PWiM 2019 – A little about Moab

Moab itself is a small but very busy town. Watch for pedestrians as there are a lot of them. Restaurants can fill up fast. So if you’re thinking about grabbing breakfast in the morning before a driver’s meeting, plan accordingly. For dinner, your best bet is to get off the main road and to the side roads for restaurants, but wait times are common.

There are 4 types of folks who you’ll encounter in Moab. Tourists there for Arches and Canyonlands National Parks who are often the most clueless of the bunch, Mountain Bikers, fellow off-road enthusiasts (Jeeps and UTVs/RZRs/SideBySides the most common), and those who live there and grumble at the crowds.

For those arriving into town the weekend before, the Moab Car Show is in town: So expect anywhere from 500-700 Classics to Insanity Builds to descend on the town, with Saturday night being the “cruise” up and down Main Street.

Sundays are typically the worst traffic day in Moab. From 8am1pm it’s backed up and can easily take you 45 mins to get through town (or about a mile…). Coming into town from 191 North, you’ll run into traffic delays most days around dinner time.

Best place to get groceries? City Market in town. Lowest prices available, especially if you grab one of their free shopper club cards (if you have Kroeger’s card, use it here).

– Weather –

Weather in Moab is unpredictable. A “brief rainstorm” can turn into 50+mph wind gusts and hail out of nowhere. Temperatures at night can run anywhere from 50 to low 30s. Day time temperatures can be anywhere from 70 to 90s. Mosquitos aren’t an issue yet, but it is advised to bring lots and lots of sunscreen. You may even want to pick up a UPF shirt or two to wear, as it protects your skin from the sun and keeps you dry and cool in the desert heat. Chapstick comes in handy for the dry desert air, which can dehydrate you quickly on the trails.

– Camping –

There’s a lot of camping available around the area, from paid campgrounds to dispersed/wild/boondocking-type camping. Anything on BLM land is first come, first serve. Anything with pit/vault toilets fill up fast, especially campgrounds available along the Colorado River. Your best bet is to check for what’s available, along with reviews and comments about cell service. Developed BLM campgrounds will charge a fee, and fees vary.

Trash is largely Pack it In, Pack It Out. You can find dumpsters in some developed BLM campgrounds, but there’s no real place to dump in the town of Moab. Keep that in mind and opt to use washable plates/utensils/etc.

Water is very easy to come by. You can fill up water bottles at all National Park visitor centers and the Moab Visitor Center. For larger containers, truck bed bladders, and fresh water tanks, you can find free water at the Maverik Gas Station at the SOUTH end of town. It’s on the left side of the building and will require a 20ft hose if filling a fresh water tank on an RV/TT. They also have a free dump station here (often there is a line) or you can dump across the street at the Farm City Feed and RV Supply store. You can also carry your jugs of any size into Gearheads, where they have free reverse-osmosis filtration and an area large enough to fill three jugs at once. No purchase from their store is necessary, but they are a great outfitter store if you’re missing anything. Seriously, a UPF shirt, if you don’t have one by the time you arrive in Moab, is REALLY great to wear on the trail, and they have a great selection.

Showers are available at a few places in Moab, including Private Campgrounds and RV parks. The general cost is $5/shower. The Moab Aquatic Center is probably the easiest to get in and out of with zero wait time for a hot shower after a long trail day.

– Food –

As mentioned above, City Market is your best bet for groceries. It’s also insanely busy 90% of the day. So be patient. There’s also a Village Market which will carry some of your harder to find items that you would look for in a Trader Joes or Whole Foods. Walker Drug is your go-to for a WalMart-style experience (clothes/swim gear/camping gear/basic foods/toiletries/pharmacy/etc) and is easier to get in and out of than City Market.

Restaurants are abundant in Moab, but they are busy. Lines are not uncommon, and wait times can be up to an hour. This goes for Breakfast and Dinner. If your plan is to grab breakfast in town before a trail, give yourself at least 2 hours depending on where you decide to eat.

– Conclusion –

Moab is a small town with big tourism. Take your time, drive safely, and don’t speed. Moab City Police and Grand County Sheriffs are always out. So watch your speeds in and out of town, and you’ll be fine.