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Looking for suggestions for a 3 full days trip to Moab with a 13 year old

Looking for suggestions for a 3 full days trip to Moab with a 13 year old

Old Jan 17th, 2023, 07:43 PM
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Looking for suggestions for a 3 full days trip to Moab with a 13 year old

We are planning a trip to Moab at the end of March. We would prefer to stay in one place and do day hikes. Since we will only have 3 days I would really like to avoid long drives, so my plan is to fly (from Chicago) to somewhere close to Moab (Canyonlands?) and rent a car there, then book a hotel in Moab for the whole time. Would that plan work? Neither of us has ever been to Utah so we are open to any suggestions for parks (we are thinking Arches first), trails, etc. Last year we did a similar trip to Sedona (drove from Phoenix) and loved it.
Thanks!
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Old Jan 18th, 2023, 01:20 AM
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Most visitors stay in Moab. That is the closest town with hotels Assuming you can book flights and car it should work.
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Old Jan 18th, 2023, 04:39 AM
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There is a small airport in Moab, but I doubt that it is served by major airlines. The closest airport with majors and rental car options is probably Grand Junction, CO. You might also check Salt Lake City and look at the total travel time: flights, transfers, car as well as how convienient the flights are in terms of arrival and departure times. Will you be able to get to Moab in time to do a little hike on the day you fly?

You would want to stay in Moab for Arches and both Islands in the Sky and Needles parts of Canyonlands. There are plenty of places to stay in Moab, nothing but camping in the parks. Be sure to pick up a cooler and ice as well as food, drinks, snacks, etc as there is very little (almost nothing) in the parks.

Three days will be just enough time to scratch the surface of the parks. There are lots of easy hikes in Arches, but do hike to Delicate Arch which I found a little challenging (I was 75 years old and coming from sea level) but others found it easy. In Island in the Sky do Grand View and Mesa Arch hikes.

there are Jeep tours and boat trips from Moab too. We always look for ancient rock art in the southwest and if you ask for directions to some sights at the Arches VC they may give you some. Have a fantastic trip.
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Old Jan 18th, 2023, 07:12 AM
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The Salt Lake City airport is easy to navigate. It's four hours by car from Moab which is the mountain biking capital of America. You could rent bikes and take a short ride on an easy trail. The park rangers at the national parks can give you maps and suggest trails which suit your tastes and abilities. It might be fun to do a zipline over some of that rugged terrain.
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Old Jan 18th, 2023, 08:29 AM
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Grand Junction CO or SLC are your best options for a rental car. If the affordable rooms in Moab are booked, I liked the Robbers Roost motel in Green River. Green River also has some rafting trips available if that interests you.
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Old Jan 18th, 2023, 08:30 AM
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Actually both Delta and United fly to CNY using Skywest as a connecting flight. They will just have to see if there are flights on their planned dates. There are car rental locations shown on Priceline (Alamo/Enterprise) with limited hours. Unless there is some special event on their dates there are plenty of motel/hotel rooms in Moab with two queen beds.

PS rental cars are expensive at ALL airport locations. Do a price check before considering alternative airports.

BTW there is also a shuttle from the CNY airport into town. Moab Express which should be reserved in advance ($22 pp for three people).

In addition to hiking, check out the Canyonlands by Night (name of Company) jet boat tours and other options.
https://canyonlandsbynight.com/daytime-jet-boat-tours/

Last edited by mlgb; Jan 18th, 2023 at 09:06 AM.
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Old Jan 24th, 2023, 08:28 PM
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Thanks for all the replies! I ended up booking flights to Grand Junction, just to be safe with the car rental options. The convenient tickets were the cheapest from Tuesday to Sunday (even accounting for the additional day for the hotel/car), so we will be there not 3 but almost 4 full days. I am wondering now is it worth spending a day in Grand Junction or would staying the whole time in Moab be better? Also, I noticed that the timed entry to Arches starts in April. Does it mean that it will be very crowded the last week of March? Thanks again for all the help and ideas!
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Old Apr 4th, 2023, 05:26 PM
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So we are back from our trip! All in all we spent 5 nights in Moab. We flew to Grand Junction and rented a car there. The drive from Grand Junction to Moab is 1:40, so we didn't need the hotel in Grand Junction at all. We visited both Arches (did many popular trails including the Delicate Arch in two half days because of the weather, the upside is no lines at all) and Canyonlands (both Island in the sky and Needles districts - one day each, the drive to Needles is 1.5 hours) and did one tour - the zipline which was fun.
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