BUY TWO OR MORE GUIDES - UP TO 20% OFF

9 Great Places To Stay When Visiting Arches, Canyonlands, And Moab

Sorell Ranch
Sorell Ranch

Arches and Canyonlands National Parks inspire thousands of people each year to leave their homes and trek across the country (or world!) to enjoy their redrock beauty! From the playful arches and bridges of Arches to the rugged, untamed beauty of Canyonlands people usually spend 2-5 days enjoying this majestic area.

There are no lodges or hotels inside the Arches or Canyonlands National Park boundaries. However, the city of Moab, UT is 10 minutes outside of Arches and has some of the widest variety of lodging accommodations of any national park. Lodging tends to be expensive and fills up during peak travel season. Green River, UT is a great alternative that is 45 minutes away that offers less crowds and more affordable lodging

We live in Utah, just 4 hours away from Arches and Canyonlands! My family and I usually visit every year and we love to explore the national parks as well as do adventure activities in Moab. We believe that friends don’t let friends stay in dives so read on to learn more about some of our favorite places to stay.

Delicate Arch at sunrise

Understanding the Layout of Arches, Canyonlands, and Moab

Map of Moab area

As you can see from the map, Arches National Park is quite small, just over 119 square miles. It only takes 45 minutes to drive from one end of the park to the other, so whether you choose to stay in Moab (10 minutes away) or Green River (45 minutes away) you won’t have to spend too much time in your car.

Canyonlands, on the other hand, is HUGE! It’s so big it’s broken into 4 districts. Most people only visit the Needles and Island in the Sky Districts because the Maze and Horseshoe Canyon are so remote.

We believe that there is no need to switch where you are staying while visiting Arches and Canyonlands because all the drives are fairly short and are very scenic.

GOOD TO KNOW: Many people visit Arches and Canyonlands as part of a Utah Mighty 5 Road trip where they also visit Zion, Bryce and Capitol Reef National Parks. We’ve done this trip and we stayed in St. George for Zion, Bryce Canyon City for Bryce, Torrey for Capitol Reef, and Green River for Arches and Canyonlands. We believe it is worth it to switch locations to cut down on the driving time.

MOab lodging cheat sheet

CLOSEST TO ARCHES ENTRANCE: Springhill Suites by Marriott. Has 2 pools and 4 large hot tubs, with a red rock theme inspired by views of the area.

FOR FAMILIES/LARGE GROUPS: Sage Creek. Condos that have Epic pools, full kitchens, and can sleep up to 14 people.

ACCESSIBLE LUXURY: Hoodoo Moab by Hilton. One of the only hotels that offers an onsite spa.

ULTIMATE LUXURY: Sorrel River Ranch. Located on the banks of the Colorado River, this is where celebrities come to stay!

FOR FILM BUFFS: Red Cliffs Lodge. If you are into outdoor activities, this hotel offers most of them. Plus there’s a fun movie museum on site.

BUDGET: Bowen Motel. Locally owned. Rooms have been refurbished and are clean and comfortable

DOWNTOWN WALKABLE: Expedition Lodge. Many shops and restaurants within walking distance + a pool with a waterslide!

RUSTIC CHARM: Moab Springs Ranch. Has a waterfall pond and vineyard + options for larger groups

Best Moab Hotels

Main street in Moab
Moab, Utah

Not only do people who visit Arches and Canyonlands National Parks stay in Moab, but there is a huge jeep and ATV scene in this area. Over 3 million people travel to this city every year.

There’s a large variety of places to stay ( and eat!) to accommodate all these visitors from unique and upscale ranches to locally run budget motels. You can expect 2 things in common for all types of accommodations.

1. Limited availability. Whether you stay in a hotel, vacation rental, or a campground near Moab, it’s important to book in advance to find the best rates and availability. Despite the many options in the area, accommodations all fill up quickly during peak season as the town fills to the brim with visitors. 

2. You’ll pay higher prices than you expect. Paying for lodging in Moab is like stubbing your toe- it hurts! October is the most expensive month to travel with rooms averaging around $400 a night. December is the cheapest with rooms available as low as $150.

