Utah with Kids: Arches National Park.

April 20, 2011 at 10:36 am
We sight Delicate Arch!

We sight Delicate Arch!

The most popular National Park in the Moab area is Arches – and for good reason – it’s small and you can see a lot of it in a day, and it has some incredible hiking.

We spent an afternoon and a morning in the park  – an afternoon,, so that we could hike to Delicate Arch to see the sunset. My guidebook suggested that the hike would be tough, but the kids sailed through it – they loved scrambling up the slickrock and almost raced to the top. We also came across wild hares along the way which added to the excitement. The trail was pretty busy – there were many people with the same idea as us, and we saw lots of kids – some in backpacks, but most hiking as well. Still, its a 3 mile round trip, and so “busy” is relative, as most people it seems want to experience nature from the comfort of their car, and this hike did require some effort. Delicate Arch is fantastic – despite the “crowd”, we could still find spots to be almost on our own. One proviso – I wore adventure sandals, which were fine for the hike, but they just couldn’t keep their grip right at the arch itself. Shoes would have been better.

The following morning we were up early to join the guided hike to the Fiery Furnace. We had booked this immediately on arrival at the park – it’s a very popular hike, and luckily we had three days in the Moab area, so we managed to find a hike that had space for us. The Fiery Furnace is a jumble of canyons that are maze-like, but with a guide it is great fun to explore. The kids loved it, and got on so well with Patrick, our guide, who was incredibly patient and happy to answer any question, even if it came from a 4-year-old!

Hiking the Fiery Furnace

Hiking the Fiery Furnace

Moab itself was fun. The town has some quircky stores, lots of places to eat and many activities. We went on a family raft trip on the Colorado River – quite tame, although Daniel, aged 8, still managed to fall out of the raft and into the river. He was recovered very quickly, but he was quite shocked to have fallen in. I paddled alongside the raft in an inflatable kayak, another option which was available. Altogether an excellent day trip, though without photo’s, as we didn’t want to wet the camera.

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