Utah is well-known for both its skiing and its beautiful redrock. While I most often take part of the former, I merely dabble in the latter. However, there’s no question that more people visit Utah’s National Parks every year than ski on their slopes. The entire Southern half of the state is littered with National Parks and National Monuments with the wonders of redrock in their full glory.
This weekend, a quick trip to Moab with a friend and our 4-yr-old daughters, we found the family-friendly side of Arches National Park.
Sitting just outside Moab, Arches National park is a cozy park with a lot to offer. Around every turn is a spectacle of redrock–from Balanced Rock, The Three Gossips and the Fiery Furnace to the North and South Window Arches, Sand Dune Arch, Landscape Arch and Delicate Arch–with endless possibilities, even with young kids.
This trip was a quick one with strategic hikes to a handful of locations. Though we ended up being spoiled by spotty fall rain showers, we were still able to hit some quick hikes with minimal damage thanks to short trailheads and scenic roads.
Many of the trailheads are located within 1/2 mile of the arches or, in some cases, right on it (as with Balanced Rock). As far as hiking with young kids go, Arches is a great choice. Many of the hikes are easy while still being rewarding. Our 4-yr-olds both enjoyed exploring the sandstone, playing in the sand dunes and other typical 4-yr-old behavior.
In the end, the drive through the Park was well worth it even though we only got out on two actual arch hikes: South Window Arch and Sand Dune Arch. The great thing about Arches is there’s more adventure around every corner with plenty of short hikes or longer hikes for the more adventurous.