View of a tent camping on BLM land on the north side of town, one of the places suggested for where to stay in Moab Utah

Where to Stay in Moab (Best Places & Areas in 2023)

👉 Jump to: Best Places to Stay in Moab | Best Neighborhoods & Areas | Tips | FAQ

If you’re wondering where to stay in Moab, look no further! The accommodation options in this eccentric eastern desert town are tenfold, including glamping options, RV parks, and luxury desert hotels.

The striking landscape of contrasting high-altitude mountains and deep sandstone gorges keeps me returning to Moab year after year. As one of my favorite places in Utah, I’ve stayed at Moab hotels every season and am here to help you pick the perfect place to stay for your upcoming trip.

Before you dive in, be sure to bookmark my list of fun things to do in Moab!

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Best Places to Stay in Moab

Just looking for a quick answer on the best places to stay in Moab? Here are my top picks: 

Ok, let’s do a deep dive of the best areas and neighborhoods in Moab: 

5 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Moab

Moab is a relatively straightforward small desert town. There’s one main road in town and very few traffic lights, making it nearly impossible to get lost. Most accommodations are right off the main highway, which has a few tree-branching streets and most of the local houses.

Check out the official Moab town map to better orient yourself before your trip.

Downtown Moab

The welcome sign to Moab in Utah
Moab’s entrance sign

👉 Best Area For Restaurants and Shopping | ✨ Best Downtown Moab Hotels: Sage Creek at MoabMoab Springs RanchThe Moab Resort

Most Moab accommodations are situated either in the heart of downtown or on the outskirts of the main drag. The small desert town is home to a scant 5,000 residents, many of which only live in Moab seasonally around the downtown area.

Downtown Moab is the best place to stay for travelers hoping for a local experience. This neighborhood is an ideal place to be within close proximity of most bars, restaurants, and nightlife in Moab.

Days spent in Downtown Moab can be filled with locally-brewed coffee, shopping for handicrafts, checking out the only bookstore in town, or browsing around the funky thrift stores. One of my favorite aspects about Moab is if you stay in town long enough, you’ll start to recognize the friendly locals and blend into the community.

Downtown Moab is also a great home base for exploring the surrounding activities like the two national parks, top Utah hiking trails, mountain biking trails, and national monuments in the area. 

👉 Pro Tip: Check out the top Moab tours to explore the area like a local.

Pros of Staying in Downtown Moab Neighborhood:

  • Close to popular activities
  • Near the top town amenities
  • Affordable accommodation options are available
  • A great place to meet Moab locals
  • Near handicraft stores and coffee shops

Cons of Staying in Downtown Moab Neighborhood:

  • Accommodations can fill to capacity during the peak season
  • Can be noisy at night, especially on the weekends
  • Peak-season prices can be expensive
  • Farther from the national parks

📚 Downtown Moab Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Restaurants and Shopping
Google Map

Near Arches National Park

An RV on its way to the Arches National Park Campground
On the way to stay in the Arches National Park campground

👉 Best Area For Hiking | ✨ Best Arches National Park Hotels: Red Cliffs LodgeCastle Valley InnSpringHill Suites

Arches National Park is perhaps the main draw to Moab, Utah. Made famous by Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire, Arches houses over 2,000 naturally-forming arch rock formations, prime desert hiking trails, great rock climbing sandstone, and the quintessential Utah postcard arch, Delicate Arch.

If it’s your first time in Moab, visiting Arches National Park is a must. There are a few hotels on the north side of town close to the Arches entrance as well as a primitive campground inside the park. Reservations are required from March-October and are first-come, first-serve from November-February.

Accommodations near Arches are a bit farther from the main Moab amenities and restaurants but the solitude of the environment gives visitors a good night’s rest, which is essential for getting up early and exploring the park hiking trails. 

There is nowhere to buy food inside the park so be prepared with your own groceries if you plan on camping in Arches. 

Pros of Staying in Arches National Park Neighborhood:

  • Close to the park for early sunrise access
  • Away from noisy town crowds
  • Closer to more outdoor activities 
  • Easier to get a good night’s rest

Cons of Staying in Arches National Park Neighborhood:

  • Away from major town amenities
  • Farther from other outdoor activities
  • Nowhere to buy food or water inside the park
  • No easy way to meet locals
  • Spotty cell service

📚 Arches National Park Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Hiking
Google Map

Near Canyonlands National Park

A camping tent at the Canyonlands National Park campground
Camping in the national park

👉 Best Area For Viewpoints | ✨ Best Canyonlands National Park Hotels: The Domes at MoabNeedles Outpost CampgroundScenic View Inn & Suites

Stay near Moab’s lesser-known national park, Canyonlands. This is the perfect place to stay for nature lovers who don’t like big crowds and prioritize outdoor activities over city nightlife. 

If you take a guided tour in Downtown Moab, odds are they will take you to explore the off-road trails and out-of-this-world viewpoints of Canyonlands National Park. Stay close to this location for easy access to the park for a sunrise viewpoint before the weekend crowds.

