Moab Altitude Sickness: 5 Tips How To Avoid It

Moab Altitude Sickness

Moab Utah, is a haven for adventure enthusiasts, but can pose an altitude challenge for some. As a high-altitude based company, we will explore Moab altitude, Moab altitude sickness, along with five essential tips to help you avoid altitude sickness during your Moab adventure.

Moab Altitude

Moab altitude sits at 4,025 feet above sea level. Hiking can take you to areas of 6,200 feet high, and the nearby La Sal Mountains hit an altitude of 12,721 feet high.

Moab Altitude:

  • Moab altitude - 4,025 ft to 6,200 ft (1,227 m to 1889 m)

Arches National Park is one of the most popular destinations within Moab which also reaches high heights.

Arches National Park Altitude:

  • Arches National Park Altitude - 4,085 ft to 5,653 ft (1,245 m to 1,723 m)

This range of high elevations can be concerning for new visitors of Moab.

Can You Get Altitude Sickness In Moab?

Yes, you can get altitude sickness in Moab Utah.

Although more commonly altitude sickness develops at 6-8,000 feet high, Travel Medicine Consultants points out that it can start as low as 4-5,000 feet.⁴

At 4,025 feet, you have a mild risk of altitude sickness in Moab. Keep in mind, the altitudes for camping and hiking get up to 6,200 feet which drastically increases your risks.

How Common Is Altitude Sickness In Utah?

Altitude sickness is very common in Utah.

From Salt Lake City and it's many ski mountains (Park City, Deer Valley, Alta, Snowbird), to national parks such as Bryce Canyon and Zion — altitude sickness is a challenge for many visitors of Utah.

Even the lower elevations of Utah like Moab and Salt Lake City at around 4,000 feet have the risk of altitude sickness, and it increasingly gets worse as the mountains rise to heights of 10-12,000 feet high.

Moab Altitude Sickness

Moab altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), is a condition that affects people ascending to higher altitudes rapidly.

It is primarily caused by the body's struggle to adjust to the reduced oxygen levels at the elevated heights in Utah. This can manifest through various symptoms, including headaches, nausea, and fatigue.

Symptoms of Moab altitude sickness may include:

  • headaches
  • nausea
  • fatigue
  • dizziness
  • shortness of breath
  • sleeping issues or insomnia
  • loss of appetite
  • feeling ill

These symptoms will typically start within 6-24 hours upon arrival to Moab. Visitors should take proper precautions to avoid altitude sickness when possible, read our essential tips below.

Is Moab Considered High Altitude?

Yes, Moab is considered high altitude 

Cornell defines high altitude at 4,000 feet above sea level. Moab's lowest points of 4,025 feet meet the high altitude definition and far exceed it up to 6,200 feet.

5 Tips To Avoid Altitude Sickness In Moab

Moab, is a stunning adventure destination with its breathtaking red rock landscapes, an outdoor enthusiast's dream. However, altitude sickness is a common concern.

As a Colorado-based company next to Utah with years of high elevation experience, we'll share the most essential tips we know to help you avoid the negative effects of Moab's high altitudes.

5 Tips To Avoid Altitude Sickness In Moab:

1. Slowly Acclimate

One of the most effective things you can to minimize the risk of altitude sickness is to slowly acclimate. As you arrive in Moab, give your body time to adjust to the change in altitude before venturing on any hiking or higher altitude adventures.

The trails can lead to heights of 6,200 feet high, and if traveling even further to the La Sal Mountains it gets to 12,721 feet high. Consider spending at least a day or two at Moab's base elevation of 4,025 feet to adjust first.

2. Increase Hydration

The higher you go, the drier the air becomes and body respiration increases that can lead to dehydration. Wilderness Medical Society found that you can lose fluid twice as fast in high elevations.⁷

Make a conscious effort to drink plenty of water throughout the day, experts often recommend half your body weight in ounces of water each day.

TIP: To maximize hydration, add sea salt (naturally containing electrolytes) to your food and/or water, and eat Zaca's hydration chewables to increase water absorption via glutamine.

3. Maximize Your Sleep

Adequate rest and sleep are vital during your time in Moab, especially while your body is adjusting. Sleep has even been show to not only help your body recover, but also increase blood flow and oxygen.⁸

Ensure you get sufficient rest each night, aim for 7-9 hours of sleep. To help boost melatonin production and sleep quality at night, get plenty of natural sunlight during the day.

4. Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol can be dehydration as a diuretic, lower sleep quality, and even lead to symptoms similar to altitude sickness such as headaches.⁹ This will not combine well with a high altitude journey.

Avoid alcohol at least the first few days, or until you feel adapted to Moab's elevation and free of any signs of altitude sickness.

5. Take Antioxidants

Antioxidants can play a beneficial role in high altitude that is shown to increase oxidative stress on the body.¹⁰ Research found that glutathione alone can be depleted by 45% due to high altitude conditions.¹²

Taking antioxidants, like glutathione known as the mother of antioxidants, can help support your body's natural ability to fight oxidative stress.¹¹

By following these five essential tips, you can reduce your risks during your Moab adventure — which includes slowly acclimating, increasing hydration, maximizing sleep, avoiding alcohol, and taking antioxidants.

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1. Moab, Utah Elevation,_Utah
2. Moab Desert Tips And Moab Altitude
3. Hiking the National Parks of Eastern Utah - Moab Elevation
4. High Altitude Illness
5. Cornell High Altitude Definition
6. Arches National Park Elevation
7. Why Do You Need to Drink a Lot of Water at a High Altitude?
8. Sleep: The Secret Ingredient of Injury Recovery
9. Effects of Alcohol
10. High altitude and oxidative stress
11. Oxidative Stress and Diseases Associated with High-Altitude Exposure
12. Effect of high altitude (7,620 m) exposure on glutathione
13. Utah Trip and Altitude Forum + Moab Altitude