Named after an isolated area mentioned in the Bible, Moab, Utah, was a uranium-mining town in the 1950s. In recent years, Moab has become one of the biggest adventure-travel centers in the U.S. It is located 240 mi/385 km southeast of Salt Lake City.

Visitors interested in mountain biking, hiking, rafting, rock climbing, and four-wheel-drive or motorcycle outings will find Moab an outstanding place to settle in for several days. Others will find it a pleasant town that serves as a good base for exploring nearby Arches and Canyonlands national parks.

Start with a visit to the information center, at the corner of Center and Main in the heart of town. It has oodles of brochures and maps that outline, among other things, the area's mountain biking, hiking and four-wheel-drive trails, movie locations (many feature films have been shot near Moab) and sites with Native American rock art.

Four-wheel-drive vehicles, mountain bikes, canoes, kayaks and most other outdoor equipment are available for rent in town, and outfitters offer guided tours.

There are several four-wheel-drive routes around Moab, some of which share space with mountain-bike or motorcycle trails. Those looking for an extreme vehicle climbing experience should head to the Lion's Back, near the beginning of the Slick Rock Trail. Even if you're not participating, it's a great place to observe the drama of high-performance vehicles trying to overcome gravity on the nearly vertical slope.

After you've had your fill of thrills, Moab also offers a pretty good selection of restaurants, bakeries and espresso shops.

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