6 Best Family Hikes in Moab

Brandon O. - Pro SifterMay 28, 2020

M oab has many beautiful, amazing hikes. But which ones are best for families with young children? When we were searching online, we couldn’t find many recommendations. This list features the top kid friendly hikes based on the type of trail, the length, and ultimately how scenic the hike is.

????  Credits: BLM, Jaime Callister, Brad Jill, Rebecca Hunt-Foster, Flickr User mcdlttx

6. Mill Canyon Dinosaur Bone Trail

Distance
0.25 miles

Duration
10 mn – 20 mn

Elevation Gain
50 feet

Route Type
Out & Back

Do your kids love dinos? This trail allows your children to view fossils in nature, outside of a museum. There are numerous markers to educate you on the Jurassic rock strata, bones, fossil wood, and dinosaur tracks. You’ll find remnants of Allosaurus, Stegosaurus, and others. There are also no guard rails or barriers around the bones, so please be respectful. Near the bottom of the trail is the original halfway station for the shuttered pony express. Super easy, super fun, and educational!

Contributor: Jaime Callister

How to get there

Travel north on 191 (towards I-70) and take the left turn marked Mill Canyon Road. Follow the main trail (grated dirt road, most vehicles can do it) you’ll see signs marking the main road to the trailhead. It’s about 10-15 minutes once you leave the highway. There’s picnic areas back in there and some designated camping as well.

????  Credits: Siftey and BLM

5. Grandstaff Canyon & Morning Glory Arch

Distance
4.3 miles

Duration
2 hrs – 3 hrs

Elevation Gain
387 feet

Route Type
Out & Back

This is one of the best hikes with water in all of Moab and great for summer months! Dogs are also allowed on leash. Previously known as Negro Bill Canyon, the trail was recently changed to Grandstaff Canyon to honor William Grandstaff, the African American prospector that settled Moab in 1877.

The Grandstaff trail follows a winding canyon. You’ll approach a stream within the first quarter of the hike, with frequent creek crossings. Small fish, crawfish, and toads live in the water. The canyon offers shade on and off during the hike, with the most cover at the end. There is little elevation gain. Follow the creek to the stunning Morning Glory arch. It’s the sixth-longest natural bridge spanning 243 feet. It features a perennial spring seeping out of the slick rock. You’ll also frequently spot people repelling from this arch but consider observing it from a distance with your kids. Due to the spring, poison ivy grows near the walls at Morning Glory. As long as you don’t touch the shiny green leaves, that grow in clusters of three, you’re sure to have a great time!

How to get there

Head north from Moab until you see the Colorado River, then turn right. Follow US 191 N for 3.1 miles until you see the Grandstaff Canyon parking lot on your right.

4. Devil’s Garden to Pine Tree and Tunnel Arch 

Distance
0.9 miles

Duration
15 mn – 30 mn

Elevation Gain
190 feet

Route Type
Out & Back

Aside from Delicate Arch, Devil’s Garden is the second most popular trail system in all of Arches National Park. The first part of the hike, to Pine Tree or Tunnel Arch, is short and kid-friendly. In fact, you’ll find a sand dune right after the opening walls in a slot canyon and additional small dunes underneath Pinetree Arch. These are great spots for kids to play. You will follow a primitive trail that goes in and out of hardpacked dirt and loose sand. When you get 0.3 miles in, follow the signs, and take your first right. That will lead down a small hill, with Tunnel Arch approaching quickly on your right. From there, follow the trail northwest to Pinetree Arch for an additional 0.2 miles. 

If you find yourself wanting to hike more, there are several more arches within Devil’s Garden. Landscape Arch and Double-O Arch are among the most popular. The Landscape Arch will add an extra mile to your hike each way. Double-O arch is an additional two miles from Landscape Arch. However, Double-O is unsafe for small children. It involves scrambling on a ridge with sharp drops.

How to get there

Go to Arches National Park and follow the signs to Devil’s Garden. It’s located on the north end of the park. Begin the hike by walking through the first gorge. From there you’ll follow a hard-packed dirt trail until you see signs for four different arches.

3. Park Avenue

Distance
1-2 miles

Duration
30 mn – 2 hrs

Elevation Gain
40 – 298 feet

Route Type
Out & Back / Shuttle

This is the first stop at Arches National Park but often the most overlooked. When it comes to scenery, you’ll be hard-pressed to match its splendor! On the trail, we passed several families with young children and seniors admiring the sheer pinnacles and cliff walls. This trail descends down a primitive dirt trail and stone steps into a canyon wash. Some sections are sandy or rocky. From there you’ll follow a dry bed to the Courthouse Towers parking lot. If you prefer not to hike back up the hill, you can shuttle a car to and from the Park Avenue and Courthouse Towers parking lot. 

Important Note: This hike is exposed to the sun and there is limited shade during the day. Come during the morning or in the evening when the weather is cooler to avoid the heat and the crowds!

How to get there

Go to Arches National Park and follow the signs to Park Avenue. It’s located 3.5 miles or 7 minutes from the visitor center. Park in the parking lot and then descend down the trail.

2. Window Loop and Turret Arch Trail

Distance
0.5 – 1.2 miles

Duration
10 – 45 mn

Elevation Gain
170 feet

Route Type
Loop

On the adjacent parking lot from the Double Arch Trail, the Window Loop and Turret Arch trails feature a wide, hard-packed trail with steps leading to three arches. Our toddler was able to walk the entire trail himself. In the beginning take a left, at the first intersection, to go straight to the Window Arches (two arches). Once you’re finished, take the trail near the top of the ridge to Turret arch. It will give you a great view of the two Windows and allow you to explore Turret. You also have the option of taking a primitive trail, but you get diminishing returns on the views. 

Important Note: This hike is exposed to the sun and there is limited shade.

How to get there

Head to Arches National Park, staying on the main road until it splits, then take your exit to the right towards the Double Arch trail. The Window Arches parking sits directly across from the Double Arch parking.

1. Double Arch Trail

Distance
0.5 miles

Duration
10 – 30 mn

Elevation Gain
32 feet

Route Type
Out & Back

Why see just one arch when you can see two in one? The beauty is breathtaking, and the trail is perfect for younger kids. This short trail features a hard-packed sandy path to the arches. It’s not much of a hike for adults (2 to 5-minute walk), but it’s a great option if you want to let the little tikes run along the path or stop to play in the sand. Once you get to the arch itself, it’s an optional short scramble to the top. Depending on the age, you may need to carry or help your child climb if you want to sit under the arch and enjoy the views looking out. 

Important Note: This hike is exposed to the sun and there is limited shade.

How to get there

Head to Arches National Park, staying on the main road until it splits, then take the exit on the right towards the Double Arch trail. The parking area has access to multiple trails, including Window Arch. Park on the north-western side for the Double Arch trailhead.

Outdoor essentials

Stay nearby



Booking.com

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.