Moab, UT is a developed city with all the amenities a visitor could expect: gas stations, grocery stores, medical clinics, and great restaurants. It even has a small airport.

The main street in Moab can get really congested which can make staying on Main Street nice so you don’t have to drive through town and find a place to park.

You’ll see a rowdier crowd than you would expect to see at a gateway town of other national parks. This is because many college students visit for spring break and Jeeping events are held throughout the year.

Pros of Staying in Moab: Great places to shop and eat (Pasta Jay’s is a fav), lots of lodging options, beautiful scenery, and close to Arches National Park (10-minute drive).

Cons of Staying in Moab: Crowded, expensive, and kind of crazy ( we usually stay in Green River).

Here are our top picks if you choose to stay in Moab. Please note that this is a non-exhaustive list and the best hotel for you will depend on your personal preferences and the reason for your visit.

Closest to the Park: Springhill Suites

pool area of the Springhill Suites in Moab
Springhill Suites, used with permission from the same

Google Review: 4.5

Rooms: 80

Rooms with views: Yes, river view

Pet Friendly: Yes

Great for: Families

What makes it special: Amazing pools with a waterfall

Moab was settled in a small valley between imposing cliffs and rolling sandstone hills. Because the valley is long and skinny, traveling from one end of the town to the other can add a good 20 minutes to your drive, and more if downtown is busy. If you want to avoid hitting crowds between you and the park, the location of the Springhill Suites by Marriott can’t be beaten.

Before the Springhill Suites was even completed, I was dying to visit just for the location and the pool! Situated between Highway 191 and the Colorado River, this hotel has a beautiful pool area inspired by the red rocks of Southern Utah. It has 2 pools and 4 large hot tubs, with plenty of space for guests to soak their tired feet without the usual awkward proximity to other guests like you get at most hotel hot tubs.

One of my favorite features of this hotel is the King/Bunkbed Suite with a kitchenette. It can comfortably sleep a family of 6 in the 1 King bed, 1 Twin over Full bunk, and a couch that folds down. The couch also has a trundle pull-out. Many hotels have a pull-out couch or cot for a 5th guest, but these suites keep the family together without putting anyone in a subpar bed. The other rooms in the property are what I would call “Mini-Suites”. They have a wall that crosses half of the room to offer more privacy than a traditional studio hotel room, without paying the cost of a larger one or two-bedroom suite. 

For Families/Large Groups: Sage Creek Resort

Google Review: 4.5

Rooms: 46 Cabins

Great for: Great for families and groups

What makes it special: Amazing pools

Continuing the theme of EPIC pool areas, Sage Creek is another favorite for families and even multi-family groups. Located on the southern end of Moab, the Sage Creek property is the perfect combination of hotel quality care with vacation rental conveniences. This property has condos that can accommodate up to 14 guests. Larger groups can book adjacent properties for even more space. 

The pool and hot tub complex is picture-perfect, with views that just don’t stop. You can look past the complex itself, up to the huge sandstone cliffs that tower along the entire western edge of the valley.

Each condo includes a full kitchen equipped with all your basic appliances, dinnerware, and cookware. This makes it easy to cook full meals that please the crowd you bring. Think of it as your home away from home for as long as your adventures keep you in Moab. 

Be Part of the West!

Sign up for park updates, travel ideas, new guide releases, discounts, and stories of the West all in our weekly newsletter delivered to your inbox once a week.

Luxury: Hoodoo Moab Curio Collection by Hilton

Photo compliments of Hoodoo Moab Curio By Hilton

Google Review: 4.5

Rooms: 117 rooms, 32 Casitas

Rooms with views: Yes, Poolside views

Pet Friendly: Yes

Great for: Guests wanting a luxurious experience and groups and families

What makes it special: Only upscale 4-diamond hotel in Moab. Offers excursions and has an onsite spa.

If you’re looking for the best Moab has to offer without paying luxury resort prices, Hoodoo Moab is the stand-out winner. As one of Hilton’s Curio Collection properties, Hoodoo Moab is a no-cookie-cutter hotel for the masses. Unique modern design and décor that connects it to the local area makes this hotel feel like a luxury resort from the minute you step in the door.

