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There are thousands of miles of four-wheel-drive roads in and around Moab. The rugged terrain, with its hair-raising ledges, steep climbs, and smooth expanses of slickrock, is the perfect place for drivers to test their mettle. There are abundant trails suitable for all levels of drivers. Seasoned 4X4 drivers might tackle the daunting Moab Rim, Elephant Hill, or Poison Spider Mesa. Novice drivers will be happier touring Long Canyon, Hurrah Pass, or, for those not afraid of precipitous cliff edges, the famous Shafer Trail. All of the routes offer spectacular scenery in the vast desert lands surrounding Moab. Prices vary depending on the outfitter and the location, but you can expect to pay around $75 for a half-day tour, $120 for a full-day trip; multiday safaris usually start at around $600. Almost all of Moab's river-running companies also offer four-wheeling excursions.

Outfitters and Expeditions

Coyote Land Tours. The imposing Mercedes Benz Unimog trucks (which dwarf Hummers) of this tour company take you to parts of the backcountry where you could never wander on your own. They offer technical tours (challenging drives over and through imposing rock formations, washes, and assorted obstacles), plus tamer sunset excursions, and camp-style ride-and-dine trips. They stand by their money-back "great time" guarantee. 435/259–6649. www.coyotelandtours.com.

High Point Hummer & ATV. "Moab's backcountry is our church," says enthusiastic, wilderness-loving owner Lori McFarland. Along with husband Scott, the family has operated High Point Hummer & ATV since 1996. Tour the backcountry in open-air Hummer vehicles, ATVs, dirt bikes, or dune buggy–like "side-by-sides" that seat up to six people. They love families and small, intimate groups, and they offer hiking and canyoneering as well. 281 N. Main St., Moab, UT, 84532. 435/259–2972 or 877/486–6833. www.highpointhummer.com.

Moab Golf Club. A favorite public golf course in Utah, this 18-hole, par-72 municipal course has lush greens set against a red rock sandstone backdrop, a breathtaking combination. It is open year-round and a relative bargain at $46 per round. 2705 S. East Bench Rd., Moab, UT, 84532. 435/259–6488. www.moabcountryclub.com. 18 holes. 6819 yards. Par 72. Slope 130. Green fee: $46. Facilities: driving range, golf carts, pro-shop, lessons, restaurant, bar.

Ramble through the desert near a year-round stream or get your muscles pumping with a hike up the side of a steep slickrock slope. Hiking is a sure way to fall in love with the high desert country, and there are plenty of hiking trails for all fitness levels. For a great view of the Moab valley and surrounding red rock country, hike up the steep Moab Rim Trail. For something a little less taxing, hike the shady, cool path of Negro Bill Canyon, which is off Route 129. At the end of the trail you'll find giant Morning Glory Arch towering over a cool pool created by a natural spring. If you want to take a stroll through the heart of Moab, hop on the Mill Creek Parkway, which winds along the creek from one side of town to the other. It's paved and perfect for bicycles, strollers, or joggers. For a taste of slickrock hiking that feels like the backcountry but is easy to access, try the Corona Arch Trail, off Route 279. You'll be rewarded with two large arches hidden from view of the highway. The Moab Information Center carries a free hiking trail guide to these and other trails. The many trails in the nearby Arches and Canyonlands national parks can get your boots moving in the right direction as well.

Leave No Trace

While doing any activity out in the desert, make sure to tread lightly. The dry, dusty landscape might look unbreakable, but it actually houses a fragile ecosystem, one that can take years to recover from just a set of footprints in the wrong place. In other words, it's best to stay on the trail or walk on rock or washes (dry stream beds).

Moab has earned a well-deserved reputation as the mountain-biking capital of the world, drawing riders of all ages off the pavement and onto rugged four-wheel-drive roads and trails. It's where the whole sport started, and the area attracts bikers from all over the globe. One of the many popular routes is the Slickrock Trail, a stunning area of steep Navajo Sandstone dunes a few miles east of Moab. Beginners should master the 2⅓-mi practice loop before attempting the longer, and very challenging, 10½-mi loop. More moderate rides can be found on the Gemini Bridges or Monitor and Merrimac trails, both off U.S. 191 north of Moab. Klondike Bluffs, just north of Moab, is an excellent ride for novices. The Moab Information Center carries a free biking trail guide. Mountain-bike rentals range from $40 for a good bike to $75 for a top-of-the-line workhorse. If you want to go on a guided ride, expect to pay between $120 to $135 per person for a half day and $155 to $190 for a full day, including the bike rental. You can save money by banding together with a larger group to keep the per-person rates down; even a party of two will save drastically over a single rider. Several companies offer shuttles to and from the trailheads.

