Moab, Utah Wildlife Guide

Moab, Utah Wildlife Guide

The distinct red rock landscape of Moab, Utah, is an ideal habitat for a variety of unique animals. Make your trip to Utah exciting by exploring and watching for the diverse wildlife in Moab.

What Types of Animals Can You See in Moab? 

Whether you are on a nature walk or visiting a national park or animal preserve, here are some animals you might see during your visit.

Reptiles and Amphibians

If you are hiking in Arches National Park or Canyonlands National Park, you could see various reptiles and amphibians. The parks are excellent places to visit when you want to see desert wildlife near Moab. Some animals are nocturnal, so you may not see them during your day trips, but they are around.

Some reptiles and amphibians you might spot include:

  • Lizards: The area is home to around 24 species of lizards. The most common species seen at Arches National Park include the northern whiptail, western collared and desert spiny lizards. You'll likely see the lizards often if you visit during the summer.
  • Frogs and toads: Moab is also home to many frog and toad species. You could see American bullfrogs, spadefoot toads and Columbia spotted frogs. The spadefoot toads are the ones to look for because they often only come out after it rains.
  • Snakes: During your time in the city, watch for the 31 species of snakes. Most snakes are harmless and nocturnal, like the gopher snake. However, keep an eye out for the venomous midget faded rattlesnake. 


Utah is home to over 400 bird species. While out on a walk or driving around, see if you can spot a few of the following species:

  • Great blue herons: While walking near lakes or rivers, you could have the chance to spot a great blue heron searching for food in the shallow waters. The large bird is eye-catching when it soars through the sky with its wide wingspan.
  • Peregrine falcons: You may even see some peregrine falcons flying overhead. While they are rare to spot, seeing one is an impressive feat for any avid bird watcher in the area. 
  • Turkey vultures: Look up while hiking near the rock formations at Arches National Park, and you can see turkey vultures circling the rocks as they hunt for food or places to rest.


Wildlife in the red rocks is unique. Moab is home to many mammals you can see while hiking national parks or nature trails:

  • Desert bighorn sheep: Moab is a hotspot for seeing desert bighorn sheep, especially during the rut season. You could see the bighorn sheep climbing the rocks or rams headbutting each other for dominance during a trip to Arches National Park.
  • White-tailed antelope ground squirrel: Keep a watchful gaze during the day to try and spot a white-tailed antelope ground squirrel. They look like chipmunks, but the stripes on their sides don't go to their head.
  • Mule deer: Watch during dawn and dusk to see if you can spot one or several mule deer walking around rural and urban areas. Mule deer often stay close to water and food sources, so you can see them near town or while walking in a national park.

Free-Roaming Animals vs. Animals on Preserves

Most animals you will see in Moab are free-roaming and wild. Chances of seeing them vary because they follow their own schedule and remain wary of humans. 

If there are specific Moab animals you want to see, then you could visit an animal preserve or sanctuary dedicated to protecting certain species. For instance, the Scott and Norma Matheson Wetlands Preserve houses over 200 species of birds, mammals and amphibians, ensuring the animals' safety.

Protected and Endangered Animals in Moab

Endangered animals have protection to ensure they don't go extinct. If you see any endangered species while traveling around Moab, ensure you give them plenty of space to continue on their way. You could always take a picture from afar to capture the rare sighting. 

Some endangered, threatened and protected animals in Moab include:

  • Razorback sucker fish
  • Colorado pikeminnow
  • Mojave desert tortoise
  • Utah prairie dog

Traveling With Pets in Moab

Due to the natural wildlife in Moab, Utah, some places have restrictions for pets. For instance, you must always keep pets on leashes in designated pet areas, and most Utah national parks don't allow pets on hiking trails. Following regulations ensure nature and wildlife can remain the same without intrusion from humans and outside factors.

While many places restrict pets from entering the area, Moab does have some pet-friendly nature trails. When you need a place to stay with your pet, consider Moab KOA Holiday. Our KOA Campground has many campsites that allow pets, so your dogs can join you for fun adventures in Moab.

Admire Wildlife While Staying at Moab KOA Holiday

From exploring the national parks to walking around the city, you have many opportunities to experience Moab's plentiful wildlife. Ensure you have plenty of time to admire the diverse animals by booking your stay at Moab KOA Holiday today!

A frog sitting in the water with text "admire wildlife while staying at Moab KOA Holiday"

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