Pedal, hike and eat your way through Moab’s winter season

Moab, Utah is one of my favorite travel destinations--a scenic and wickedly fun adventure hub. While it lures visitors throughout the year, winter in Moab is especially magical. I always wanted to see the red rock country in the winter, and I was delighted with what else I experienced during my December trip to Moab.
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This article was created in partnership with the Moab Area Travel Council, Utah.

moab-utah-arches-national-park-winter

Beat the crowds.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably found yourself in Moab on more than one occasion, racing for a campsite and hoping to snap iconic photos without other people in the shot. In the winter, though, Moab transforms into a peaceful paradise, sans traffic in town and loads of people driving into the parks. Furthermore, don’t be surprised if you’re the only one on the trail, and get ready to rub elbows with the locals. It’s a wonderful time of year to visit!

Dazzle at the landscape.

As I mentioned previously, I have always wanted to see a blanket of snow over Moab. The snow not only added contrast to the red rock underneath, but it accentuated the contours in the rock and brought out some beautiful definition. The La Sal mountain range in the distance was just icing on the cake. This was the perfect opportunity to nab some unique landscape photos!

Ride bikes.

This is Moab, adventure capital of the USA! Even 2 days after it snowed, there was still a trail we could mountain bike: the Slickrock Trail. On this otherworldly landscape of “petrified” sand dunes, we gripped and rolled over the smooth rock. A local on the trail told me that on a typical summer day, the parking lot is full and you can see riders in all directions. A December day? Only 3 cars! Multiple bike shops stay open in the wintertime ready to rent gear, tune a bike, or recommend a trail.

Hike.

Dead Horse Point State Park should not be missed on any trip to Moab. The Colorado River far below bends sharply and disappears into canyon country. Approximately 7 miles of easy-going trail navigate the rim, offering views over the Colorado River, toward the La Sal Mountains, and over the many canyons in between. With a higher altitude, there is likely to be some snow on the trails, but it does melt relatively quick due to its exposure. Again, crowds are slim to none at this Utah gem in the wintertime.

Eat well… really well.

Many businesses in Moab close for the winter, but there are still a lot of establishments ready to cater to winter tourists. We ate healthy granola bowls at Love Muffin and Thai specialties at Singha Thai (definitely a local’s spot!). In the evening we feasted on wood-fired pizzas with homemade cheese, sauce and dough at Antica Forma, and local and fresh entrees accompanied by craft cocktails at La Sal House. We didn’t skip a beat eating well on this trip!

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