Moab is the seat of Grand County
and lies on US 191 near the Colorado River
, just below Arches National Park
. Canyonlands National Park
is 32 miles from Moab. The city is surrounded by public lands which are used not only for grazing, drilling, and forestry but for recreation such as mountain biking, hiking, rafting, rock climbing, and cross-country skiing. Because the area is rich in these recreational opportunities, Moab has become a hub of tourist activity and services.
The population estimate for July 1, 1998 was 4,485, an increase of 514 since 1990.