We recently went to Moab, Utah to have a family adventure. This included a visit to both Canyonland National Park and Arches National Park. It was a great trip that obviously included some great sites. The boys had so much fun and strapped on their adventure backpacks. They did so great on the long drive to Moab. My oldest actually has a huge issue with motion sickness in the car. He has thrown up on me and held us up on many car rides. We mixed up some motion sickness medication in a small protein shake for him and it worked wonders. We didn’t have any issues on the drive there or back! However, I did a lot of research about what hikes were kid friendly. I know my boys are capable of some longer hikes but if I chose one to long, then it would be the only one we would be able to do. I wanted to be able to really enjoy the couple of days that we had. So, below I have listed the 5 hikes that we chose to do.
We started off in Canyonlands National Park. Whale Rock is obviously a rock; it looks pretty much like a beached whale. The Hike is 1.2 miles, and you make your way to the tail of the whale and pretty much walk straight up the back from tail to head. It got really windy the higher up that we went but the views were amazing! There was a spot almost at the end where there was a big mound of rocks and trees that you had to climb up and over to keep going. This kind of thing is a highlight for my boys. They feel like they are on a playground. I guess they are on nature’s playground, lol. Sorry, that was cheesy! My oldest the rest of the trip talked about Whale Rock and told me it was his favorite of the whole trip.
One of the most iconic spots in Canyonland National Parks is Mesa Arch. It is a nice easy hike (ahem, stroll) that goes in a loop. I LOVE loop hikes! As beautiful as nature is, out and back trails are the same views you saw on the way in. With a loop hike you get to keep enjoying new views from beginning to end. The arch was interesting. It almost seemed as if the arch was a piece of the ground with a gap separating it from the rest of the ground. Most of the other Arches that we saw were more like tall towers. We were able to go sit right at the edge of that gap and peer down to the valley below. My husband is also a huge advocate of loop hikes. He usually gets a little impatient with the pace on the way out. This ended up being one of his favorite ones.
My husband told me that this one was a must do hike. It is the most iconic ones of the entire trip. Lots of people mentioned that steep inclines and cliff edges and I wasn’t sure how it would go. This was my personal favorite of the trip and I’m so glad that we went. There were some pretty steep areas that were more a rock face than a trail. My youngest has such little legs I feel so proud of him when he just keeps plugging along. We made it to the end and the arch was so beautiful. Pictures just don’t do it justice. It’s not just about the arch itself but the entire surrounding area. the ground was shaped like a bowl with the center missing and the arch is perched right at the edge of the bowl. I LOVED this hike and the end result.
We all really love our time at the double arch. Walking right up to these is pretty amazing. When you get right to them, it becomes a huge playground as well. My youngest has very little fear and I had to scramble after him to keep up and make sure he didn’t end up in an unsafe situation. He also loves to choose the hardest path instead of finding the path that makes sense. He got himself all the way up to the center of the arch. I stayed close and kept a good hold on him at the top (there was a drop on the other side). He sat in a little nook that he could be in safely with no risk. My husband was helping my oldest child try to follow and he got really nervous and wanted to go back down. I helped my youngest back down and let my husband climb up on his own. This is where my son started crying, when I asked what was wrong, he said that he really wanted to make it to the top but was scared. So, I told him to look around and find the easiest path to make it up. He picked a path and I stood behind him letting him use my knees as a step here and there. His dad helped pull him up and he was so proud of himself for making it up.
Okay this one I may be slightly cheating by including it. Really it is right next to the parking lot, and you wouldn’t even have to leave the parking lot to see it by any stretch of the imagination. As a homeschooler mom, I have been doing a photography class with my kid. He took the opportunity to take some pictures in different angles.
These kinds of trips can be very kid friendly and still full of adventure. We felt like we ran out of time. We had thought it might be fun to go find some good rock-climbing spots but didn’t fit it in. Have you ever been to Moab Utah? What other active things did you find to do with your kids? Comment and let me know what I should do with the kids next time.