If you’ve never been to Utah, it’s definitely worth the trip as it is beautiful and there are a bounty of things to do. The Moab area is definitely no exception, as it has a lot of great adventures that are very family-accessible.
Here, I’ll take you through 8 Fantastic Family Finds, with our words and images that the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation used as a “take over” on their official Instagram Feed! (Woot woot!) So, in no particular order of awesomeness… ?
In this image, nothing beats #tentlife and #vanlife in a beautiful Bureau of Land Management maintained first come, first serve campsite along Moab’s famous River Road. The best part about this site? With the river to the front, and cliffs behind, there were great views, no matter which way you turn! Oh, and shade, for happily resting out of the hot afternoon sun! Come early to claim your homestead, as the campsites along Hwy 128, especially those closer to town, fill up very early in the day.
7. A New Beauty
For many who come from lush and green lands (like me, a child of the Wisconsin Northwoods), a journey into the landscape around Moab feels *really* stark initially. Sharp cliffs and imposing cracked lines. Bright sun and hard shadows. Naked rocks with gaunt scrubby trees. It isn’t until you slow down and look around that the beauty hits you. Like this tough juniper tree in Arches National Park… A quick glance dismisses it’s gnarled and worn limbs, but a pause notices it’s graceful arc giving a nod to Landscape Arch, it’s stately neighbor.
6. Family-Friending Hiking
So the thing about Arches National Park is that while, yes, you can see some great things from the car (Balanced Rock , Park Avenue as gorgeous examples), the magic happens when you get out and go for a walk (or a hop or a skip or a jump!!!).
For adventurers of various ages, the Devil’s Garden trail is a goldmine, and create countless opportunities for family adventure portraits. And with us joining you as a concierge adventure travel photographer, you can focus on keeping up, and, on keeping your attention on the excitement and beauty that abounds!
Within a ~.9 mile walk out & back to Landscape Arch , beautiful views rule, and short spurs (think a 5-7 minute walk) off the main trail take you to several more beautiful arches. And, the trail continuing on just beyond Landscape’s main viewing area gives a fun sample of Moab’s famous slickrock sandstone to practice your inner mountain goat! The trail in the Devil’s Garden, though, is smooth and wide, and truly accessible to all ability levels. In the summer, don’t forget your water—happily, there’s a spout at the trail head!
5. You’ll Let Me Drive That?!
The ways to go explore Moab’s beautiful surrounds are very diverse! Off-road 4×4 utility vehicles of all sizes are a popular way to get off the grid here… A guided ,4 hour tour can shift the normal, “people-powered” method of travel, and put it behind the steering wheel of a Polaris Razor UTV “machine”.Crawling up steep inclines, bouncing over “whoop-de-whoop” rollers, and climbing over baby boulders, the adventure featured a surprising -and impressive!- stop at the dinosaur tracks at Mill Canyon Dinosaur Track site, and a walk out onto the stunning Gemini Bridges.A successful journey, and, a truly fun and exciting way to see more of this beautiful landscape than by leg power alone!
4. On the Water
When it is hot out, have no fear, the mighty Colorado River is cold! And with a half-day rafting tour, you are only a few paddle strokes away from a refreshing dunk and post-rapids float! With family-friendly departures through the Fisher Towers section of the River, many guide outfits will give kids as young as 5 yrs old a taste of the whitewater adventure.
Fun Class II-III rapids (aka “Class ‘Fun!’”), AMAZING scenery, wonderful company, and friendly and capable guides make for a really great experience at the other end of the Moab adventure spectrum! If your group is feeling more adventurous, more burly departures will take you through Westwater Canyon or Cataract Canyon, with bigger water that tips the scales at Class III-IV, or higher, depending on water level. There is something fun for all!
3. As Far as the Eye Can See
If you can’t find something to do in Moab and the surrounds, I might suggest that you haven’t tried hard enough! The beauty of these lands is preserved for our enjoyment, and with the River Road campsites as home base, Arches National Park , Canyonlands National Park , Deadhorse State Park , and LaSal National Forest (just to name a few!) are all within an hour’s drive or less. And that includes LOTS of stops for photos!
Each each of these places has a different feeling and look as the sun travels overhead through the day, so there is really no “bad” time to visit… And, each one is absolutely worth seeing, and create the most striking family adventure portraits, especially with your concierge adventure travel photographer moving quietly around you!
Here, the lowering sun casts dramatic shadows and warm light over the cliff-side hike at Canyonlands National Park.
2. Family Hikes
Water and rock, co-existing. This is the partnership and tension that has created so much beauty in the ever changing landscape in Moab, and, all across Utah. Here, the trail criss-crosses a happy little creek that gives cool refreshment to hot, dusty feet on the beautiful hike up Grandstaff Canyon.You’ll find this ~2.25 mile out + back hike well shaded in the morning, and, again in late afternoon thanks to the beautiful, and often towering, canyon walls. And, though it’s fairly level, the sandy patches and the water crossings keep things fun for adventurers of all ages.
But, don’t turn back before the trail ends! But no spoilers here! You’ll see why… it’s worth the walk! ?
1. Accessible Adventure
Winding down in Salt Lake City before flying back home, the thing that makes Utah so very special is on full display. A modern, growing city and evolving economy, paired with the most beautiful gifts that Mother Nature has to offer. With truly world class recreation of ALL kinds literally out just outside your door, I challenge you to get out there and sample it all. We’ll meet you there, camera in hand, ready for adventure!
Want to hear more about what it’s like to travel with a concierge adventure travel photographer? Email me here for a free FAQ and pricing info!