When traveling to the Wild West of Moab, Utah, it is best to be prepared for your adventure. I’m not talking about gun slingers or wagon trains, but all of the outdoor adventure available among the gorgeous red cliffs and Colorado River.

1. The best time to visit is in the spring when you will find yourself wearing layers for warm days and cool evenings. Outdoor activities were meant to be enjoyed in this mid-70 degree weather, but not during Jeep Safari, which takes place annually around Easter and many family spring breaks. Unless of course you are a Jeeper and then Jeep Safari is the perfect time for you to visit. If you don’t own a Jeep, but still want to come during that time just be prepared for traffic – and lots of it – when Jeepers are heading to and from trails. Also, be prepared to make reservations for dinner or wait in a long line.

2. Read hiking and biking trail reviews before packing your helmet and Merrill. Don’t just pick a trail based on the name. Trust me, the Fiery Furnace sounds scary, but it is a lot of fun. You will find important information about this trail and others at Arches National Park’s website, Discover Moab and Climb Utah. And take heed when a hike is listed as strenuous. We just hiked Devil’s Garden and opted to finish via the primitive trail and it was no joke. Scrambling up slick rock is a lot easier than sliding, slipping or skidding down.

3. Don’t be afraid to use a professional guide. It doesn’t mean you don’t know what you are doing – quite the contrary. A mountain biking guide like SolFun can choose trails based on your skill and expectations. They also know about new trails that may not come up in your google search. My husband has rode five trails in the Moab area and his favorite ones were new trails just established at Dead Horse State Park. Without SolFun, he probably would’ve missed out. Guides are available in Moab for just about anything – hiking, biking, climbing, horseback riding, drinking (oh wait, probably not the latter but try the local 3.2 anyway. It’s pretty good).

4. Be flexible and creative with your travels. If you are driving, make time to stop off at sites along the way. This could be one of the greatest road trips of your life. If you are flying check out not only Moab but Grand Junction as your final destination. Just recently, I looked at both via a Denver layover. Neither round trip was an option for me because flying into Grand Junction meant a five hour layover in DEN and flying home from Moab created the same nightmare. So we did what any flexible traveler would do and flew into Moab and out of Grand Junction. We just returned our rental car to the Moab airport on the day of our departure and had Red Rock Express deliver us to Grand Junction. These routes gave us more time on vacation rather than stuck in an airport.

5. Relax. On first glance Moab may not seem like the town for pampering or fine dining, but don’t be fooled. Spa Moab is an upscale massage, facial and pedicure destination. I had the best massage of my life here and that is saying a lot. The lavender scrub and Shea butter was just what my hiking feet and legs ordered. Ahhhhh. And after chewing on sports bars and nuts all day on the trail, reward yourself with some great food and drink from Zax, Desert Bistro, Moab Brewery or Peace Tree. You earned it!

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