Beyond National Parks

posted in: Family Getaways | 11

Utah is well known for its amazing national parks. There are actually 5 wonderful national parks you can visit : Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Zion National Park. We love to explore national parks but we also love to explore beyond national parks. In this post we will share with you three must see places near Moab, Utah you won’t want to miss.


Nine Mile Canyon

If you want to see ancient rock art up close then this is the best place to see them because there are so many of them throughout this 46 mile long Canyon. You would think that because of the abundant amount of Petroglyphs in one area that this place would be packed with tourist, but it is not. Majority of the time it felt we had this Canyon all to ourselves. Don’t get us wrong we aren’t complaining but we were surprised that such a gem was not being enjoyed by others.

The Fremont and the Ute Native Americans once traveled through this Canyon leaving stories behind on rocks for us. The Big Buffalo site and the Great Hunt panel were our favorites. Did you know that National Geographic magazine wrote about the Great Panel numerous times?

The only down side to Nine Mile Canyon is that the sites are poorly marked. We had a hard time finding all the sites even with the mile markers. Bring lunch and water with you if you plan to come here because it is off the beaten track.

How to get here: 751 E 100 N Price, Utah 84501


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Hands on Learning:

We could not get enough of all the amazing rock art we saw so we decided to draw some of our own. We did not carve them into any rocks, instead we drew them using pastels on coffee stained paper. The best part of this hands on learning experience was the stories my children shared about their rock art pieces.


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Corona Arch

If your looking for a unique hiking experience then this is the hike you want to go on. This is an easy 3 mile round trip hike with ladders to climb and wires to hold onto. You first have to cross a railroad track before you start the trail. 

We have hiked many trails over the years and I would have to say this is one of my favorites. This is a great hike for children because of all the different obstacles on this trail. What child would not like crossing a railroad track, climbing a ladder, holding onto two wires, and stacking rocks? Now all those things I just listed aren’t even the best part. The best part of this hike is the Corona Arch which has an 140 feet by 105 feet opening.

How to get here: This trail is on highway 279, ten miles west of the highway 279/191 junction.


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Dead Horse Point State Park

This state park is so breathtaking. You don’t have to imagine standing 2,000 feet above the Colorado River because here you actually will be doing just that. This state park was probably the most nerve wrecking for me. I was constantly holding my two younger children’s hands and telling them to stand back.  It is hard to feel relaxed with sheer cliffs on all sides of you. I’m a bit scared of heights and adding children to the equation is hard for me but my incredible husband reassured me it would be okay and it really was a magical experience. So many individuals come to Dead Horse Point State Park with their mountain bikes. I’m just glad we weren’t riding bikes near these cliffs.  

There are different hiking trails you can take. We went on the East Rim Trail. This trail starts near the visitors center and is only a short 2.5 mile round trip trail.

How to get here: Nine miles northwest of Moab on US 191 and then 23 miles southwest on Utah 313 to the end of the highway.


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If you could only visit one of the destinations we mentioned, which would it be and why? 

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11 Responses

  1. Breathtaking! I hope to visit these places one day, when Chief gets older. I am way to scared of heights to take him at this age.

    I would love to visit Corona Arch. It sounds like such a fun trail for children. I am sure he would love all the train tracks, climbing a ladder and so much more. It looks stunning and so much fun.

    Your hands on learning, is so fun! How awesome is it to create your own rock art, and have a story to tell. Its great for kids to see that it wasn’t so easy to communicate and leave behind a story many years ago.

  2. Wow, these photos are breath taking. I have travelled a lot with my kids, but have never seen anything like it.

  3. This looks so beautiful! I am adding this to my list of places I would like to travel. 🙂

  4. Absolutely beautiful sights. I hope to visit our west some day and will add Utah to one of the places to be sure to visit. I also loved hearing about the hands on learnin that came with visiting. There truly is no better teacher than traveling and experiencing places first hand. Thanks for sharing! ❤️

  5. These are breathtaking pictures! My family has done all the National Parks in Utah- great to se there are other great places to check out still!

  6. So beautiful. I love Utah and I love National Parks. I can’t wait to go with my family now.

  7. Umm hello gorgeous photos!!! So BEAUTIFUL!

  8. Growing up, we did all kinds of camping, but never too far to the West. I’d love to take my kids out there to experience the beauty of that part of our country!

  9. Those views are amazing! Thanks for sharing. I’d hit Dead Horse Point State Park if we were ever in the area.

  10. I wish I lived near state parks like these. It’s on my bucket list to visit a canyon. The views look amazing!

  11. Gorgeous! And your family is adorable too! I feel like I need to go to Utah soon 🙂

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