Outfitters and Expeditions

Chile Pepper Bikes. For mountain bike rentals, sales, service, and gear, plus espresso, stop at Chile Pepper Bikes before you hit the trails. 702 S. Main St., Moab, UT, 84532. 435/259–4688 or 888/677–4688. www.chilebikes.com.

These professional outfitters take about a dozen multiday bike trips a year into the backcountry of Canyonlands National Park. Departure dates and routes are predetermined, so contact them for a schedule.

Poison Spider Bicycles. This fully loaded shop serves the thriving road-cycling community as well as mountain bikers. Rent, buy (including Trek, Kona, Yeti, and Cervelo), or service your bike here. You can also arrange for shuttle service and purchase merchandise. 497 N. Main St., Moab, UT, 84532. 435/259–7882 or 800/635–1792. www.poisonspiderbicycles.com.

Rim Cyclery. The oldest bike shop in town, Rim Cyclery has offered mountain bike rentals and sales, trail advice, equipment, and gear since 1983. They have expertise in Specialized bikes. 94 W. 100 N, Moab, UT, 84532. 435/259–5333 or 888/304–8219. www.rimcyclery.com.

Rim Tours. Reliable, friendly, and professional, Rim Tours has been taking guests on guided one-day or multiday mountain-bike tours, including Klondike Bluffs (which enters Arches) and the White Rim Trail (inside Canyonlands) since 1985. Road-bike tours as well as bike rentals (and some sales) are also available. 1233 S. U.S. 191, Moab, UT, 84532. 435/259–5223 or 800/626–7335. www.rimtours.com.

Western Spirit Cycling. Head here for fully supported, go-at-your-own-pace, multiday bike tours throughout the western states, including trips to Canyonlands and the 140-mile Kokopelli Trail, which runs from Grand Junction, Colorado, to Moab. Guides versed in the geologic wonders of the area cook up meals worthy of the scenery each night. Ask about family rides, too. There's also the option to combine a Green River kayak trip with the three-night bike route. 478 Mill Creek Dr., Moab, UT, 84532. 435/259–8732 or 800/845–2453. www.westernspirit.com.

Lovers of the outdoors wear many hats in Moab, sometimes being boaters, bikers, and Jeepers at the same time. Here are a few companies who cater to a range of adventure seekers.

Outfitters and Expeditions

Coyote Shuttle. If you need a ride to or from your hike or bike trailhead or river trip, call the Coyote. Their website is a wealth of knowledge on trail and river conditions, and you can connect with others to carpool and save money. 55 W. 300 S, Moab, UT, 84532. 435/260–2097 or 435/259–8656. www.coyoteshuttle.com.

Moab Adventure Center. This reputable company has been offering river rides since 1961. Their prominent storefront on Main Street has tons of info about rafting, 4x4 tours, scenic flights, hikes, balloon rides, and much, much more. 225 S. Main St., Moab, UT, 84532. 435/259–7019 or 866/904–1163. www.moabadventurecenter.com.

NAVTEC. Doc Williams was the first doctor in Moab in 1896, and some of his descendants have never left, sharing his love for the area through this rafting, canyoneering, and 4x4 company. Whether you want to explore by boat, boots, or wheels, Navtec gives you a multitude of one-day and multiday options. 321 N. Main St., Moab, UT, 84532. 435/259–7983 or 800/833–1278. www.navtec.com.

Oars. This well-regarded outfitter can take you for several days of rafting and/or hiking through the Colorado and Green rivers. For those not into white water, it also offers calm-water rides. Moab, UT, 84532. 435/259–5865 or 800/346–6277. www.oarsutah.com.

Red Cliffs Adventure Lodge. The activities staff at Red Cliffs lodge can arrange any type of Moab adventure including rafting, hiking, biking, and 4x4 trips. Legendary Western films were shot here too, so you may want to spend a day in John Wayne's footsteps. Films shot nearby include Rio Grande and The Comancheros. Milepost 14, Rte. 128, Moab, UT, 84532. 435/259-2002 or 866/812-2002. www.redcliffslodge.com.

Roadrunner Shuttle. With vehicles that seat up to 24 people, Roadrunner is a great resource for groups large and small to get to trailheads or put-in spots. 197 W. Center St., Moab, UT, 84532. 435/259–9402. www.roadrunnershuttle.com.

Tag-A-Long Expeditions. Celebrating 50 years in 2014, this outfitter has been taking people into the white water of Cataract Canyon and Canyonlands longer than any other outfitter in Moab. It also runs four-wheel-drive expeditions into the backcountry of the park plus calm-water excursions on the Colorado and Green rivers. Trips run from a half day to six days, and groups are kept small, from 3 to 11 passengers. 452 N. Main St., Moab, UT, 84532. 435/259–8946 or 800/453–3292. www.tagalong.com.

