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The Best & Worst Times to Visit Moab in 2024 (Our Take)

The Best & Worst Times to Visit Moab in 2024 (Our Take)

What's the best time to visit Moab?

The best time to visit Moab is in spring and fall, avoiding extreme summer heat and winter cold. For fewer crowds, consider February, November, or late May, when the weather is conducive to outdoor activities without the peak season rush. April and October offer the most ideal weather, with perfect 70-degree days suitable for a wide range of activities, from hiking to river rafting.

The city of Moab in Utah is a popular base for exploring the state’s popular national parks, but people also love its quirky outdoorsy culture. The main reason people visit Moab is to visit the nearby national parks—Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.

Whatever outdoor adventures you want to have in the rugged landscape around Moab, you can find tour operators and gear rentals in town, from rafting to climbing.

In the city itself, learn about prehistoric history at Moab Giants, go on a wellness retreat, or enjoy shopping and dining. The best time to visit Moab coincides with the best time to visit the nearby national parks. Allow us to explain below!

Overall Best Time to Visit Moab

Colorado River running through breathtaking canyons in Canyonlands National Park during the best time to visit Moab

Scott Prokop/Shutterstock

The best times to visit Moab are during spring or fall. Both spring (March-May) and fall (September-October) have great weather for exploring the nearby parks and a lively atmosphere in the city itself.

When planning your visit to Moab, you should look at the best time to visit the nearby national parks, since that is probably the main reason you are visiting this part of Utah.

The National Park Service says that spring and fall have the best weather for visiting because temperatures are moderate, with daily highs between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Moab and the surrounding areas have a semi-arid climate, which some scientists characterize as a steppe climate. That means you can expect not that much rain year-round and extreme variations in temperature. Winters are chilly and summer can get very hot.

On the other hand, spring and fall are nice and pleasant. By March, daily average high temperatures are already 63 degrees Fahrenheit and reach 72 degrees by April.

September is a bit hotter, with average high temperatures of 87 degrees, while October has similar pleasant temperatures to April. October is the rainiest month of the year, but even then the most you can expect are sporadic showers.

This is the perfect weather for outdoor activities, such as:

  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • Rock climbing
  • Horseback riding
  • Mountain biking

As the tourist season starts in March, you’ll also find plenty of tour operators and gear shops open in town so you can get everything you need to hit the trails. Towards the end of spring, rafting season also gets its start.

Each of these seasons has its own charms. In the spring, the desert comes alive with wildflower blooms, a unique change from the stark rocky landscape of the rest of the year.

In the fall, the sunsets are more beautiful as the nights get crisper, and the crowds slowly start to go home. Spring and fall also see plenty of events, from outdoor competitions to festivals.

Here are just a few happening during this time:

Cheapest Time to Visit Moab

Three tourists walking along a rock face during the winter, the overall cheapest time to visit Moab

Wirestock Creators/Shutterstock

The cheapest time to visit Moab is during the winter low season, from November to late February. Winters in Moab aren’t too cold, but it can get chilly.

Average daily high temperatures in January are 43 degrees Fahrenheit, while at night the temperature can drop down to 20 degrees. You can still go hiking, but don’t forget to bring warm layers.

In the winter, visitors to Utah flock to the state’s ski resorts in the north, while demand for visits to Moab is lower. This means that hotel prices go down as well. In January or February, you can find hotel rooms for 20-35% lower than their peak season rates.

If you’re visiting Moab from out of state, the least expensive time to get there is in January or February. Domestic flights to Salt Lake City, the closest major airport, are usually discounted in January or February after the holiday rush is over.

October to March has more affordable flight options than the summer, except in December when lots of people travel for Christmas.

Least Busy Time to Visit Moab

A father carrying his son in a backpack up a rock face during the least busy time to visit Moab

My Good Images/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit Moab is during the winter, from November to February, when you’ll have even popular trails to yourself.

Moab in winter has chillier weather but not that much snow, which doesn’t attract that many winter travelers. The entire town feels a lot quieter during this time. There are fewer events than during the spring or summer.

A lot of seasonal businesses close down, including gear rental places and tour operators, although others stay open for the entire year. Visiting during this season will allow you to enjoy even the most popular trails without a lot of people around.

This is a welcome change compared to the rest of the year, when popular trails can get so crowded that you can’t find parking at trailheads.

Even in Arches National Park, winter is the quiet season. Between November and March, you don’t need to sign up for the timed entry permit system, and traffic levels at the park are much lower (although there are some crowds on Thanksgiving weekend).

If you want to visit when there are fewer people around, but are a bit nervous about the cold, visit in November or late February. These months tend to have milder temperatures, but still don’t get as many crowds.

Worst Time to Visit Moab

Woman holding her arms up while standing inside the Turret Arch during the winter, the worst time to visit Moab

Nature’s Charm/Shutterstock

The worst time to visit Moab is in the summer, as it is hot and very crowded, making it difficult to enjoy your time in nature. Summers in Moab and the surrounding areas are sweltering.

Average daily temperatures in July can reach 99 degrees Fahrenheit, and many days are hotter than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. In these conditions, strenuous physical activity, such as going on a long hike, is dangerous.