It is one of only two properties in Moab that have an on-site spa. Hoodoo Moab offers a basic menu of spa services that guests can purchase to enhance their stay. Appointments are required; it is recommended they be reserved in advance. My only disappointment here is the on-site restaurant. Josie Wyatt’s Grill looks and sounds like a luxury experience, but tends to be underwhelming compared to the price and the hype. Based on my experience I recommend heading outside of the hotel for dinner.

The casitas are great for families and large groups and include full kitchens with full-sized fridges and even an island for cooking as well as a living room area to congregate.

If this sounds like a place you want to visit but you’re scared of the price tag, try visiting in the off-season. Even weekend rates in January and February frequently drop below $150 a night, and weekday rates can be even lower. Take advantage of the low crowds and come enjoy a little luxury with a reasonable price tag.

Ultimate Luxury: Sorrel River Ranch Resort and Spa

Sorrel River Ranch
Sorrel River Ranch

Google Review: 4.2

Rooms: 56 + Ranch House

Rooms with views: All rooms have views of the mesas or the Colorado River

Pet Friendly: Yes

Great for: Adventurers who love to be pampered, enjoy excellent food, and want to connect with their surroundings.

What makes it special: The amazing views!

Let’s just get it out there – most of us only dream of ever staying at a property as pricey as Sorrel River Ranch, but oh what a luxurious dream it is! Sorrel River is unquestionably Moab’s premier luxury accommodation. So much so that they have a section about discretion regarding high-profile guests on their website. I have no idea if it has ever happened, but this is where I imagine George Strait or Paul McCartney staying if they were to visit Moab. Yeah, it’s that nice! 

More than any fancy room or activities, the ONE thing that makes me dream about Sorrel River is the amazing on-site restaurant, the River Grill. Sorrel’s chefs create an ever-evolving menu of the freshest food they can grow in their own garden, or source scrupulously from local farms. Reservations for this culinary treat are open to both resort guests and visitors not staying on the property, but they do prioritize resort guests. When I tried to get reservations last year for my birthday trip, we called several weeks in advance and they had no more availability for non-resort guests. I even repeatedly called to check for cancellations.

For ultimate tranquility away from the rush of tourists downtown, the resort is located on the banks of the Colorado River, about 20 minutes east of Moab. If your budget is exponentially bigger than mine, or you want to join me in dreaming about the River Grill, you’ll have to check it out for yourself.

For Film Buffs: Red Cliffs Lodge

Sunset from Red Cliffs Lodge in Moab
Red Cliffs Lodge, used with permission from the same
red cliffs lodge in moab

Google Review: 4.7

Rooms: 110

Rooms with views: Yes. Queen rooms view the creek on the property, King and Suites view the Colorado River.

Pet Friendly: Yes

Great for: Adventurers, families, and people who like to be active

What makes it special: This is where the old-time actors stayed when all the Westerns were being filmed. They also offer a lot of wellness activities including painting classes.

Home to the Moab Museum of Film, Red Cliffs Lodge has access to more activities and entertainment than any other resort in Moab. The property has been used to film many films, including stars such as John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. This is a great option for a comfortable and adventurous vacation in Moab.

More than just the museum and on-property activities like horseback riding, the Red Cliffs team has cultivated close relationships with many adventure providers in the Moab area. They provide the best activities for their guests. Activities are easy to book directly through the red-cliffs website, and you always know you’re getting the best of the best.

I visited Moab recently for my 30th birthday and we did a Colorado River “float” (the water was pretty calm at the time we visited). We had to arrive at the Moab Adventure Center 30 minutes before our trip started and then take a 20+ minute bus ride up the river to our launch point. On the way, our bus stopped directly at Red Cliffs. If guests staying at this lodge were going on a river float, they could walk straight out the door of their hotel and onto the bus.

After driving farther up the river, we floated back down to Red Cliffs for the absolute best lunch spread there ever has been on a river trip! We ate the same lunch as guests of the resort, although they have additional choices beyond what we were served. I would have happily eaten there several times in one week. The quality and selection were excellent!

