Moab  has been a tourist destination for generations and offers a wide variety of lodging choices, ranging from older motels to new upscale resorts. The highway is lined with all the usual chain motels-but we tend to go for the smaller local operations, and that's mostly what's listed here.
Moab/Canyonlands Central Reservations (435/259-5125, 800/748-4386, or 800/505-5343, www.moabutahlodging.com ) can make bookings at area vacation homes (which include some relatively inexpensive apartments). Another handy tool is www.moab-utah.com , which has a complete listing of lodging websites for the Moab area.
The only time when Moab isn't busy is in the dead of winter, from November to February. At all other times, be sure to make reservations well in advance. Summer rates are shown; winter rates typically drop 40 percent.
The Lazy Lizard Hostel (1213 S. U.S. 191, 435/259-6057, www.lazylizardhostel.com ) costs just $9 per night for simple dorm-style accommodations. To stay at this casual classic Moab lodging, you won't need a hostel membership, and all guests share access to a hot tub, kitchen, barbecue, coin-operated laundry, and common room with cable TV. Camping ($7 per person), showers for nonguests ($2), and private rooms ($26 for a double) are offered, too. New log cabins here can sleep two ($28) to six ($48) people. The Lazy Lizard sits one mile south of town, behind A-1 Storage; the turnoff is about 200 yards south of Moab Lanes.
A simple but quite adequate place is the Bowen Motel (169 N. Main St., 435/259-7132 or 800/874-5439, www.bowenmotel.com , $74 and up), a homey motel with an outdoor pool and free continental breakfast. The Bowen offers a variety of room types, including three-bedroom family suites and an 1,800-square-foot three-bedroom house with full kitchen.
Another reasonably priced motel that's simple, friendly, and noncorporate is the Kokopelli Lodge (72 South 100 East, 435/259-7615 or 888/530-3134, www.kokopellilodge.com , $72), with cheery pet-friendly rooms and a convenient location a block off the main drag.
The Red Rock Lodge Motel (51 North 100 West, 435/259-5431 or 877/253-5431, www.red-rocklodge.com , $70 and up) is pretty basic, but it has a great location, pet-friendly rooms with refrigerators and coffeemakers, a hot tub, and a locked bicycle storage facility.
The centrally located Best Western Greenwell Motel (105 S. Main St., 435/259-6151 or 800/528-1234, $85 and up) has a pool, an on-premises restaurant, and some kitchenettes.
A few blocks south of downtown, the Redstone Inn (535 S. Main St., 435/259-3500 or 800/772-1972, www.moabredstone.com , $85) is a newer, one-story motel; all rooms have efficiency kitchens. Other amenities include a bicycle maintenance area, a covered patio with gas barbecue grill, a hot tub, and guest laundry. Motel guests have free access to the hotel pool next door. Pets are permitted only in smoking rooms ($5 per night fee).
The Redstone's sister property, the sprawling Big Horn Lodge (550 S. Main St., 435/259-6171 or 800/325-6171, www.moabbighorn.com , $80) has similar knotty-pine rooms equipped with microwaves and refrigerators, and a pool and steak restaurant. Package deals for room plus jeep tour or raft trip are offered.
At the Virginian Motel (70 East 200 South, 435/259-5951 or 800/261-2063, www.moab-utah.com/Virginian , $99), more than half the rooms have kitchenettes and pets are permitted. During the winter, rates here are less than half the high-season rates.
If you want seclusion in a wilderness setting (18 miles east of Moab), stay at the Castle Valley Inn B&B (424 Amber La., Castle Valley, 435/259-7830, www.castlevalleyinn.com , $95-220). The inn adjoins a wildlife refuge in a stunning landscape of red-rock mesas and needle-pointed buttes. You can stay in one of the main house's five guest rooms or in one of the three bungalows with kitchens. Facilities include a hot tub. To reach Castle Valley Inn, follow Highway 128 east from Moab for 16 miles and turn south and go 2.3 miles toward Castle Valley.
Eight (very long) blocks from downtown, in a quiet property that backs up to Mill Creek and Nature Conservancy holdings, is Adobe Abode (778 Kane Creek Blvd., 435/259-7716, www.adobeabodemoab.com , $119 and up), a newer B&B-style inn with large guest rooms done up in handsome Southwest style. The inn also offers a bar and pool table, a large and tasty breakfast, and a hot tub.
One of the most interesting accommodations in Moab is the Gonzo Inn (100 West 200 South, 435/259-2515 or 800/791-4044, www.gonzoinn.com , $159 and up). With a look somewhere between an adobe inn and a postmodern warehouse, the Gonzo doesn't try to appear anything but hip. Expect large rooms with vibrant colors and modern decor, a pool, and a friendly welcome.
Located in a lovely and quiet residential area, the Sunflower Hill Luxury Inn (185 North 300 East, 435/259-2974 or 800/662-2786, www.sunflowerhill.com , $155 and up) offers high-quality accommodations in one of Moab's original farmhouses and in a newly built garden cottage with patios and balconies. All 12 rooms have private baths, air conditioning, and queen-size beds; there are also two suites. Guests share access to an outdoor swimming pool and hot tub, bike storage, patios, and large gardens. Children (ages eight and older) are welcome, and it's open year-round.
