bugsy running on lone rock beach with the airstream and f-150 in the background

Three days in Moab, Utah–Big Trip #1

We visited Moab in April 2016, as part of Big Trip #1. Read about our second quickie visit in 2016 here, and our third visit in 2018 here during Big Trip #2.

delicate arch

[If you’re reading these posts in order, you may be confused right now since the previous post was about a quick overnight in Moab. Sorry. The regular posts take longer to write so the “day in the life” post got slotted in out of chronological order! Our overnight in Moab comes later in the trip 🙂 ]

[To further confuse you, you can read about our stop in Moab on Big Trip #2 here!]


canyonlands rv resort

We stayed at Canyonlands RV Resort and Campground, a quiet and leafy, if close-packed, park backing up to a high school on two sides, which gave it a more private feel. They give you cookies when you check in! It was a short walk into downtown, an even shorter walk to the brewery across the street, and we loved it. It was our new favorite campground (until we got to Durango).


We checked off a few wishlist items while in a town with so many outdoor stores–one of which, GearHeads, was a block from our campground. We’re now the proud new owners of a cast-iron skillet, a simple and cheap camping coffee drip cone to replace my crappy Oxo French Press, and a collapsible camp table for our “yard.” Yay!


quesadilla mobilla
quesadilla mobilla

Our first stop upon arriving in town was at the Quesadilla Mobilla food truck for really delicious, yes, quesadillas. We sat on the dog-friendly patio with Bugsy for an enjoyable lunch.

I had a post-lunch coffee from Moab Coffee Roasters, and their gelato looked incredible. Unfortunately, we got gelato later that day at Moab Brewery instead, and it was not that great.

sabaku sushi moab

We hadn’t had sushi since leaving home in February, and we were craving it. You may question the advisability of eating sushi in a landlocked state, but Sabaku Sushi‘s fish is flown in fresh from Hawaii several times a week, and it was divine.

Walking home after our sushi dinner, we couldn’t resist a shake from Moab Diner. Ugh. Really good, but really terrible, as milkshakes tend to be.

moonflower moab
moonflower moab

The next day, we got sandwiches at Moonflower Co-op for a post-hike picnic. I love a co-op. Moonflower sells Chapul cricket protein bars, and seeing them there was my first time seeing cricket products in the wild. Fun fact about me: I am a cricket protein enthusiast.

miguel's moab

Our last night in town, we had dinner at Miguel’s Baja Grill. I had fish tacos and margaritas (of course) and we enjoyed the scene on the little semi-outdoor covered patio.


Utah has some complicated alcohol laws. There are no regular bars, where you can have a beer and take off; before they’ll serve you a drink in Utah, you have to order food, unless the establishment has a special type of license–club or tavern, I can’t recall. The type license held by the restaurant affects the strength of beer it can serve, too: a regular license limits draft beers to under 4% ABV.

We had a beer at a restaurant on the main drag with a cool-looking outdoor patio on a warm day, and because we wanted to drink a beer we had to order some food, so got the cheapest thing on the menu: a piece of cheese pizza. The pizza was fine and the service was good at Zax Restaurant, and we enjoyed a few local beers there while nibbling at our single piece of pizza.

moab brewery

Later we visited our neighbor Moab Brewery and learned about the licensing that requires the different strengths in beers. The Moab IPA, which J had been drinking like water in cans, is brewed at two different strengths to comply with the laws. The red can is the “light” version, and the blue can is the “heavy.” The bartender could serve the heavy version in a can only, and had the light version on tap, so could give us a side-by-side taste test to show the difference in flavor, and it wasn’t a subtle difference. Fortunately, both versions are tasty, so we now that we’re educated, we can choose red or blue depending on our beer drinking goals. J wrote more here about the brewery.


I’ll write separate posts for the two National Parks we visited (Arches and Canyonlands), and the one BLM hike (Negro Bill Canyon Trail) we did (twice) while in Moab. Moab famous for mountain biking, but we went for some memorable hikes on the famous red slickrock, visiting arches, towers, natural bridges, cliffs, and canyons, with incredible views.


6 responses to “Three days in Moab, Utah–Big Trip #1”

  1. […] National Park is a geologist’s wonderland. On our first visit, we got there early, perhaps too early for good photography, but early enough to beat the crowds at […]

  2. […] Negro Bill Canyon Trail is a four-mile out and back on BLM land (=dogs are welcome!) just outside Moab. The hike ends at a large natural bridge–the sixth-longest natural rock span in the US. A […]

  3. […] but in a much less visited and private location, which is strange as it’s quite close to Moab. The RV campground has electric only, so fill your water tank before you leave your previous stop. […]

  4. […] consumed by yours truly: Two per serving, for a total of 18, in Marfa, TX; Santa Fe; Moab; Durango; Cortez, CO; Fruita, CO; Montrose, CO; Fort Collins, CO; and […]

  5. […] it) and it was incredible. Sushi in Utah seems kind of strange (although we love our sushi place in Moab, and that’s even more random) but give it a […]

  6. […] Last trip we stayed at Canyonlands RV Resort and Campground, one of our favorite campgrounds (not just because of the cookies and the proximity to Moab Brewery) at the south edge of downtown. This trip, they were closed for the season, so we stayed at The Portal RV Resort, just north of downtown, very close to the entrance to Arches National Park. The Portal is quiet and clean, with a peaceful view across a horse pasture, but it’s more expensive than Canyonlands RV. […]

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