Red Cliffs Lodge has a variety of accommodations including traditional guest rooms, suites, and vacation rentals. The property features scenic views of the Colorado River, red cliffs, and desert landscapes. Although they don’t have a full spa facility, the property offers a good variety of restorative activities such as massages, sunrise yoga/meditation, and sound baths.

Budget: Bowen Motel

Bowen Motel

Google Review: 4.4

Rooms: 43 standard rooms, one 1,800 sq ft. apartment, and a 3,000 sq ft House (aka the Bowen Luxury House)

Rooms with views: No

Pet Friendly: No

Great for: Hikers, bikers, and outdoor enthusiasts. Family-oriented, middle age to retired. They thrive on repeat business, some guests visiting for over 40 years still.

What makes it special: locally run, offers biking washing and free laundry

If you’re like me and want budget-priced lodging so you can travel more often and farther away, Bowen Motel is a great option! I admit, I’m kind of biased against motels – too many horror movies and old run-down locations have tainted them for me – but Bowen Motel challenges those biases! Recently remodeled, Bowen’s rooms are clean and functional. They are a perfect fit for travelers who want to spend more time out on the sandstone than in the room.

Bowen is consistently noted as clean, comfortable (one reviewer even shared that she ordered the same mattress for her home after her stay!), and conveniently located. A great unique amenity is the Bike Wash area, which guests have free access to in order to clean up from their adventures. Despite the popularity of mountain biking in the area, this is not something most properties offer.

mountain biker

Downtown Walkable: Expedition Lodge

Google Review: 4.3

Rooms: 36

Rooms with views: No.

Pet Friendly: Yes

Great for: Families or folks with silver hair

What makes it special: Has a retro vibe, a 25-foot waterslide that is open year-round, free play arcade

Another motel where I have to check my biases is Expedition Lodge. It is a very well-done motel that has been recently remodeled and is well-liked by guests. It has a retro theme that is present throughout from the lobby, to the rooms, and even to the on-site arcade.

If the arcade isn’t enough, the lodge has a pool with a great waterslide to entertain kids while parents take some time off their feet. A variety of guest rooms, including some with bunks, will suit parties of all sizes.

The best amenity of this hotel though, isn’t something they offer as a service, it’s simply their location. There are almost too many shops, restaurants, and sources of adventure to count. All of them are less than a 5-minute walk from the door of your room. Although most guests in Moab will have their own vehicle, it’s refreshing to walk down to dinner or dessert instead of climbing back into your dusty car.

Rustic Charm: Moab Springs Ranch

Google Review: 4.8

Rooms: Bungalows (stand-alone cabins), Townhouses (1-3 bedrooms) 44 total

Rooms with views: Yes, Moab Valley and Red Rock Cliffs

Pet Friendly: Yes (2 or 3 units)

Great for: families and couples on a getaway

What makes it special: Yard spaces with a creek, fire circles, and a pond to swim in. It was one of the first settlements in Moab was built on this property in 1896. The office is a historic building.

A literal oasis in the desert, Moab Springs Ranch, just had to make our list. Although most Moab accommodations have pool access or small water features, the waterfall pond and vineyard at Moab Springs bring tranquility and softness to the desert that you can’t find farther into town! 
Moab Springs is another great option for families or larger groups traveling together. They have several bungalows, and a variety of one, two, or three-bedroom townhouses to fit your group. The bungalows each feature a kitchenette. Townhomes have full kitchens to properly fuel your adventures.

The ranch has a small but delicious coffee shop with a few bakery items to snack on. However, you’ll need to go to town or cook in your kitchenette for full meals. For the most aesthetic lodging in Moab, choose a bungalow, with drive-up access, that features vaulted ceilings and perfect rustic themed décor. 

Road to moab

Green River, Utah

If you’re visiting Moab as part of a larger trip through Utah or Colorado, or simply want more affordable lodging, Green River, Utah can be a great option. Green River is a small town located about 45 minutes north of Moab, directly bordering I-70 and the Green River.

Green River, Utah is much smaller than Moab. It still has gas stations and grocery stores but the town is kind of run down. I think the biggest drawback is the lack of places to eat.

