7 Family-Friendly Outdoor Activities in Utah
Welcome to Utah!
From stargazing to discovering dinosaur fossils, mountain climbing to dune surfing, your Utah trip will be packed with adventurous memories your family will never forget. Here are seven outdoor activities for your family.
1. The Real Jurassic World
Utah is THE dinosaur state — not only a real life Jurassic World, but also a hotbed of new discoveries nestled among stunning landscapes you have to see to believe. With fossil records of more dinosaur species than any other state and one of the most complete records of prehistoric life anywhere, Utah offers one of the world's largest collections of mounted dinosaur skeletons interspersed among actual discovery sites. Utah’s prehistory is locked in the stone between Arches and Canyonlands national parks. Your can explore multiple dinosaur trackways and stomping grounds in the Moab area.
2. Ready, Set, Geocache!
Utah is your ideal geocaching destination. The state of Utah launched the official Visit Utah GeoTour. Enjoy your next high-tech scavenger hunting adventure among Utah’s spectacular natural wonders and thought-provoking cultural heritage sites and earn your own collectible patches along the way.
3. Hike in Rivers and Surf on Dunes
Few places in the world rival the visual splendor and outdoor playground of Utah’s desert southwest. The Narrows is one of the signature hikes in Zion National Park and can be extended or shortened based on the needs of the group and children's energy levels.
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is another outdoor playground for children and adults. The dunes themselves are great for leaping, sliding, rolling and tumbling down.
4. Trail of the Ancients
Only an hour south of the adventure-rich Moab area, a whole other incredible family journey begins. You'll travel through millennia of human history when driving through these unexpected landscapes and hallowed lands as you uncover evidence of ancient peoples and witness geologic magnificence through the lens of another time.
5. The Mighty 5® National Parks
Follow in the footsteps of Utah's famous family adventure: The Mighty 5® national parks of Southern Utah. Utah's national parks — Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands and Arches — are part of multiple itineraries, but what better way to experience them than in a single, unforgettable vacation?
6. Wild Utah
On quiet early morning drives to Bryce Canyon National Park along the Paunsaugunt Plateau, mule deer graze in the high-alpine environment. Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area is one of the state's best areas for wildlife viewing, including magnificent bighorn sheep — an animal that is also quite impressive when spotted against the red rock landscapes of Southern Utah. In total, more than 600 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish reside among the extremes of Utah’s varied landscapes and climates.
7. Dark Sky and Endless Wonder
Explorations in science and astronomy also begin in Salt Lake, thanks to the innovative and family-friendly Clark Planetarium, a hub for Utah astronomy. The Planetarium will engage your family in the science of outer space, just in time for visits to stunning Utah landscapes removed from the city lights where you can apply your knowledge to the brilliantly shining stars above.
After the sun sets on Utah's alpine mountains or red rock, the visual splendor continues in the form of star-filled night skies. The International Dark Sky Association has recognized several of Utah's parks for their minimal to zero light pollution.