (always)
- grilled portabello mushroom
- regular fixings ( tomatoes, onions etc)
- add jalapeño and avocado
- Lots of hot sauce
Also, get the sweet potato tater tots. You can thank me later.
UTVs on SlickRock
We then went over to Ultimate UTV Adventures and rented a UTV for the day. Word of advice: Don’t sign up for a tour. Instead, rent a UTV for the day (it’s like $30 more than half day) and go out and explore! You’ll get to ride the Moab trails on your own time and do not have to worry about being on a ‘schedule’.
You’ll spend your day out on SandFlats Recreational Center, home of Moab’s most famous mountain biking and off-road trails.
We went on Hells Revenge (if you don’t know what it is, Google it) and lived through it. It was pretty intense and not for the faint of heart or for first timers. If you’ve never been, or want to ‘test’ out the terrain first, head to the trail called Fins and Things. It’s a super fun trail that is still pretty challenging at times. The views are INCREDIBLE. Afterwards you can head out with the big boys to Hells Revenge.
Hells Revenge was such a thrill ride! Adrenalin accompanied by the most killer views ever! At one point we parked at a trail called “Escalator” and watched some of the bigger jeeps climb up the hill which was seriously insane.
No thanks. I’ll stick to the ‘calmer’ (if you can call it that) trails.
By the end of the day, I had sand all over my body and in my hair and a huge grin that I couldn’t get rid of.
We went straight from the trails to dinner. Moab is VERY CASUAL so going to dinner dirty is the norm. What you wear during the day is what you wear at night + all of the sand you bring back with you from the trails.
Im pretty sure there’s only one nice restaurant in Moab ( Sunset Grill – the views from this restaurant are stunning) and I wouldn’t be surprised if half the people in there are also covered in dirt. When In Moab. Right?
That’s why I love Moab. It’s all about the adventure and outdoors and no one gives a shit about makeup, or getting dressed up.
Walking off Cliffs In Moab (Canyoneering and Repelling)
On our last day we woke up bright and early and headed over to Desert Highlights for some canyoneering and repelling.
What in the hell is canyoneering? I didn’t know either, TBH.
Canyoneering is like hiking but on steroids. It can involve jumping, climbing, scrambling (not eggs), and lots of cliffs.
ANYWAY…. our guide was awesome. He kept us laughing, made us feel VERY safe, but also poked fun of us a little bit which I loved!
I’m all about a little sass.
hiking canyoneering adventure involved us repelled down two 100 ft cliffs (We booked the Morning Glory tour).
I was actually the one who decided to try repelling and I spent two full days convincing Jason to go. I was feeling pretty fucking bad ass and confident until I walked up to that ledge. I’ve got this… WRONG. That’s when fear hit me right upside the head. I wanted to GTFO.
Grab a rope, secure yourself to it, and walk off backwards into the unknown (no seriously, you couldn’t see the bottom).
What the actual fck where you thinking, Olya?
I couldn’t back down now and honestly there was no where to run so I inched my way down (literally inched) the canyon. I had two, maybe three, mild panic attacks on the way down. Word of advice: Don’t look down.
Once I was no longer hanging from a cliff, and my hands stopped violently shaking, I realized what I had just accomplished and instantly felt like superman… er, superwoman.
Can we please do it again?
Luckily we had one more repel to do. The second repel was even more amazing than the first. You repel right next to the Morning Glory arch. Oh my God the views! It was incredible. I couldn’t stop smiling.
We then hiked back about 2 miles to the mouth of the canyon. It was gorgeous. Moab… you are something else.
You wont regret it! Next time we will opt for the full day tour where you can repel into waterfalls and do some more intense climbing. Check out the scenery!
Our last stop in Moab was lunch at Peace Tree Juice Cafe on Main Street. They specializes in healthy dishes and delicious smoothies and juices and have the cutest little patio! This was probably my favorite spot we ate at.
A weekend in the great outdoors was exactly what we needed. We both felt recharged and surprisingly relaxed given the fact that we spent the weekend spinning around in speed boats, driving over giant ass boulders and walking backwards off cliffs.
Have you been to Moab? Tell me about some of your adventures!