Hikers have died of heat stroke before in Arches National Park and other nearby nature areas. Despite the unpleasant weather, summer is the most popular time to visit Moab and nearby areas.

From Memorial Day to Labor Day, Arches National Park and other nearby parks are packed with visitors. Parking at trailheads fills up by 8 A.M., and lines to get into parks are often hours long. If you have to visit during the summer, your health comes first.

Make sure you do any strenuous activities early in the morning or later in the evening, when temperatures are cooler (in the evening, you can also see the sunset and the stars come out).

There are some summer-specific activities around Moab that are worth checking out. June to August is peak whitewater rafting season, and the waters near the park have some of the most intense rapids in the United States.

Try out this unique activity while you are in town—and it’s a good way to cool off. Summer is also the peak festival season in the town of Moab itself.

There are numerous events including farmer’s markets and a free concert series. Once it gets cooler in the evenings, head into town to enjoy the quirky atmosphere of the town at its liveliest.

Moab by Month: Climate & Activities

The Milky Way shining brightly over the Window of Arches National Park during the best time to go to Moab

Sarah Quintans/Shutterstock

Still unsure about the best time to visit Moab? Take a look at our summary of the weather and climate by month below:


January in Moab, with temperatures often ranging from 22 to 41°F (-6 to 5°C), offers a quieter experience. It’s a perfect time to visit Arches National Park, enjoying the winter scenery at Canyonlands National Park, and exploring the downtown galleries and shops.


February continues with cool weather, ideal for off-season explorations in the parks, photographing the stunning landscapes without the crowds, and enjoying the unique charm of Moab’s small-town atmosphere.


As spring approaches, March brings temperatures from 30 to 59°F (-1 to 15°C). This is a great time for mountain biking on the famous Slickrock Trail, attending the Moab Skinny Tire Festival, and exploring the petroglyphs at Newspaper Rock.


April’s milder weather, with temperatures between 38 to 68°F (3 to 20°C), beckons for rafting on the Colorado River, enjoying the Moab April Action Car Show, and hiking in the lesser-known areas of the national parks.


May brings warmer days, from 48 to 80°F (9 to 27°C), perfect for exploring the Fiery Furnace in Arches National Park, visiting the Dead Horse Point State Park for spectacular canyon views, and joining in the Moab Arts Festival.


June, welcoming summer with temperatures between 58 to 93°F (14 to 34°C), offers ideal conditions for stargazing in the designated Dark Sky Parks, kayaking on the Colorado River, and experiencing the Moab Music Festival.


July’s heat, ranging from 66 to 100°F (19 to 38°C), invites you to cool off with river activities like paddle boarding and rafting, early morning hikes to beat the heat, and enjoying the vibrant nightlife in downtown Moab.


In August, with temperatures of 65 to 97°F (18 to 36°C), explore the La Sal Mountains for a cooler retreat, enjoy scenic drives through the Castle Valley, and discover ancient dinosaur tracks at the Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail.


Welcoming fall, September, with temperatures from 55 to 88°F (13 to 31°C), is perfect for the Moab Music Festival set against red rock landscapes, mountain biking on the world-class trails, and enjoying the less crowded national parks.


October’s cooler days, from 41 to 73°F (5 to 23°C), are ideal for the Moab 240 Endurance Run, photographing the fall colors against the red rocks, and exploring the area’s off-roading trails with jeeps or ATVs.


November, as the air turns crisp, temperatures from 29 to 57°F (-2 to 14°C), is a time for peaceful hikes in the Arches and Canyonlands, visiting the Hole N’ The Rock roadside attraction, and experiencing the quiet beauty of the desert.


December brings cooler weather, from 17 to 42°F (-8 to 6°C), along with a peaceful atmosphere. Enjoy the winter solitude in the parks, explore the unique rock formations with fewer tourists, and celebrate the holiday season in the charming town of Moab.

Frequently Asked Questions

Slot canyon in Moab with huge rock faces on either side of the dry creek bed during the best time to go to Moab

Vincent Streech/Shutterstock

Here are a few common questions people have asked about visiting Moab:

What are the best months to visit Moab?

The best months to visit Moab are March, April, May, September, and October. These months have the mildest weather and best conditions for exploring.

When is the off-season in Moab?

Winter is Moab’s off-season. From November to February, expect fewer people around and much lower hotel rates as most tourists in Utah flock to the ski slopes.

How many days do you need for Moab?

You should spend at least two or three days in Moab. There are so many natural areas surrounding the town, you want to give yourself plenty of time to go hiking and exploring.

Does Moab have a rainy season?

Moab doesn’t really have a rainy season since it has a semi-arid climate. However, July to September is the desert monsoon season, so be careful of sudden storms and flash floods.

What is the coldest month in Moab?

The coldest month in Moab is January, when nighttime temperatures can get as low as 17 degrees Fahrenheit. However, during the day, temperatures aren’t that cold.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Moab?

Moab is at its best when the weather is temperate, in spring or fall. These seasons see a lot of visitors, but you’ll also have the best conditions for hiking and other outdoor activities.

So, with so much to see and to and plenty of amazing times to visit, what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience for yourself all that Moab has to offer. Happy travels!