Moab is located near the east bank of the Colorado River on the west side of the La Sal Mountains. Previously known by a variety on names including; GrandValley, SpanishValley, and Mormon Fort, the biblical name Moab was adopted in 1880 when a mail route was established between Salina, Utah, and Ouray, Colorado. Moab was originally home to the Sabuagana Utes who had long occupied, farmed, and hunted in the valley before permanent settlers arrived in 1878-79. Moab's initial economy was based on farming, ranching, and fruit growing until the uranium boom of the early 1950s brought in scores of prospectors, miners, workers, and speculators, increasing the population from 1,275 in 1950 to 4,682 in 1960. During the boom, the nation's second largest uranium processing mill was completed just outside Moab in 1956, employing more than two hundred workers. The uranium boom brought new motels, cafes, stores, schools, and businesses. Arguably Moab's largest industry, today, or at least for the last quarter century, is the tourism industry. As early as 1906 the Grand Valley Times began promoting the tourism possibilities of the area, and in 1909 the Moab Commercial Club was organized to advertise the scenic attractions and recreational advantages of the Moab region. A significant boost to tourism came with the designation of ArchesNational Monument in 1929; however, the Great Depression and World War II brought few visitors to the Moab area. After the war the river-rafting craze began slowly in the 1950s, gained momentum in the 1960s, and became a staple of the region's tourist industry by the early 1970s. The establishment in 1964 of CanyonlandsNational Park, for which Moab serves as the northern gateway, was another milestone along the way to Moab's becoming an important tourist and recreation destination. But what really put Moab on the map happened during the 1980s, with Its hundreds of miles of Slickrock trails, Moab gained worldwide fame as a mountain-biking center….slash that MECCA!
"A weird, lovely, fantastic object out of nature like the Arch has the curious ability to remind us - like rock and sunlight and wind and wilderness - that out there is a different world, older and greater and deeper by far than ours, a world which surrounds and sustains the little world of men as sea and sky surround and sustain a ship. The shock of the real. For a little while we are again able to see, as the child sees, a world of marvels. For a few moments we discover that nothing can be taken for granted, for if this ring of stone is marvelous then all which shaped it is marvelous, and our journey here on earth, able to see and touch and hear in the midst of tangible and mysterious things-in-themselves, is the most strange and daring of all adventures."