Family Friendly Activities in Utah's Canyon Country

Jody Vandergriff

Utah’s Canyon Country is home to many, wonderful destinations and experiences. From wide-open spaces to historic neighborhoods, please remember to #RecreateResponsibly. When you visit, follow Leave No Trace and Visit With Respect principles so everyone can have the opportunity for years to come to visit these amazing sights.

Tags: Adventure, Family Friendly, Outdoors, Roadtripping

  • Monument Valley, United States

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  • Goulding's Lodge | Monument Valley in Oljato-Monument Valley, United States

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    • chiefseeker

      While in Monument Valley, be sure to stop by the Stagecoach Restaurant at Goulding’s Lodge for one of their delicious Navajo Tacos.

  • Goosenecks State Park in Mexican Hat, United States

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      Often mistaken for Horseshoe Bend on the Colorado River, at Goosenecks State Park the San Juan River twists and turns through sinuous ‘goosenecks’ as it flows toward Lake Powell traveling over 6 miles (9.66 km), while it advances to the west only 1 mile (1.61 km). The overlook provides a breathtaking bird’s-eye view of the river 1,000 feet (304.8 m) below, and kids will love trying to spot rafters & kayakers making their way through the largest entrenched river meander in North America!

  • Bluff Fort in Bluff, United States

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      No trip to Bluff is complete without a visit to the Bluff Fort, where kids can don period clothing and try their hand at roping wooden cows, pulling handcarts, and panning for gold. Stroll the grounds and visit each cabin to hear stories of the families who were part of the Hole in the Rock expedition, and who settled in Bluff in the late 1800s. Enjoy some soft-serve ice cream in the Co-op Store, or buy some fresh baked cookies and Bluff Fort Root Beer to take with you on your way to your next adventure!

  • Natural Bridges National Monument, United States

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    • chiefseeker

      Geared toward kids ages 4 yrs and up, the Jr. Ranger booklet at Natural Bridges National Monument is one of the best in Utah! And your kids will have no problem completing it in this small 7,636 acre (30.90 square km) monument. With a short 8-mile (12.87 km) loop road taking you through the heart of the monument, it’s easy to get up close and personal with all 3 bridges: Owachomo, Kachina, and Sipapu. Whether you check out the bridges from the overlooks, or take the short hikes down to each, Natural Bridges may very well be the highlight of your family’s trip to Utah’s Canyon Country!

  • Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum, United States

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    • chiefseeker

      Another must-see in Blanding, for both kids and adults, is Edge of the Cedars State Park. This park is made up of three parts; a world-class museum that houses the largest collection of Ancestral Puebloan Artifacts in the Four Corners area, a one-thousand year old Puebloan Village site located behind the museum, and the facility is also a federal repository housing artifacts from the area, as well as other parts of the country. Kids will love climbing the ladder down into the kiva located behind the museum, as well as stacking 'stones' to build their own walls in the replica Puebloan dwelling located inside the museum.

  • The Dinosaur Museum, United States

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      Open mid-April through mid-October each year, The Dinosaur Museum features exhibits including: skeletons, fossilized skin, eggs, footprints, and sculptures of dinosaurs from the Four Corners region and throughout the world. The highlight of the museum is the 14-foot (4.27 m) tall Therizinosaurus, a towering feathered dinosaur with a 20-foot (60.96 m) wingspan, that dominates the special exhibits room. Visitors may be surprised by the museum's huge collection of dinosaur movie posters from around the world. (Makes sense once you learn that the founders of the museum got their start sculpting dinosaurs for the motion picture industry!) The Dinosaur Museum in Blanding is a true hidden gem, and is sure to capture the attention and imagination of dinosaur lovers of all ages!

  • Cave Springs Trailhead in Moab, United States

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    • chiefseeker

      At only .6 miles (.97 km), this short loop trail is a great hike for kids. The trail first takes you past an old cowboy camp nestled in an alcove with tables, dishes, a cookstove, and many other items still in place. As you continue down the trail you’ll come to Cave Spring, which is one of the few year-round water sources in the area. If you look closely, a smoke blackened ceiling and pictographs confirm that this area was used by the Ancestral Puebloans long before the cowboys came along. After passing Cave Spring, two ladders take you up onto the slickrock above and provide you with amazing panoramic views of the Needles Rock formations, North and South Six-Shooter Peaks in Indian Creek, and the Abajo and La Sal Mountains. This hike provides a great opportunity for kids to learn first-hand about the history of Canyonlands.

  • Nations of the Four Corners Cultural Center, United States

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      Nations of the Four Corners is a network of trails and an interpretive cultural area made up of sites representing the different groups that contributed to the history of this area; Ute, Navajo, Hispanic, and Pioneer. It sits right on the west edge of Blanding making it very convenient to visit as you’re just passing through, or even as an evening outing if you’re spending the night in town. In addition to the structures, there are a couple of archaeological sites along the trails, as well as an arch (Prayer Arch) and a natural bridge! (Nations Natural Bridge) Since it’s a network of trails, you can make your outing any length you want, from just a quick 10-15 minute stop, all the way up to a 5-6 mile (8.05-9.66 km) round-trip hike if you hike all the way out to Nations Natural Bridge and Five Kiva Pueblo (You can also access these sites by vehicle from the south end of town). As you visit the structures representing each of the groups, it offers a great opportunity for kids to learn about the diverse cultural history of southeast Utah. And be sure to visit the observation tower in the center of the site for spectacular views on the surrounding countryside!

  • Pothole Point Trailhead, United States

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      Pothole Point is another great hike for kids in the Needles District of Canyonlands. Again, at only .6 miles (.97 km), there’s no time for kids to get bored on this hike, especially if you go after an early spring or late summer rain when the potholes are full of water and creatures such as Fairy Shrimp, Beetle larvae, Tadpoles, Snails, and Tadpole Shrimp. Since water never lasts long in the desert, the potholes provide a great opportunity for learning about the lifecycle and adaptations of these desert dwelling organisms. For children ages 5 and up, there’s also the Junior Ranger Program that they can complete to earn a special Junior Ranger Badge! Just pick up a booklet at the Visitor Center when you arrive!

  • Canyon Country Discovery Center, United States

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      Canyon Country Discovery Center is a science and nature center, with indoor and outdoor learning stations. Developed for culturally diverse audiences, the facility allows children and adults to explore and discover the natural history and landscapes, people and places, land use and energy, astronomy, water, and climate of the Colorado Plateau. The center also houses a rock-climbing wall, nature playscape out front, and numerous walking trails on the campus grounds.