Things to Do with Kids on a Family Vacation in Moab, Ut
Moab, Utah. Two words that are world renown for hiking, biking, four wheeling, rock climbing, and pretty much anything outdoor oriented that you can think of. When you have a family with small children though, you need to know where to go. The reason why? It’s hot. Like really hot in the summer in Moab. So you need to know some nice, cool, shady places to go. The following things to do and places we found that were amazing for us and our 20 month old. So remember to take it easy, take lots of water and sun screen and have fun!
Moab Swimming Pool – The Moab Swimming Pool is a great place for families to go if they are not too comfortable with taking their little ones out into the wild desert canyons in search of a cool dip. Located in downtown Moab in the middle of a large beautiful park, the swimming pool has a wonderful kids area with small slides, fountains and a wading pool. Just be sure to check the pools website as days and times that the kids area is open varies.
The Rotary Park in Moab is a beautiful oasis that any child will love. It has an amazing musical area made up of various instruments for the kids to bang away on to their heart’s content. There are massive cotton wood trees that provide glorious amounts of shade as well as a covered pavilion. There is a bridge over a creek that connects to a paved trail system that goes right through the middle of town following the course of the creek. A very nice spot to relax and have lunch.
Old City Park is just as the name implies. Locate just outside of town, the park was and is Moab’s very first. Go in the evenings to experience beautiful sunsets and watch the bats start to come out of the hillside on their way to their nightly binge. Bring some bread crumbs and feed the many ducks, geese, and very large fish that call the Old City Park’s pond home.
Mill Creek Canyon – So you and the little ones are ready to tackle some of Moab’s famed red rock and go exploring. Head to Mill Creek Canyon. The canyon is just minutes from downtown and is a very family friendly hike that will leave you in awe. The trail follows Mill Creek and before you know it you have soaring red rock walls on either side of you with cool water and vegetation keeping the famously strong sun off your back. Keep in mind to take the left fork of the canyon to see Native American rock art and a stunning waterfall. Crowds are usually kept to a minimum as this little wonderland is more of a locals hangout.
Negro Bill Canyon is the canyon with a very politically in-correct name. But nothing is in-correct about the stunning red rock and wild beauty that you will find here. Now a little history lesson on the name: Negro Bill Canyon was named after William Granstaff, a black prospector and rancher who grazed his cattle here during the late 1800s. There it is, short and sweet. This canyon hike is a little tougher than Mill Creek, but not by much. Throw your little one in the backpack carrier and off you go on a 2 mile hike that will reward you with the amazing Morning Glory Natural Bridge. At 243 feet it is the sixth largest natural land bridge in the United States.
Moon Flower Canyon is a nice short sandy bottom hike that starts just off of Kane Springs Road. Big trees and Native American rock art are the big draws in this little box canyon. With it being nice and flat, this is perfect for families with small kids.
La Sal Mountains, Oowah lake – Not many places in the world can you go from super hot desert canyons to nice and cool alpine mountain valleys in less than an hour than right here in Moab. The La Sal Mountains are a jewel of an oasis. They loom over Moab with their lofty peaks and just beg for you to come up and cool off. Oowah Lake is a beautiful lake with a funny name. Bring a blanket to sit on, a picnic lunch and maybe a fishing pole and enjoy a day in the mountains.