Utah is not just an adrenaline junkie’s paradise. When it comes to top family destinations in the United States, Utah is hard to overlook. Home to diverse National Parks, interesting historical sites, and fascinating natural landmarks, Utah has an endless supply of adventure you and your kids can enjoy all year long. With exciting mountain bike trails in the summer, and unmatched pow days in the winter, Utah is a place that will always keep you and your kids on the go.
Check out these top 5 must-try outdoor activities with kids in Utah!
Mountain Biking in Dead Horse State Park in Moab
Everything about Dead Horse State Park spells adventure. From gentle hiking and biking trails to outstanding views, this state park is a Utah family destination you can enjoy without worrying about the crowds!
If you are looking for beginner and kid-friendly mountain bike trails in the Moab area, Dead Horse State Park is the best place to go. It’s also one of the most spectacularly scenic mountain bike rides in the state. Perfect for bike enthusiasts as young as 7 years old, the park features easy-to-follow network trails and short loops that you can combine into one long ride if you so desire. The bike trails have enough technical sections that will make the ride fun and enjoyable for young mountain bike riders, but plenty of options for beginners as well. Don’t forget to bask in the panoramic views of the Colorado River and nearby Canyonlands. Taking photos is definitely a must! TripOutside allows you to check bike rental prices at Moab shops and rent easily online.
Looking for more adventure in Moab? Take on one of the many easy hiking trails in Arches National Park. Kids as young as 5 will love the ranger-led hike through the Fiery Furnace. This section of the park is known for its maze-like trails through spectacular sandstone buttes, ledges and arches.
Rafting the Colorado River in Moab
The Colorado River is a unique adventure, especially for kids. Whether your older kids are looking for big whitewater, or you want a gentle float with the younger kids – the Colorado provides it all! There are plenty of sections of the river that boast gentler rapids that make rafting in Moab one of the best Utah activities for kids as young as 4 years old!
Rafting the Colorado allows you and your kids to take in the incredible red rock canyons and towers carved by the river over millennia. Experienced guides will take you through family friendly rapids in a stunning landscape. Half day, full day and overnight trips are available, or rent a kayak for a calmwater paddling experience.
Downhill Skiing or Snowboarding in Park City
There’s no shortage of winter family activities in Utah. Home to the famous Utah powder, young and old alike can enjoy the snow to the fullest in Park City.
Ready to introduce your kids to the joy of snowboarding and skiing? Park City Mountain Resorts offers plenty of skiing and snowboarding lesson options for kids as young as 3 with their Kids Signature Ski Program. With small groups, and personalized lessons and instructions, children can enjoy Park City’s wonders in no time.
To ensure you and your kids get the most reliable gear for skiing and snowboarding, check out these rental options at the local shops and book your gear online!
Hike Slot Canyons in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument is an off the beaten path destination, tucked away in southern Utah. This monument has some of the countries’ most astonishing slot canyons – the perfect place for adventurous families who want to explore without the crowds. Most of the Monument is rugged and remote but the scenery is one of a kind.
Hiking the numerous winding slot canyons will be an adventure for all – the kids will enjoy squeezing through the narrow sections, and adults will love the red rock sandstone scenery. Peek-a-Boo and Spooky slot canyons are a popular choice for families with kids able to walk – but not recommended with a toddler on your back because of how narrow it gets!
Another great option is the Escalante Natural Bridge hike (3.2 miles), located about 12 miles outside of the town of Escalante. You will discover one of the best parts of the long canyon on this hike, and cross the river several times – always a joy for kids!
Canyoneering Near Zion National Park
Thanks to its slot canyons, canyon pools, and towering rock formations, the area surrounding Zion National Park takes canyoneering to the next level. What better way to enjoy it than with family? Through an exhilarating and adventure-filled canyoneering experience, you and your kids can bond, have fun, and build confidence.
To ensure your safety, book a guided tour. Led by skilled and experienced guides, your family can hike narrow slots, scramble and climb down rock formations, and wade through canyon pools.
Although canyoneering is only recommended for children 12 years and above, younger kids can also be qualified as long as they can keep up with the weight, stamina, and fear factor requirements. If your six year-old can rappel on their own, fearlessly take on canyons, and can endure moving for a period of time, they can usually tag along.
The family adventures you can experience in Utah will make your kids love the outdoors even more. If you’re looking for a destination that rolls making memories and adventures into one, there’s only one place to be – Utah!
Guest Post by Julie Singh, Co-Founder TripOutside.com