There are two established campgrounds inside Canyonlands, Island in the Sky (Willow Flat) Campground and The Needles Campground. Willow Flat has 12 first-come, first-serve campgrounds that are open year-round, and The Needles has 26 individual sites plus 3 group sites that require a reservation spring-fall but are first-come, first-serve in the winter.

You can also snag a backcountry permit online or at the visitor center to camp almost anywhere in the open expansive wilderness in Canyonlands. This is the most popular option among off-road adventurers. 

My personal favorite place to stay is on Potash Road, just before the entrance road turns to dirt. There’s no cell service but the views are unbeatable.

Pros of Staying in Canyonlands National Park Neighborhood:

  • Away from noisy town crowds
  • Accommodation options are always available
  • Easy access to the national park
  • Prime nature setting, photogenic environment

Cons of Staying in Canyonlands National Park Neighborhood:

  • Away from big city amenities
  • Nowhere to buy food or water in the backcountry
  • Limited cell service 
  • No nightlife

📚 Canyonlands National Park Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Viewpoints
Google Map

Spanish Valley

Clear blue sky over the Spanish Valley
Spanish Valley after one of the heaviest snowstorms of the year

👉 Best Area For Peace and Quiet | ✨ Best Spanish Valley Hotels: Glamping Tiny HouseCoyote CabinsMoab Rustic Inn

Spanish Valley takes up residence on the south side of town, away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist city. This neighborhood is where a bulk of the local Moab residents reside and is only a short drive into town.

Spanish Valley is close to the Moab bowling alley, the Moab Brewery, the Mill Creek Trail, and is closer to the La Sal Mountain hikes. I recommend staying on this side of town for more affordable accommodation prices and to meet local Moabites.

One of the closest tourist attractions in Spanish Valley is the Hole N’ the Rock Museum, a gigantic boulder just outside of town that was dynamited out by a miner and established as his home. Take an informative guided tour inside this granitic museum, one of the best things to do in Moab.

🚗 Need a Rental? Most of the top Moab sites are only accessible via personal vehicle. If you didn’t drive your own car to Moab, I recommend renting a 4WD truck from Discover Cars for an unstoppable, rock crawling experience.

Pros of Staying in Spanish Valley Neighborhood:

  • Affordable accommodation prices are available
  • Accommodation rarely sells out
  • Quieter than Downtown Moab, providing a good night’s rest
  • Closer to the La Sal Mountains

Cons of Staying in Spanish Valley Neighborhood:

  • Farther away from the main nightlife activities
  • Farther away from downtown Moab restaurants
  • Not as close to the Moab national parks

📚 Spanish Valley Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Peace and Quiet
Google Map

Unique Accommodations

McKenna and her friends with the motorhome on their background in Moab
Look for motorhome overnight accommodations in Moab

👉 Best Area For Funky Accommodation | ✨ Best Hotels: Under Canvas MoabOutdoor Glamping Jayco RVSunny Acres Cabin

Moab has two reputations: as a mecca for outdoor activities and as an eccentric hippie town. With both of these spirits combined, the town becomes an interesting getaway, to say the least. There’s even a community of broken-down school buses otherwise known as “skoolies” that are occupied by beatnik Moabians.

As a result, you can often find extraordinary accommodation options in Moab. Why stay in a boring hotel when you can sleep under the stars, in a rental motorhome, or in a glamping yurt in the middle of “nowhere.”

Staying in a funky accommodation adds authenticity to a trip to Moab. I recommend staying in your own accommodation deep in nature while in Moab, whether that’s a tiny cabin rental, a yurt, or an RV.

Pros of Staying in Unique Accommodations:

  • Adds a distinctive flare to a Moab vacation
  • Away from noisy city crowds
  • Closer to the Utah national parks
  • Photogenic and Instagram-worthy

Cons of Staying in Unique Accommodations:

  • Harder to make friends
  • Farther away from Downtown Moab amenities
  • Can usually only accommodate small parties

📚 Unique Accommodations Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Funky Accommodation
Google Map

Tips for Staying in Moab

Explore the Town

View of items at a local shop in Moab
A photo I took while shopping locally in Moab
View of books on a bookshelf in Moab Bookstore
Photo from the Moab bookstore

There are so many quirky mom-and-pop shops in Downtown Moab that are worth checking out while in the area. From eclectic thrift stores to the town’s only independent bookstore, local coffee shops, and “Moab Made” handicrafts, this hip town has it all!

Outdoor enthusiasts and national park goers often skip exploring the town, but this is the best way to get to know the local community. Stop by the Friday farmers market or swing by the bowling alley for weekly karaoke night.

Don’t Forget to Bring Your Hiking Gear

Hiking is among the top outdoor activities in Moab, so don’t forget to bring the essential hiking gear. Besides comfortable hiking boots and water, the most important hiking gear to bring to Moab is sun protection. The desert sun is no joke and you will be glad you brought sunscreen, a sun hat, a large water bottle, and an SPF sun shirt.

One of my favorite easy hiking trails in Moab is the Mill Creek Trail. This easy trail is suited for hikers of all fitness levels, allows dogs, and the waterfall pool is an ideal place to hang out in the hot summer months.

