Moab, UT is one of those places that every family should experience. It’s a great town for getting kids outside, for introducing or further nurturing their love of nature. There is absolutely no limit to the adventures a family can have. Hiking, biking, kayking/rafting/SUP’ing, climbing, fishing, 4-Wheeling … the list goes on and on. Visiting Moab is one of those vacations that creates memories that truly last a lifetime!
Moab, Utah, is a top travel destination for a host of reasons.
First, it is an adventure mecca with wild, insane adventures that tests one’s limits, both physically and mentally.
Second, it is full of such beauty that it leaves you breathless. Everything feels more intense because of the stark landscape and the warm red rocks.
And finally, Moab echoes freedom through the canyons. It’s a place kids can run and climb and splash and really truly be kids without the tsk tsk’ing of adults. In fact, if you avoid the parks at their peak hours of operation, you may never ever run into another person EVER.
Moab is truly that vast and that open and our family loves it.
The funny thing is, until our recent trip in late July, we’ve only visited Moab in the early spring or late fall. That way we avoided the heat, which is definitely oppressive and can actually be dangerous, if you are not prepared and don’t plan your days accordingly.
So, to help you enjoy our favorite place year round, here are five epic adventures to take advantage of in the warm summer months!
SUP on Ken’s Lake
Ken’s Lake is not much of a destination in the early spring or late fall because there is little water, but in the summer it is a hopping locals’ spot. The water is a perfect temperature, the beach welcoming to pets and it is the perfect place to cool off in the middle of the day while the heat is blaring down on you. Grab the kids, the SUP’s (Stand Up Paddleboards) the cooler and your fishing poles and hit the lake for an epic day of cool summer fun! Just be sure to throw a PFD (life jacket) on the kids and dogs … while we were there, we had to rescue three separate kids who got in trouble out on the water!
Sunrise Hike to Delicate Arch
There is little that is as good for the soul as a 3 a.m. alarm to ensure a pre-sunrise arrival at Delicat Arch! And I’m NOT a morning person. Kady was hell-bent to hike the three miles in the dark up to the most iconic arch in Arches National Park to experience the sunrise. I’m so grateful I didn’t let my desire for sleep get in the way of possibly the most amazing, soul regenerating experiences of my life. And … that is not me being dramatic! It was incredible. It was beautiful. It was the confirmation I needed that life goes on, that God is there, ever present. And to experience this with Kady and Dan is something I will never forget. If you do anything at all in Arches, do this one thing. The temperature was brilliant, the hike exhilarating and the views make your heart pump hard and fast. A little bonus fact: a 4 a.m. arrival ensures free entry into the park!!
Evening Hike Up Negro Bill
We did this hike mid-day the same day we hiked up to Delicate Arch. It was overkill and extremely hot when factoring in carrying a two year old who would much more have preferred to play with his foam kayaker in the creek. But the creek was our saving grace and if you did this hike either in the morning or after the sun had peaked, it would be perfect! The creek provides a great reprieve from the sun as does the surprising terrain that resembles the rain forest more than a desert. Now, don’t be fooled, there are long treks in the sun, but all told I believe the shade is more prevalent than the sun and add in the creek that you can literally swim in and you have a winner. Plus the beautiful natural bridge at the end is pretty spectacular. Apparently in the spring there is a massive waterfall down the side of the cliff and rarely do you ever miss seeing climbers rappelling the bridge … in fact, Kerry rappelled down in Oct 2014! Pretty cool!
Float the Colorado River
Tube, boogie board, raft, kayak, SUP, float … whatever floats your boat (haha, pun intended), being on the water in the middle of summer in the middle of the day in the desert is where it’s at. There are countless raft companies that you can hook up with for a guided tour or simply grab the flotation device of your choosing and captain your own adventure. There are numerous campgrounds with some pretty sweet beaches as well for a day of relaxation and fun.
The middle of the day is a great time to pile into your air conditioned car and head out to Canyonlands where the views are expansive and the hikes are uber short. The wind tends to blow as well, adding an extra layer of cool. There are shady spots with table that are perfect for a picnic!
Moab is such a family friendly vacation spot. There are literally hundreds of fun free activities that are suitable for children and adults alike. It also offers a totally epic unplugged family vacation! Next spring we plan to bring our mountain bikes as well as our dirt bikes and Jeep and have a totally different experience than this most recent vacation. Moab is special; it has a spiritual effect on just about everyone I know.
You may arrive stressed, beat down by the demands of your daily life and leave completely and thoroughly renewed. It’s unexplainable, really. A Moab vacation is not a luxury vacay. It requires resolve and is utterly exhausting physically. But then maybe, just maybe, that is what our bodies are really craving. Maybe that is what works out the stress?