what's the best place to do this near Moab?
Oh gosh, anyplace away from Moab proper. The Needles area would be my first suggestion! Are you looking to camp somewhere? or just drive somewhere, park and gaze?
The skies in that area are super, super dark. Get set up well before sunset for the best experience. See if either National Park or if Dead Horse Point are having a telescope set up, they sometimes do that in the summer months on new moon nights.
If you'd like specific locations, give us a better idea of what you're seeking.
*Pixie*Edited: 20 June 2018, 19:38
Goblin Valley State Park is on the dark sky registry as one of the darkest placed on earth. From there you can see the entire Milky Way.
It’s about 2 hours from Moab, but well worth the trip. If star-gazing is your aim I recommend getting there at least a few hours before dark, because the goblins will amaze you. Check with the park for hours, though, I’m not sure if they turn people away at the gate after a certain hour.Edited: 16 July 2018, 06:38
Honestly, you could do this literally anywhere outside of the city of Moab proper. Arches is nice as you can do it around some of the arches or other rock formations with very civilized access. Do look at lunar tables as the moon can wash things out. Best time is around the new moon.