The Best Road Trip from Salt Lake City To Moab

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Though Utah may appear arid and sparse, there’s plenty to do in the Beehive State. And if you’re willing to embrace the great outdoors, a long-winded journey from Salt Lake City to Moab features the best wildlife and scenery the state has to offer. The best part is it only takes four days.
To get you through the journey, car insurance and broker app Jerry offers an excellent roadside assistance program. From towing and lockout services to fuel delivery and tire changes, Jerry can get you back on the road quickly.
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Start—Salt Lake City

Journey time: About 2 hours
While it may just be the start of the road trip, Salt Lake City is a fascinating metropolis in its own right. Spend the day in the city, sampling food and enjoying local culture before you hit the road.

What to eat

Grab breakfast from Sweet Lake Biscuits and Limeade. It’s not exactly a low-calorie option, but the buttery biscuits and juicy limeade are an SLC must!
For lunch, head to Feldman’s Deli, a New York City-style deli. Try the Sloppy Joe!

What to do

Utah is known as a hub of Mormon history, but you don’t have to be religious to appreciate its culture. In the morning, check out the Utah Museum of Natural History. It features 10 revolving exhibits, each delving into the culture, history, and geography of Utah and The Great Salt Lake.
After lunch, take a stroll around Temple Square. It’s a must-see for the wonderful—if rather brash—architecture alone.
Once you’re finished with dinner, see if you can catch a film at the Redwood Drive-In movie theater.

Where to stay

Bed-down for the night at the Peery Salt Lake City. Just 15 minutes from Temple Square, and featuring two restaurants, it features everything you could need for a one-night downtown stay.
The low Salt Lake City skyline seen from a distance in the daylight.
Salt Lake City, Utah

Day two—Zion National Park

Drive time: about 4 hours from Salt Lake City
Get up early to start your National Park tour. Once you get to Zion, have a look around before checking into your hotel for the evening. There’s a lot of hiking coming up!

What to eat

Your best bet is to snag a quick breakfast from the hotel before you hit the road—you’ll want to fuel up.
Enjoy a drawn-out lunch at Oscar’s Cafe in Springdale. It features a pleasant outdoor patio for Tex-Mex fare.
For dinner, head to Spotted Dog Cafe, a healthy spot for a variety of fresh eats.

What to do

Leave SLC early, heading south towards Zion. Stop at Grafton, a classic desert ghost town along the way. Make sure to bring plenty of snacks and water, as it gets hot out there!

Where to stay

Springdale, right on the southern tip of Zion, has a number of cozy hotels. Bed-down at The Driftwood Lodge. There are also tons of vocational rentals nearby!
Pro tip If you fancy a few days in Zion, check out an Airbnb or VRBO in Springdale!
In a Zion National Park valley, a stream and a road run parallel to one another. Tall layered rock formations stand over them.
Zion National Park, Utah

Day three: Explore Zion

Drive time: 2 hours from Zion to Bryce Canyon
Take some time to explore Zion before heading over to Bryce Canyon for the night. Enjoy some of the best scenery in the US on the way!

What to eat

Pick up a quick but hearty breakfast from MeMe’s in Springdale.
Lunch depends on your hiking preferences, but Whiptail is a trendy spot serving up a range of summer eats.
Dinner should be close to Bryce Canyon. Try out Stone Hearth Grille for a hearty dinner with mountain views.

What to do

When you’re in Zion, it would be rude not to go on a hike—or explore the park in some way.
Try to get up early to avoid the mid-afternoon heat while you’re still out and about. Hike the famous Watchman Trail early in the morning before heading to Zion Narrows for cool landscapes and Instagram-ready scenes—and, most importantly, a little bit of shade!

Where to stay

Spend the night at Bryce Canyon Lodge, a cozy hotel right on the edge of the famous canyon. Each room features a private balcony, too!
A stream runs over sediment and rocks in Springdale, Utah. Trees and shrubs sprout from the sandy landscape.
Springdale, Utah

Day four—Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon isn’t lacking in outdoor activities to experience. From horseback riding to backcountry hiking, the options are endless. Take advantage of some of them, and make sure you take in the wonderful views!

What to eat

Eat breakfast from the Bryce Canyon Lodge cafe, and grab some sandwiches to go for your big day out in the desert. Eat dinner from the hotel, too.

What to do

Get up early and start exploring the park. To start, take a look around the visitor center to get a sense of the park. From there, it’s up to you. Guided horseback tours into the canyon are very popular and are less strenuous than hiking the Canyon.
If you feel like stretching your legs, there are several trails. For eager hikers, the Swamp Canyon Trail is a lovely four-mile tour of the park’s backcountry.
Clustered towers of orange rocks stand under a blue sky in Bryce Canyon, Utah.
Bryce Canyon, Utah

Day five—Arches National Park

Drive time: 4 hours from Bryce Canyon to Moab
From Bryce Canyon, head northeast to Moab. Enjoy the scenery on the four-hour drive before exploring the fringes of Arches National Park.

What to eat

Enjoy breakfast from the Bryce Canyon Lodge before hitting the road. Grab lunch from Dark Sky, a good spot for a caffeine kick and sandwich. Finish your trip with a fancy dinner from Moab Bistro in downtown Moab—check out its extensive wine list.

What to do

Stop at Capitol Reef for a bite to eat and stroll before hitting Moab. Upon arrival in Moab, drive into Arches National Park and check out the famous rock formations.

Where to stay

For a proper western experience, stay at the Red Cliffs Lodge, a rustic hotel right on the banks of the Colorado River. Summer rates are reasonable, and potential activities are plentiful.
A tall geologic arch towers above tourists visiting Arches National Park, Moab, on a sunny day.
Arches National Park, Moab, Utah

Be prepared with roadside assistance

No matter where you are, a breakdown could happen. But luckily, no matter where you are, Jerry has you covered.
Jerry’s comprehensive roadside assistance package features up to 10 miles of towing plus jump starts, tire changes, fuel deliveries, and more. It also comes with some exclusive benefits, including car advice, key replacement, and Uber credits—and it only costs $6.99 for one car.

The fast route back

The quickest way back is directly up State Route 61-North. It should only take about 3 and a half hours!

The scenic route back

For a more scenic drive, head up US191-N before driving east towards the Colorado state line. Cross over and check out Dinosaur National Monument. Drive back via Ashley National Forest.
To break things up, you can spend the night in Park City—there are numerous good hotels to consider.
Hay bales are stacked in front of a sloping mountain range in Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado.
Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado

Finding cheap car insurance

Regardless of where you’re driving, you need the right car insurance. And the easiest way to get it is to use Jerry.
An intelligent AI-based tool like Jerry is the easiest and most effective way to find a car insurance policy that is customized for you.
After providing you with a comprehensive cross-analysis of the best policies across providers, Jerry will handle the phone calls, paperwork, and renewals for your top pick so that you don’t have to. So why do all that extra work when Jerry can do it better?
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What gear do I need to bring?

A trip into the Utah desert requires an extensive packing list. Make sure you have a good pair of walking shoes—good, sturdy tennis shoes will do! Also remember to bring LOTS of water, especially to Bryce National Park, which has fewer stations than Zion. Aside from that, just remember your sunglasses and a comfy hat.

What happens if I break down?

First of all, don’t panic! Breakdowns happen to everyone, it’s just important that you and your car are prepared. That means purchasing the best, most affordable insurance—and sign up for Jerry’s roadside assistance program so that you’re always covered!
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