This is a collaborative post.
Like most of us, I have a niggling urge to see and experience that big, wide world beyond this little island we live on.
We haven’t been lucky enough to travel outside of the UK with Lily yet, or even by ourselves for that matter aside from a sunny trip to Marrakech when I was expecting, but we do have plans, wishes and hopes for our future adventures that include exploring the beauty and wonders of the natural world.
We have recently been considering Utah as somewhere we’d like to take Lily as I’ve been told that it’s fabulous for outdoorsy families like us and I think it could be really educational as she grows up. National Parks, valleys, monuments and natural wonders, there’s so much to discover and we could easily plan our break with flights from around £600 per person and a whole host of rental homes in Utah from approximately $250 per night. To make the most of our trip, I expect that we’d look to stay for around 10 – 14 nights.
If you’re wondering why we’ve taken such a keen interest in Utah, here’s a few of the destinations and experiences we’d be looking to take advantage of…
Zion National Park
This seems to be one of the most popular choices for tourists in Utah with canyons, sandstone cliffs, waterfalls and breathtaking views drawing in travellers from across the world. The red sandstone appears stunning as it runs through the spectrum from a sweet, buttercup yellow to latte brown and rosy pink.
To explore the area, we’d probably do a day-hike following some of the plotted trails and take it fairly easy, especially with Lily by our side or in our arms. We’d marvel at the exotic plants and wildlife, learn about the history of the land and the ancient natives who once walked in our very footsteps and take in the vast landscape around us.
I really enjoyed reading these tips from Walking on Travels who spent a day in Utah’s Zion National Park with her two children aged 2 and 5 years old. It’s a fabulous guide for anybody looking to incorporate a day visit to the park into their family travels.
Nicknamed ‘The Carribean of the Rockies’ for its stunning turquoise colouring, Bear Lake is a natural freshwater lake sitting on the border between Utah and Idaho. It gets its deep blue hue as a result of calcium carbonate deposits in the water and due to its truly unique properties, this 250,000-year-old lake is home to some species of animal that you won’t lay eyes on anywhere else in the world. Isn’t that amazing?
With clean white beaches, we’d build sand-castles and enjoy the warm weather before exploring some of the caves in Bear Lake Valley and tucking into some of the local delicacies at one of the many restaurants and cafes.
There’s so much more to do than just beaches though! Check out this post of ‘things to do at Bear Lake’ from Utah’s Adventure Family for more ideas.
Dinosaur National Monument
We adore dinosaurs in this house so there’s no way we could go to Utah without stopping off at the Dinosaur National Monument is there?
The monument contains more than 800 dinosaur fossil sites that have been embedded in sandstone and river sediment for over 150 million years! The dinosaur fossil beds were originally discovered in 1909 by Earl Douglass before being declared a national monument a few years later in 1915.
Our plans would include visiting the Quarry Visitor Centre to see the world famous ‘Wall of Bones’, going on a driving tour to make sure we don’t miss any of the sights and to listen and learn from the Rangers who are, apparently, more than happy to help with any history lessons or questions about the fossils and surrounding area. I think this would probably be our highlight of the entire trip, it sounds absolutely incredible!
I’ve also heard that the Dinosaur National Monument is a fabulous place to go star-gazing with little light pollution allowing visitors to see the stars of the Milky Way galaxy quite clearly with the naked eye and some people have even spotted the International Space Station!
Before travelling, make sure to read this review of the Dinosaur National Monument from Family Travel 411 to give you an idea of what to expect and things to do and see during your visit.
Arches National Park
Another place full of unforgettable views and astounding scenery, Arches National Park is one of the top National Parks in the USA with over 2,000 natural arches catalogued in the area. I’m told the hikes are relatively easy and perfect for families with small children looking to explore and discover the natural beauty of the trails.
I can imagine us gazing up at the rock formations and playing games about what they resemble, stopping to peek at bugs and wildlife, jumping in puddles and making the most of being out in the wilderness.
This helpful guide from Full Suitcase on the best things to do whilst visiting the region with your children is another useful read to aid you when planning your trip and sorting out your itinery.
With the arches hailed as a ‘must-see’ destination and with views ‘that have to be seen to be believed’, I don’t think we could afford to miss this off our list of things to do when visiting Utah.
Have you ever been to Utah? Did you check out any of these natural wonders? Where would you recommend as a must-see destination for those visiting Utah for the first time?