I spent a glorious (but HOT) few days in Moab last week with my LDS singles ward. Moab is seriously one of my favorite places on earth, and there’s so much to do there. Along with the National Parks like Arches and Canyonlands, there’s so many hidden gems or fun things to do you don’t hear people mention very often. And the great thing about all of these places? You can go swimming at them! Which is so nice if you’re visiting Moab during the hotter months.
So here’s a few of my top Moab hidden gems:
1. Mill Creek Falls/swimming or “watering hole”
This is a pretty short hike — two miles round trip — and takes you to the most perfect little dessert oasis of a waterfall and swimming hole. I’d say this is a perfect hike for a really hot day, especially if you’ve done other hikes earlier in the day and want to cool off but still want to get more steps in 😉 You should probably hike in your swimsuit, and be prepared to cross the water three times so bring flip flops or wear shoes you can get wet.
- Difficulty: Easy, 2 miles roundtrip
- Trailhead address: Powerhouse Lane, Moab, UT 84532
- Trailhead coordinates: 38.561925, -109.517176 (38° 33′ 42.93″N 109° 31′ 01.83″W)
What a beautiful hike. It’s a bit longer — six miles roundtrip — but you don’t have to go the entire way to enjoy it. It travels through a scenic canyon along a creek. It pretty much has it all — sandstone cliffs, water, trees and even petroglyphs. It ends at Morning Glory Bridge, a 243-foot long natural bridge and sixth largest natural rock span in the U.S. Plus, the hike is free — no need to pay entry fees! There’s a small watering hole near the end of the hike, so bring your swimsuit!
- Difficulty: All skill types
- Trailhead address: Utah Route 128, Moab, UT 84532
- Trailhead coordinates: 38.609736, -109.533617 (38° 36′ 35.04″N 109° 32′ 01.02″W)
3. Ken’s Lake
You can easily spend an entire day at Ken’s Lake. While it’s not a natural lake (it’s a man made reservoir) the views surrounding it and the cool water make up for it. You can fish there, and it’s a great place to bring paddle boards and kayaks. There’s even a couple of rope swings. You can camp at Ken’s Lake for $15 per site, but you don’t need to pay if you’re just coming for the day.
There’s also a pretty impressive (and cold!) waterfall you can take a VERY quick hike to. It’s also manmade (hence it’s name — Faux Falls), because it helps divert water from Mill Creek into Ken’s Lake.
Some say the Faux Falls hike is two miles roundtrip, but it’s really more like one in my opinion. It’s a very easy hike, but is in the sun most of the time so make sure you have sunscreen! The trailhead is located between Ken’s Lake campsites 18 and 19.
- How to get to Ken’s Lake: Drive seven miles south of Moab on U.S. Highway 191. Turn left (east) and follow the signs approximately three miles to the lake.
Do you have any of your own hidden gems in Moab? Let me know in the comments!