Take Day Trips

Blue sky over the Monument Valley formations in Utah
Some Monument Valley formations

Moab is located in one of the most nature-dense desert locations in Utah. Red rock sandstone mesas give way to high-altitude snow-capped mountains, the Colorado and Green Rivers, and deep valleys and gorges. Why not explore it all?

One of my favorite day trips from the city is to Capitol Reef National Park, 2 hours outside of town. This less-visited destination is the perfect place to escape intense summer crowds and offers its own special mystique. 

Monument Valley is another epic trip outside of Moab. It is a 3-hour drive, however, so I recommend camping on-site before returning to Moab.

For more Utah inspiration, see my full list of the best places to stay in Utah.

Hit Both National Parks

View of landscape arch at the Arches National Park
Landscape Arch in Arches National Park

Visit both nearby national parks for the coolest Moab experience. Both Arches and Canyonlands offer unique landscapes and activities that shouldn’t be missed while in this eastern Utah town. 

Arches National Park is more recognized as a hotspot for hiking and rock climbing whereas Canyonlands takes the cake for scenic overlooks and off-road trails. Both national parks are spectacular in their own right and well worth the side trip.

Enjoy the Nightlife

If you’re not absolutely tanked after exploring the deep trenches of Moab all day under the hot desert sun, then you must stop into town after dark to enjoy the local nightlife.

Fun bars like Josie Wyatt’s and the Moab Brewery host Moab locals most nights of the week. I strongly suggest exploring the Moab nightlife, especially if you’re a solo adventurer. This is the best way to meet local friends or other explorers on the road. 

Visit in the Off-season

A tree covered with snow during winter season in Moab, Utah
The town is completely transformed in winter

Moabs’ peak season is the spring and early summer. The best time to visit Utah is in the off-season winter months for cooler weather and fewer crowds. 

I’ve visited Moab in every season and prefer the solitude of spending winter in the desert without the crowds. There’s no better sight than snow-crested red sandstone buttes and mesas. Winter is also one of the best times to visit Moab for striking nature photography.

For more, see my guide guide to the best time to visit Moab.

Bring Your Off-Road Vehicle

Besides hiking, rock climbing, and canyoneering, off-roading is one of the best activities in Moab. There are hundreds of miles of off-road trails around town, making Moab a Jeep owner’s playground.

Some top off-road spots include Sand Flats Recreation Area, the Hell’s Revenge Trail, and White Rim Overlook in Canyonlands. For an even cooler experience, snag a backcountry camping permit from the national park visitor center and camp in the middle of the remote wilderness right off of an off-road trail.

Consider Camping

View of the author inside her motorhome in Potash Road
A view from my campsite on Potash Road

There are many cool hotels in Moab but I recommend camping for at least one night if on a multi-day Moab tour. Tent, RV, and car camping provide a totally unique and more personable experience, especially in the national parks.

My favorite place to camp is on Potash Road in Moab. Although there is no cell service, the affordable primitive campsites sit right on the Colorado River, one of the most scenic places in the whole town.

There used to be quite a variety of free, public camping spots but recent regulations have changed that. Check out free camping apps before your trip to discover free spots to camp outside of town.

Take a Tour

While exploring on your own is always a fun option, I recommend taking at least one guided tour if it’s your first time in Moab. This is the best way to explore some local spots that most visitors don’t know about and learn more about the natural environment from a professional.

Wait until you get to Moab to decide on a tour company, as there are quite a few competitors lining the main drag. You’ll be able to negotiate prices better in person and compare off-road vehicles to better suit your interests. 

Stay Outside of Downtown Moab

View during sunset at one of the camping site outside Moab town
Free camping outside of town

Downtown Moab is near major amenities but can get noisy at night. I recommend staying outside of the main downtown area for a quieter experience submerged in nature. 

The surrounding backcountry is the main draw to Moab, Utah, and staying immersed in such an environment is the best possible experience. Under Canvas Moab, The Domes at Moab, Red Cliffs Lodge, and Castle Valley Inn are among the top accommodations outside of the big city.

FAQs About Where to Stay in Moab

Is it worth staying in Moab?

It is definitely worth your time to stay in Moab. Get the most out of your visit to the remote town by staying as long as possible. There are so many outdoor activities to do in Moab that a few days only scratches the surface.

What is the best month to visit Moab?

Late winter to early spring is the best time to visit Moab. This is when the weather is the most agreeable and outdoor activities aren’t excruciatingly hot. November-April is the prime time to visit Moab.

Can you stay in Moab National Park?

There are two Utah national parks, Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. Both national parks have primitive campsites, inviting tent and dry RV campers to stay a while and enjoy the dense national park activities.

Where should I stay between Moab and Canyonlands?

Setting up base camp in north Moab is the best in-between place to explore both Downtown Moab and Canyonlands National Park. There is also a campsite inside the national park for easy park access.


I hope I’ve helped you find the best places to stay in Moab for you! Now that you know where to stay in Moab, you’re ready to start exploring the desert gem.

For more Utah fun, check out my Utah hot springs guide, the perfect activity for some prime rest and relaxation after playing all day under the desert sun.

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