Green River is an excellent location to visit Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, the San Rafael Swell, and more. It has direct access to hiking, biking, river trips, canyoneering, OHV rentals, and everything you could want in an adventure destination. If the crowds of Moab during peak season aren’t your style, consider Green River for an equally pleasing desert adventure destination.

During peak season in Moab, lodging rates can double or triple and be sold out months in advance. Prices on Moab lodging fluctuate a bit with the seasons but Green River is just far enough away that they are much more predictable and affordable than Moab.

Green River has several big chain hotels (Holiday Inn Express, Comfort Inn, etc..). The Holiday Inn is the biggest and newest property. Additionally, Green River has some lodging options that really have some hometown charm, and consistently receive high ratings from guests. Here are our top picks

River Rock Inn B&B

Google Review: 4.9

Rooms: 12 rooms

Rooms with views: No

Pet Friendly: No

Great for: A romantic getaway

What makes it special: Great breakfast, nice fire pit

With a stellar 4.9 rating Google rating, River Rock Inn B&B is top of my list for the next time I’m in town. The property has an American West theme throughout the rooms and common areas. They offer a delicious breakfast each morning, including Greg’s Famous Pancakes. The photos make me hungry!

Super 8

View of room in Super 8 in Green River
Super 8 in Green River, used with permission from the same

Google Review: 3.8

Rooms: 67

Rooms with views: No

Pet Friendly: Yes

Great for: Budget travelers and families

What makes it special: Has family suites and is the best bargain ( and is still clean!)

Honestly, our family’s go-to is to stay at the Super 8 because they have family rooms, a good breakfast that our kids like, meets our standards for cleanliness, and is priced just right.

River Terrace Inn

Photo used with permission from the Riverside Inn

Google Review: 4.6

Rooms: 50

Rooms with views: Yes, of the Green River

Pet Friendly: No

Great for: Couples, people who enjoy classic decor

What makes it special: Hot breakfast- made to order, sits right next to a small river, wonderful heated pool and spa

If we want a nicer experience, the River Terrace Inn has a great view of the river outback and a wonderful breakfast. My parents stayed here and loved it!

Is There Anything Else I Should Know?

Yes! Arches National Park is super close to Moab but it can be tricky to get into the park. The National Park Service has implemented a reservation system that limits the number of visitors allowed to enter each day.

If you are visiting during peak season, you may not get to enter. Make sure you are prepared and have backup options. For this reason, please read our article Can’t get a reservation for Arches? Here are 9 things to do nearby.

Most travelers want to visit the most popular sites and still avoid crowds. We have a detailed itinerary for Moab and Arches that gives you a step-by-step game plan so you can get to the best places at the right times.

MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO
MOAB, ARCHES, & CANYONLANDS

ARCHES & CANYONLANDS TRIP PLANNER: To read or watch all of our content about Arches National Park & Canyonlands National Park, check out our Arches Homepage and our Canyonlands Homepage

ARCHES: Don’t miss all that Arches has to offer including hiking to Delicate Arch, and visiting Devil’s Garden, Fiery Furnace, & the Windows

CANYONLANDS: Visit the different areas of Canyonlands with our easy guide including the Island in the Sky District, the Needles District, and Horseshoe Canyon. Check out some amazing viewpoints, as well as, Mesa Arch, ancient ruins, and Native American rock art

MOAB: Explore the adventurous Moab area including Corona Arch, Gemini Bridges, and Dead Horse Point State Park.  Consider taking a jeep ride, a horseback ride, rafting down the Colorado River, or taking a scenic drive and exploring Potash Road

WHERE TO EAT: Don’t miss the best places to eat in Moab, Arches, & Canyonlands

WHERE TO STAY: Learn all about where to stay when visiting Moab, Arches, & Canyonlands

WATCH: Enjoy videos of gorgeous Arches National Park & Canyonlands National Park while learning our best tips for visiting by watching our Moab, Arches, & Canyonlands YouTube Playlist

LEGAL INFORMATION

This site is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. We are compensated for referring traffic and business to Amazon and other companies linked to on this site.