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Moab and surrounding area with 6 and 3 1/2 yr old kids

Minneapolis
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Moab and surrounding area with 6 and 3 1/2 yr old kids

Hi,

We're considering a vacation the first week of April to the Moab area. We have 2 boys - 6 and 3 1/2 yrs old and are trying to determine if this is a good trip for them or we should wait a few years. I have a handful of questions...

1) We're considering flying into either Salt Lake City or Grand Junction and flying out of Durango and doing the train ride there. Any suggested itineraries that would be appriopriate for kids that age?

2) We like to bike. Is there realatively easy paths we could do with the kids (on tandem bikes) in the area?

3) What are the must see's? what are hikes the boys could handle?

4) Is the Durango train ride worth it?

5) What type of weather should we expect then?

We're certainly open to any suggestions or possible reroutings anyone has. Thanks for the help!

Kipling. SK
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for Zion National Park
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1. Re: Moab and surrounding area with 6 and 3 1/2 yr old kids

Sorry, I can't help you with ideas in SLC or Colorado, but can give you some ideas for Moab. I will effectively bump you back up.

The Moab Canyon pathway is a paved bike trail that parallels US 191. It travels from the north side of Moab, up past Arches and towards SR 313, which accesses Canyonlands IITS district. Bike rental shops in Moab can detail the easier rides you can take. Either that, or visit the Moab Information center in the middle of Moab. See www.discovermoab.com for all related ideas in the area.

There are plenty of possible must sees in the Moab area, both in the parks and out of the parks. Much will depend on what you can get to in the days you have, and what activities you plan on doing. In Arches, there are three hikes I like, in addition to the easy balancing rock viewpoint that is an iconic symbol of the park. First one is Double Arch, found in the windows section, which involves a short walk from its own parking lot. Second one is Landscape Arch. This one is found in the Devils Garden section, and involves some hiking through sand for most part of a mile one way. You pass by several other arches en route. Third arch is the obvious symbol of Utah, the Delicate Arch. I wouldn't classify this as an easy hike though. To get to it you have to hike up a slickrock slope for well over a mile. I would devote two and a half to three hours for this venture, but it is still a must see.

In Canyonlands IITS district, look for Mesa Arch and Grandview Point. Mesa Arch is a short walk to an impressively perched arch. Be sure to watch the kids closely here. Grandview Point is at the furthest south portion of the park scenic drive. It boasts an impressive overview over the area to the south and east. You can complete the hike here for more views in a westerly direction. Many have talked about the Green River Overlook in the park as well, though I have not seen it personally.

Make sure to see Dead Horse Point while in this area as well, time permitting.

Minneapolis
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2. Re: Moab and surrounding area with 6 and 3 1/2 yr old kids

thanks!

Kipling. SK
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3. Re: Moab and surrounding area with 6 and 3 1/2 yr old kids

Regarding the Durango train ride. I haven't done it, and am only slightly aware of it. I am not sure what kind of response you will get by asking 'is it worth it'.

I guess the first step is to read the reviews, and figure out for yourself if there is some type of pro or con that stands out>> tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g33397-d196…

Second step would be to identify whether or not your kids would enjoy the experience, and also to identify who is supposed to receive the most net benefit from the entire trip. From your kids point of view, I would first wonder what they are getting from visiting the parks at 3 and 6 years. I am sure they will be questioning why they are looking at rocks, and more rocks. Maybe when they are much older and adults themselves will they start to realize the beauty and magnificance of nature. A train ride(hopefully it isn't too long)will likely leave a lasting impression in their young minds. You will see enough arches and rocks to satisfy both you and them.

I am a little more familiar with the grand canyon railroad, though I haven't taken that trip either. It is sometimes recommended to visitors who have already visited the GC a couple of times, and are looking for a new and different perspective. For first time visitors to the Grand Canyon, the railroad may be stated as being a poor use of time and money, and not the proper or most scenic way of experiencing the canyon. Now to apply this principle to your trip, some will say that you do not have enough time at Moab and the places in between While you have not stated a definite time table, this is probably true. In conclusion I would probably structure the trip the way in which your kids would like, and how you see fit. I for sure would not wait a few years.

Moab Utah
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4. Re: Moab and surrounding area with 6 and 3 1/2 yr old kids

SkyWest will start serving Salt Lake City to Moab Utah March 2 2014 and reservations can be made on www.Delta.com, but dropping a rental car from SLC at Durango may be more economical. One way rental from Moab's Enterprise is astronomical.

Other kid ideas: http://www.discovermoab.com/family.htm

Salt Lake City, Utah
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5. Re: Moab and surrounding area with 6 and 3 1/2 yr old kids

We have traveled to Moab many times with kids about the same age and can share what some of their favorite activities/hikes are.

Right outside of the Arches entrance on the west side is a huge sand dune hill. My boys can run and roll down that hill for hours.

