Moab in the Busy Season, How to Enjoy It
You see it everywhere, “Theres an event this weekend, what do I do?”, “Where can I camp?”, “Am I totally screwed?” “Moab busy season is the worst”.
Lets be real. Moab in the off season is great. You have your pick of any campground, even those coveted ones along the Colorado River on 128. Theres no wait in line for restaurants (just kidding, theres always a wait at Eklecticafe because its just that good). Trails are pretty much empty especially during inclement weather. But here’s why I don’t think ‘busy season’ should keep you from visiting.
How to visit moab during one of the busiest times of year
So I plan these group camp outs right? Months in advance I let friends know, “we're going to be here at this time, please come so I can see your face”. This is so important to me because lets face it, we’re all kind of adults and life gets in the way of us meeting up. Also, I am not a “lets grab a drink and catch up”, I’m a “lets go be miserable in the hot desert together and catch up”. And lastly, I moved 5 hours away from so many people that I still want to have relationships with despite my inability to pick up a phone to call them. Hence: group camping.
Every Easter weekend Moab has an event called Jeep Safari. It’s like the largest jeep gathering in north america or something, and its prettttty crazy. The first time I ever visited Moab 4 years ago was during Jeep Safari and getting in at 10 AM Saturday morning, trying to find a campsite during one of the busiest times of year, wasn’t fun.
But once I realized how BIG Moab is and how easy it is to get away from the crowds, my perspective changed.
(side note, for some reason I thought normal people with normal jobs got the Monday after easter off of work which is why I planned this group camping during that date. turns out, thats not a thing)
Fast forward to this weekend! Its Friday! All our friends are driving out! We’re supposed to have a campsite for them! But its the busiest time of year to be in Moab! Its going to be awful!
But guess what? On either side of the $20 pay campgrounds in the Arches National Park, the state parks, and along the river, Moab is surrounded by BLM land.
I’ve talked about BLM land and how to find it before, but its basically all of this land with little pullouts and endless roads where you can set up camp AND explore. The best part about BLM land (beside it being free) is that it is SO expansive and there is SO much of it that there is also a ton of other fun stuff to do on it. For example in Moab, theres climbing, natural rock features, canyons, spires, trails, rivers, waterfalls. All on BLM land.
Which is how we found ourselves camping 20 minutes from the nearest paved road, nestled under a huge butte in the middle of Moab BLM land. There was a hike just down the road that we did one morning, there was an amazing spot for sunset about 30 miles up the road. We were just out there, hanging out with only the occasional passerby. Just us, the blazing hot summer sun, and our little neighborhood rattlesnake.
Because if you aren’t spending your time in town (who goes to Moab to go to town??), being in Moab during the busy season is a piece of cake. Another great reason to visit during the busy time is literally because everyone expects it to be busy! Who would have thought that a trailhead in Canyonlands at 9am would be empty! If you think specifically about what event is going on, or what time of year it is, you can totally avoid the predictable busy spots. Leaving you to have these little havens of emptyness to yourself, during the busiest time of year.
So don’t let the events in town keep you from exploring this little slice of desert wonderland! You too can sweat your ass off and jump in freezing cold snow melt. You deserve it!
Also a special shoutout to all of the people that made it out! Many of us are small business owners, hustlers, creators, etc that recognize the need to just get outside, no matter the time of year. Check them out and their work listed alphabetically below!