On the Colorado River northeast of Arches and very near Moab you can take one of America's most scenic—yet unintimidating—river-raft rides. This is the perfect place to take the family or to learn to kayak with the help of an outfitter. The river rolls by the red Fisher Towers as they rise into the sky in front of the La Sal Mountains. A day trip on this stretch of the river will take you about 15 mi. Outfitters offer full-, half-, or multiday adventures here.

White-water adventures await more adventuresome rafters both upstream and down. Upriver, in narrow, winding Westwater Canyon near the Utah-Colorado border, the Colorado River cuts through the oldest exposed geologic layer on Earth. The result is craggy black granite jutting out of the water with red sandstone walls towering above. This section of the river is rocky and considered highly technical for rafters and kayakers, but it dishes out a great white-water experience in a short period of time. Most outfitters offer this trip as a one-day getaway, but you may also linger in the canyon as long as three days to complete the journey. A permit is required from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Moab to run Westwater Canyon. Heart-stopping multiday trips through Cataract Canyon are for folks ready for a real adventure.

Outfitters and Expeditions

Canyon Voyages Adventure Co.. Since 1991, Canyon Voyages has been an excellent choice for rafting or kayaking adventures on the Colorado or Green rivers. Don and Denise Oblak run a friendly, professional company that's open year-round. While the majority of their customers take one-day trips, they also offer multiday itineraries, guided tours, and rentals. It's also the only company that operates a kayak school for those who want to learn how to run the rapids on their own. Ask about stand-up paddleboarding, biking, and horseback riding, too. Inside the booking office is a great shop that sells outdoor essentials, including clothing, hats, footwear, and backpacks. 211 N. Main St., Moab, UT, 84532. 435/259–6007 or 800/733–6007. www.canyonvoyages.com.

Holiday River Expeditions. Since 1966, Holiday River Expeditions has offered one- to eight-day adventures on the Green and Colorado rivers, including inside Canyonlands National Park. Located behind the Comfort Inn in Green River, they also offer multisport trips, women's retreats, and bike adventures including the White Rim Trail. 2075 E. Main St., Green River, UT, 84525. 435/564–3273 or 800/624–6323. www.bikeraft.com.

Sheri Griffith Expeditions. Moab outfitter Sheri Griffith Expeditions has offered trips through the white water of Cataract, Westwater, and Desolation canyons, on the Colorado and Green rivers since 1971. Specialty expeditions include river trips for women, writers, and families. You might also enjoy one of their more luxurious expeditions, which make roughing it a little more comfortable. 2231 S. U.S. 191, Moab, UT, 84532. 435/259–8229 or 800/332–2439. www.griffithexp.com.

Tex's Riverways. The knowledgeable folks at Tex's Riverways shuttle hikers and boaters up, down, to, and from the Green and Colorado rivers. You can also rent canoes, kayaks, and gear from coolers to portable toilets (which are required on Utah rivers) for your backpacking or river adventure. Friendly expert advice based on more than 50 years of experience is included, but Tex's doesn't do guided tours. 691 N. 500 W, Moab, UT, 84532. 435/259–5101 or 877/662–2839. www.texsriverways.com.

Rock climbing—or simply climbing, as most who do it call it—is an integral part of Moab culture. The area's rock walls and towers bring climbers from around the world, and a surprising number end up sticking around.

Outfitters and Expeditions

Desert Highlights. The only permitted canyoneering guide service in Arches, this outfitter can introduce you to the exciting sport of rock climbing. They offer easy to moderately difficult trips and know all the best places to take you and your family for a unique canyon-country adventure. Eight is the minimum age for children. 50 E. Center St., Moab, UT, 84532. 435/259–4433 or 800/747–1342. www.deserthighlights.com.

Pagan Mountaineering. Climbers in need of gear and advice on local terrain should chat up the friendly staff here. 59 S. Main St., # 2, Moab, UT, 84532. 435/259–1117. www.paganmountaineering.com.

While Moab's beauty will surely hit you from any vantage point, a truly stunning (and completely frightening) one is from above. Because the area gets only a few days of rain, the skydiving season is long, lasting from March 1 to November 15.

Outfitters and Expeditions

Skydive Moab. This is certainly a different way to view the local landscape. All flights take off from Moab's Canyonlands Field, about 15 minutes north of town. 16 mi north of Moab at Canyonlands Field/Moab Airport, Hwy. 191 N, Moab, UT, 84532. 435/259–5867. www.skydivemoab.com.