Their favorite thing inside Arches is Sand Dune Arch. It's right off of the road, so it's not even a hike really. It's a huge sandbox in between some fins so nice and shaded. We always take our chairs and sit and relax while the boys play with dump trucks, shovels, and buckets. We have easily spent 2-3 hours in just this one spot and then they complain when it's time to leave. We've even gone twice in one day because they have so much fun there. There are also rocks to climb here as well.

Their favorite hike in the Moab area is Negro Bill Canyon. The trailhead is on 128 about three miles up from 191. It's two miles to the Morning Glory Bridge, so four miles roundtrip (if my memory serves me right). We got lucky and arrived when there were people rappelling so they enjoyed watching that. The reason they loved this hike so much was because we crossed the stream a good six or seven times. They loved all of the boulder hopping and the hike kept them very engaged and entertained. We adults loved it because it was mostly shaded among the trees and was really pretty. Just be aware that there is a lot of poison ivy underneath the bridge so keep little hands away from it.

Kipling. SK
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6. Re: Moab and surrounding area with 6 and 3 1/2 yr old kids

If and when you are in the mood for a drive, you can try a couple of the scenic drives. SR128 passes along the Colorado river, and is surrounded by red rock cliffs for a large chunk of the way. This route passes by the fisher tower formations, and the old Dewey Bridge(where you would turn around if you are doing an out and back from Moab) You can check out the museum at Red Cliffs ranch/lodge which is based mostly on films shot in the area.If you are coming from/or to Grand Junction, this is the most scenic route attaching I-40 to Moab.

Another scenic drive is Potash Road, which folows the Colorado to the west of Moab. Along this route you will find the dinosaur prints and some rock art>> http://climb-utah.com/Moab/potash.htm More examples of rock art can be found in the Moab area, and is listed under the family section provided by Visitmoabutah above.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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7. Re: Moab and surrounding area with 6 and 3 1/2 yr old kids

In April the Durango train only goes part of the way towards Silverton to Cascade Canyon. This shorter trip will be fun for the kids. Depending on snow levels there may still be sledding in the area. Make sur you check road and weather conditions before leaving Moab.

Hudson Valley
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8. Re: Moab and surrounding area with 6 and 3 1/2 yr old kids

I like nmaw's advice. I think the southwest in general is great for kids because it's a huge sandbox. :) Every day we saw people on that sand hill (first day it was sledding, then it was just sliding down on the sand).

We visited Moab this past Thanksgiving with our six year old. We mostly hiked (both long and short trails - great thing about this area is there a lot you can see close to the road), but one of her favorite things was a visit to the rock and fossil shop at the edge of town. And the Zotz (we can't buy those in stores in the Northeast). It's always the little things kids remember. Forget the magnificent arches and canyons - what about that candy and the shuttle bus? ;-)

Roosevelt, Utah
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9. Re: Moab and surrounding area with 6 and 3 1/2 yr old kids

April will be warm, and cold. Sunny and rainy. It will vary, but don't let that stop you! Even when it snows the place is a magnet for kid stuff.

I'd love to suggest the Mill Creek dinosaur bone hike as a great day activity for kids. Great interpretive trail with lots of running, jumping and playing things to do. Learning something while having fun is never a bad thing! The canyon below the bones seems to go forever and the views are gorgeous. The dinosaur prints are close too if you want to see them. Kids love dinosaurs, you can never go wrong there.

blm.gov/ut/…mill_canyon.html

The suggestions for the sandbox areas in Arches is great! April would be a great time to attempt hiking to Delicate Arch with your kids. It's a doozy of a hike for a 3 yr old but if you take it slow it can be done. It will almost certainly wear them out and you'd get a good nights sleep. (:

We took our kids out to Castle Valley for a bike ride and had an excellent time. The bike traffic was low and the rides were easy enough for tandem.

Negro Bill Canyon is another great suggestion. I also love the Potash Road for a day drive with kids. But my daughters adored Highway 128 and playing in the water near Fisher Towers. That's the place we set up our beach chairs and just hung out and got muddy. Down by the bridge crossing, where the Delores River joins in, there are some great parking areas right on the river.

The Rock Shop Pudgy speaks about is Lin Ottingers Rock Shop, an institution in Moab and one of the best places in town. They'll find something they want there and you'll create a forever memory of their visit for them.

Have an awesome time!

*Pixie*

Edited: 12 January 2014, 17:49
Roosevelt, Utah
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10. Re: Moab and surrounding area with 6 and 3 1/2 yr old kids

I said Mill Creek but meant Mill Canyon. Good think I included a link!! Sorry, those are two entirely different places.

Now that I think about it, add Mill Creek Canyon to my list of suggestions, but only if it's a warm day.

www.ajroadtrips.com/go/t/utah/moab/millcreek

*Pixie*