So you are thinking of visiting Moab in the Summer? We visited Moab in the Summer and had a fantastic time but boy was it hot! In this guide to visiting Moab in Summer we will give you our top tips for enjoying Canyonlands and Arches National Park in the heat of the summer and how to plan your day to make sure you make the most out of your day.
How hot is Moab in summer?
How hot is Moab in Summer? HOT! But don’t let this put you off visiting during the summer months.
How hot is Moab in July?
Moab is July tends to have the hottest weather. But is Moab in July too hot? Well if you want to be out doing strenuous hikes in the middle of the day then Moab in July might be too hot however if you plan your day accordingly around the soaring temperatures it is definitely possible to visit and enjoy Moab in July. The average high-temperature in July tends to be around 99°F (37.2°C). In the national parks around Moab the temperature can actually get hotter and shade can be difficult to come by so just be sure to try and avoid the midday sun in the parks.
How hot is Moab in August?
Moab in August while still hot is cooler than July which traditionally is the hottest month to visit. Temperatures in Moab in August usually average around 96°F so cooler but still very hot.
How hot is Moab in September?
When we visited Moab we went in September and definitely recommend. While the temperatures in September are still high (average high 88°F), the crowds are at least less than in earlier summer, and by the end of September you can definitely feel the temperature dropping. If you could pick out of all the summer months I would definitely choose September as the best time to visit Moab.
Tips for Visiting Moab in the Summer
Start your day early
As the temperatures start to soar in Moab in the summer my recommendation is to start your day early. This tends to be my tip whenever you visit popular national parks such as Yellowstone and Arches, but this is particularly true for visiting Moab in summer. Temperatures in Moab in July can often average 95 degrees Fahrenheit so getting up and out early especially if you are planning on doing some hikes in Moab is the only way to get.
The added bonus of this is you will also find the park pretty empty by comparison to later in the day. Arches National Park is usually open 24 hours a day (in a normal year) and therefore I would recommend getting into the park for sunrise if you can. The sunrises in Moab are spectacular and it will be a lot easier to get parking spaces at the park hot spots by going first thing in the morning.
Canyonlands, depending on which part of the park you are going to, is also a 24 hour park and is also worth getting into early.
And although not a national park just a state park, Dead Horse State Park is also worth adding to your Moab itinerary. This is not a 24 hour park like the national parks int he area but usually opens at 8am in summer. If you are limited on time, this park is far less busy than the other two so if you have to visit a park during peak times this is the best choice however the heat will limit what you are able to do in it.
Wear plenty of sunscreen
Summer in Moab is hot and the sun is strong. Be sure to use plenty of high factor sunscreen before you head out to the parks and be sure to take plenty with you as you will need to top up throughout the day.
Wear the right clothes
The sun is hot and strong during summertime in Utah so wearing the right type of clothes is essential. We recommend taking lightweight layers that offer lots of skin coverage to limit sun exposure. For a full Moab Summer packing list check out our other post.
Take plenty of water
Once you are inside the national park around Moab there is little in the way of amenities and you don’t want to have to back track to have to top up with extra water. Be sure to take plenty of water with you, I recommend taking this in a cool box as it is nice to have a cold water when you have finished your hike rather than one that has been baked in the sun.
Where possible be sure to take a reusable water bottle with you to help limit your environmental impact while traveling in the park.
When we were at Arches we noticed that there were places to refill your water bottle at the visitor centre and the Devil’s Garden Trailhead. I have also read that water is available at the campsite but check this information before travel and make sure you have enough of a supply with you.
Don’t plan strenuous activity for the afternoons
Getting into the parks for sunrise we would often leave the national parks around Moab at lunchtime. Moab is full of great restaurants and eateries and we enjoyed heading back into town for lunch. We would then head back to our hotel for the afternoon and a spot of swimming. With the hot weather we recommend choosing a hotel near Arches with a swimming pool as this is a great way to cool yourself off and relax in the afternoon when it is too hot to be hiking in the park.
For more information on the best hikes in Canyonlands National Park check out this post.
However if you are looking for more excitement in your afternoons then the Colorado River may be the answer. Being on the river is much cooler than being in the parks and there is plenty to do. Some of the fun things to do on the Colorado River in Moab include:
Make the most of your evenings in Moab
Now you have had the afternoon to relax we recommend heading back to the parks for sunset. The parks tend to be busiest between 10am – 3pm so heading back to the parks in the afternoon is another great way to see the main sites without the crowds.
But sunset doesn’t have to mean the end of your day. The area around Moab at night is a great place to stargaze especially in Arches National Park.
Have you been to Moab in summer? Tell us your experience in the comments