Moab Happenings Archive
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Moab Museum Reopens June 1st
by Moab Museum Staff

After being closed for two years and 10 months for renovation, design and fabrication of a new exhibit experience, and COVID-19, the Moab Museum is now open as of Tuesday, June 1st. Although the Museum hosted several “pop-up” exhibits on an appointment-only basis, no appointment will be necessary, but—masks are still required and social distancing is encouraged.

Q: What days and hours will the Museum be open?

A: Museum hours are 12 noon to 8:00 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays until October 31.

Q. Why reopen now?

A: Our decision to reopen is in line with Center for Disease Control guidance and the choices of other museums in the West. We will maintain a high level of COVID vigilance with regular cleaning of high-touch surfaces, and a maximum occupancy of the building at once is 30 people. To make special arrangements for visiting the Museum, send an email to

Q: Why are masks required even for people who’ve been vaccinated?

A: The Museum occupies a Grand County-owned building, and the County currently requires that masks be worn in any County-owned or operated building until further notice. Given the recent increase of infections in Grand County, we believe masking-up provides additional protection for our visitors, staff, and volunteers.

Q: How is the new Museum different from the previous exhibit?

A: The new exhibit experience orients traveling visitors to Utah’s canyonlands region with objects, historic photographs, and interpretive opportunities that present the region’s geology and human history. The galleries are open and light to complement the design and contemporary exhibit techniques. Interactive components encourage visitors to share their perspectives on the stories and objects—and engage younger visitors with hands-on activities and challenges.

Q: What are the Big Stories?

A: The exhibit experience introduces stories about the Land, People, Today, and Tomorrow. The Land reminds visitors that the region was submerged under inland seas and waterways for millions of years, leaving behind marine fossils that are millions of years older than the dinosaurs. The People begins with the First People that occupied this land—recognizing the presence of ancestral Puebloan people and their descendants—the Ute, Paiute, and Hopi people who live here today. The rich history of the region also traces earliest exploration to the post uranium boom when local business men and women became recreation-oriented entrepreneurs.

Q: How do you tell the stories of Today and Tomorrow?

A: Today features early adventure recreation stories and invites visitors to comment on their Moab experience: What brought you here? What kind of experiences are you having? Tomorrow provides some local perspectives about Moab’s future, and invites visitors to consider some of the challenges Moab will face: Water scarcity, sky-rocketing housing costs, a transient workforce, National Parks overwhelmed with visitors, etc.

Q: How long is a typical visit?

A: Since the Museum is just now opening its new exhibit experience, we don’t yet know how long a “typical” visit will take. We encourage you to take your time and enjoy as much as you can see, and to come back often as a Museum member.

Q: What are Admission and Membership Fees?

A: Details are available online at

Visit Moab Museum, and consider becoming a member. Your participation assures that the Museum will continue to provide the care and preservation of the stories of our region well into the future.

118 East Center Street, Moab — 435-259-7985 —

Movie & Western Memorabilia Museum at Red Cliffs Lodge

Indiana Jones PosterRed Cliffs Lodge, on the banks of the mighty Colorado River, is home to the Moab Museum of Film & Western Heritage. The lodge is built on the old George White Ranch, a key location for nine of the big westerns including Rio Grande, Cheyenne Autumn, Ten Who Dared, The Commancheros, and Rio Conchos.

The late George White was founder of the Moab to Monument Valley Film Commission, the longest ongoing film commission in the world.

In the museum one can learn more about film locations, how the sets are built, and how the filming process is managed on nature’s own sound stage. On display in the museum are production photographs, movie posters, autographed scripts, props from the many pictures filmed in the area, and displays about the western ranching heritage. For information, call Red Cliffs Lodge at 435-259-2002.

Rio Grande Through the magnificent landscapes of southeastern Utah, writers have been inspired and stories born here. Zane Grey, the famous western novelist, traveled through the area in 1912. His visit inspired him to write his book Riders of the Purple Sage. The book was made into a movie starring Ed Harris and Amy Madigan, and filmed on locations around Moab.

A partial list of stars that have made movies in Moab
John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Henry Fonda, Lee Marvin,
Rock Hudson, Jimmy Stewart, Richard Boone, Anthony Quinn,
Mickey Rooney, Shirley Temple, Kris Kristofferson, Billy Crystal,
Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman, Bill Murray, Jack Palance, Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Ted Danson, Tom Cruise, and many more.
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