History of Moab, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)

Moab is the county seat of Grand County and a regional center of southeastern Utah. It is located near the east bank of the Colorado River on the west side of the 12,500-foot-high La Sal Mountains in a valley fifteen miles long and three miles wide within the heart of the Colorado Plateau. Known variously as Grand Valley, Spanish Valley, and Mormon Fort, the biblical name Moab was adopted in 1880 when a mail route was established between Salina, Utah, and Ouray, Colorado. The first permanent settlers arrived in 1878-79; but before that date Native Americans, including the Sabuagana Utes, had long occupied the valley and used the nearby crossing of the Colorado River.

Even before settlement, the Moab area had a long and colorful history. Late in 1765 Juan Maria Antonio de Rivera reached the Moab area with an expedition sent north from New Mexico to reconnoiter the land on both sides of the Colorado River. Although other New Mexican traders probably used the crossing, their travels have gone unrecorded, and it is not until 1830, when the Spanish Trail was opened between Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Los Angeles, California, that the river crossing became of great significance.

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