From a walk past life-sized dinosaurs to rafting the Colorado River, your family trip to Canyonlands and Arches national parks will be full of adventure. With so many things to do in Moab, choose among our favorite seven things to do with family.
1. Delicate Arch
See this iconic arch on a 3-mile roundtrip hike but go really early in the morning to beat the crowds. At 64 feet high and 45 feet wide, it’s Arches National Park’s largest freestanding arch. Along the way, you’ll pass the Wolfe Ranch cabin and Native American petroglyphs. Arrive early to get a parking spot and to avoid heat and crowds.
2. Zip Line Adventure
Get your adrenaline fix at Raven’s Rim Zip Line Adventures. Your day starts when you climb aboard an off-road, four-wheel-drive vehicle to drive to the high desert of Moab. There are six zip lines and a suspension bridge to test just how brave you are.
The office is at 998 N. Main St.; 435-260-0973; ravensrim.com.
3. Raft the Colorado River
See the red rock canyons from a different point of view on a half-day rafting trip on the Daily section of the Colorado River. Gentle rapids make this outing fun for everyone. Kids must be 40 pounds or heavier to go on area river trips.
4. Courthouse Wash
You don’t need to go to a museum to see ancient Native American art. Easily accessible from town, the Courthouse Wash art panel is 19 feet high and 52 feet long.Vandals defaced these drawings in 1980, but archaeologists restored the panels only to discover older drawings behind the white shields held by figures.
Head north on Hwy. 191 and cross the Colorado River Bridge. Drive .5 miles to the parking area.
5. Grandstaff Canyon Trail
For a beautiful hike along a year-round stream, do this 4-mile roundtrip hike to Morning Glory Natural Bridge. Spanning 243 feet, the natural bridge is the nation’s sixth-longest. Avoid the poison ivy near the bridge. This hike is easily accessible from Moab and not far from both Canyonlands and Arches national parks.
Take Hwy. 191 out of Moab and turn right onto Hwy. 128. Drive for three miles. The trailhead will be on your right.
6. See Canyonlands by Night & Day
Catch a rare glimpse of Utah’s incredible red canyons, ancient petroglyphs and towering cliffs when you go on a flat water Colorado River boat tour.
Canyonlands by Night & Day offer a number of trips, but consider the Sunset Jet Boat Tour, a 36-mile roundtrip adventure highlighted by the vibrant colors of desert rocks changing with the sinking sun. Or opt for the longtime classic Canyonlands by Night & Day Sound and Light Show. It’s a laser-free, old-fashioned light show on canyon walls. Dinner is served on both tours in a dining area overlooking the river.
Each trip has limited space, so it’s best to make reservations in advance. Learn more by stopping in at 1861 N. Hwy. 191 or at canyonlandsbynight.com.
7. Moab Giants
Walk among life-sized dinosaurs on Moab Giant’s incredible outdoor walking trail. Or head indoors to the Tracks Museum to learn about fossilized footprints. Both are part of an interactive museum, featuring great exhibits as well as a 3-D movie that covers everything from the Big Bang Theory to the age of the dinosaurs that began 220 million years ago. You also can get your hands dirty and dig up dinosaur bones along the trail outside.
To get to Moab Giants, drive nine miles north of Moab on Hwy. 191. The museum is located at the turnoff for Dead Horse Point State Park and Canyonlands National Park; 435-355-0288; moabgiants.com.
For more information
Moab Visitor Center
125 E Center St, Moab, UT 84532