Families or groups might want to rent a condo at Moab Springs Ranch (1266 N. Hwy. 191, 435/259-7891 or 888/259-5759, www.moabspringsranch.com , $200 and up), located on the site of Moab's oldest ranch. The townhouses have a parklike setting with swimming pool and hot tub north of town and sleep up to 10. There's a very good (and expensive) dinner restaurant on site.
A cluster of charming (and pet-friendly) cottages dubbed Three Dogs and a Moose (171 and 173 W. Center St., 435/260-1692, www.3dogsandamoosecottages.com , $165 and up) sit just off the main drag. Bogie's Bungalow is perfect for a couple, and the larger places sleep up to six.
The Best Western Canyonlands Inn (16 S. Main St., 435/259-2300 or 800/649-5191, www.canyonlandsinn.com , $155 and up) is also in the heart of Moab, with suites, a pool, a fitness room and spa, a restaurant, and a bike storage area.
A short drive from Moab  along the Colorado River's red-rock canyon is the region's premium luxury guest ranch, the Sorrel River Ranch (17 miles northeast of Moab on Hwy. 128, 435/259-4642 or 877/359-2715, www.sorrelriver.com , $399 and up). The ranch sits on 240 acres in one of the most dramatic landscapes in the Moab area—just across the river from Arches National Park  and beneath the soaring mesas of Castle Valley. Accommodations are in a series of beautifully furnished wooden lodges, all tastefully fitted with Old West-style furniture. All units have kitchenettes and a patio with porch swing or back deck overlooking the river (some rooms have both). Horseback rides are offered into the arroyos behind the ranch, and kayaks and bicycles can be rented. The ranch's restaurant, the River Grill, has some of the best views in Utah and an adventurous menu offering everything from steaks to grilled duck breast.
Sharing a similar view of the Colorado River and Castle Valley (though three miles closer to Moab) is the sprawling Red Cliffs Lodge (Milepost 14, Hwy. 128, 435/259-2002 or 866/812-2002, www.redcliffslodge.com , from $220), which houses guests in minisuites in the main lodge building plus a number of riverside cabins that can sleep up to six. The lodge offers a bar and restaurant, horseback rides, and mountain bike rentals and will arrange river raft trips. The lodge is also the headquarters for Castle Creek Winery and the site of the free Moab Museum of Film & Western Heritage, which displays a collection of movie memorabilia from Westerns filmed in the area.
There are 25 BLM campgrounds ($12) on the outskirts of Moab. Although these spots can't be reserved, sites are abundant enough that campers are rarely skunked. The campgrounds are concentrated on the banks of the Colorado River (along Hwy. 128 toward Castle Valley, along Hwy. 279 toward the potash factory, along Kane Creek Rd.) and at the Sand Flats Recreation Area near the Slickrock Trail . Only a few of these campgrounds can handle large RVs, and none have hookups. See www.discovermoab.com/campgrounds_blm.htm  for details.
You'll also find campgrounds farther out at Arches  and Canyonlands National Parks , Dead Horse Point State Park , Canyon Rims Recreation Area, and east of town in the cool La Sal Mountains.
It's really easy and comfy to camp at Up the Creek (210 East 300 South, 435/260-1888, www.moabupthecreek.com , mid-Mar.-early Nov., $25 for one person, $30 for 2, $35 for 3, $5 dog fee), a walk-in tent-only campground tucked into a residential neighborhood near downtown Moab. The shady campground, with a bathhouse, picnic tables, and a few propane grills (campfires are prohibited) is right alongside a bike path.
Moab Valley RV Park (two miles north of Moab at 1773 N. U.S. 191 and Hwy. 128, 435/259-4469, tents $24, RVs from $31) is open all year; it has showers, a pool, a playground, and Wi-Fi access. There's also a selection of cabins available: some simple sleeping rooms, others with bathrooms and fridges. Prices range $55-78, with bedding provided. Although this place is convenient, it is pretty close to a large ongoing environmental cleanup project involving removal of radioactive mine tailings.
Moab KOA (3225 S. U.S. 191, 435/259-6682 or 800/562-0372, open Mar.-Nov., $24 tents, $32-72 RVs, $54-170 cabins), just off the highway four miles south of town, has showers, a laundry room, a store, mini golf, and a pool.
More convenient to downtown, Canyonlands Campground (555 S. Main St., 435/259-6848 or 800/522-6848, $25-29 tents, $35-39 RVs, $58 cabins) is open all year; it has showers, a laundry room, a store, a pool, and two-person air-conditioned cabins (bring your own bedding).
One mile north of Moab, Slickrock Campground (1301-1/2 N. U.S. 191, 435/259-7660 or 800/448-8873, $23 tents or RVs without hookups, $31-35 with hookups, $46 for cabins with air-conditioning and heat) remains open year-round; it has showers, a store, an outdoor café, and a pool.