4 Family-Friendly Outdoor Activities You Can Do in Utah


Utah is one of Mother Nature’s most breathtaking playgrounds, brimming with incredible diversity, from canyons and deserts to towering rock formations and nature reserves. The state offers abundant outdoor recreation for family-friendly adventures and infecting little ones with the nature bug. Families can spend their vacation exploring Utah’s enthralling national parks, historic landmarks, indoor entertainment venues, and museums.

Parents eager to combine fun under the sun with interactive learning experiences will find a plethora of suitable outdoor sites. Utah’s Zion National Park and Brye Canyon are treasure troves of hidden natural wonders, rare wildlife, and unique red formations. A river rafting adventure is a must-have experience to strengthen the family bond and instill formidable survival skills.

Utah has so much to offer for outdoorsy families, making it hard to map out a well-rounded itinerary. Covering all the national parks and attractions can prove too ambitious, so we suggest setting priorities. Read on to explore some brilliant family-friendly outdoor recreation you must enjoy on your Utah vacation.

1. Hiking in St. George

St. George, nestled in the Southwest, serves as the gateway to Utah’s spellbinding landscapes, making it the ideal playground for hiking. Surrounded by national parks, limestone rocks, and the desert, St. George offers proximity to the state’s most rewarding trails. The Snow Canyon State Park is nearby, and families can explore a wealth of kid-friendly trails to revel in the wilderness.

We suggest finding a conveniently located vacation rental that offers proximity to the local parks and trails. Imagine waking up well-rested in an independent home and heading out to explore hiking trails starting from your backyard. Families can explore a variety of tastefully appointed house rentals in St. George to experience the comfort of a home away from home.

You may have your heart set on a camping adventure, but returning to a vacation rental offers more comfort and convenience. Given the climate and arid landscape, children will likely have a hard time adjusting to the challenges of camping in the wilderness. A rental near the trails offers the luxury of a hot bath and a comfortable bed to recharge before the next adventure.

The Butterfly Trail is one of St. George’s easiest round trips, covering majestic views and vistas of Snow Canyon. If your family isn’t too tired, we suggest combining this trail with the Lava Flow Trail. Children who love running up and down the hills will love the Petrified Dunes Trail—one of St. George’s most popular and exciting trails.


2. Splash Around at Water Parks

Utah is world-famous for its indoor and outdoor recreation facilities, including entertainment-packed water parks constructed over vast stretches of land. Water parks are an excellent way to cool off and rejuvenate after exhausting your physical energies on the trails. Children adore water slides and pools, and the local parks offer innumerable adult-friendly rides and recreation.

The Arcadia Resort ranks among Utah’s most popular water parks, famous for its gigantic water slide and lazy river. The onsite Clubhouse offers two pool areas, multiple hot tubs, and lounging areas to soak up the sunshine and views.

Splash Summit is another Utah gem, sprawling over 17 acres of state-of-the-art recreation facilities surrounded by verdant mountains. This park is brimming with thrilling entertainment, featuring 15 water slides, a massive wave pool, and multiple onsite eateries.

Families who’d rather spend their time exploring Utah’s natural wonders can head over to Rendezvous Beach. Nestled in the heart of the Bear Lake State Park, Rendezvous Beach is a lesser-known gem, one of Utah’s best family beaches. The azure waters and powdery white sand beckons swimmers and sunbathers to spend an entire day exploring the scenic expanse.

Families can splash around, build sand castles, rent a boat, or test their fishing skills. Rendezvous Beach is well-appointed for camping and sleeping under the stars!

3. Discover Geological Wonders in the Bryce Canyon

Parents eager to entwine learning with outdoor fun must take their children to explore the Bryce Canyon National Park. This adventure is suitable for children over 10, while young ones might find it extremely strenuous. Parents with younger children can join a guided tour to eliminate exhaustion and cover popular attractions.

Bryce Canyon is home to remarkable rock formations like limestone cliffs and hoodoos. The park’s flora, fauna, and geological wonders are unique to Utah’s desert landscape, surrounded by historical landmarks. The park is always crowded with tourists, so don’t worry about venturing into the wild alone.

Hiking the local trails is a must-have experience that will take your breath away, astounding you with unreal beauty. Entering the park is like stepping into an unreal landscape—like a different realm that’s hard to compare with other parks and landscapes. We strongly recommend engaging a guide to learn about the local geology and significance of the diverse formation.

We also urge visitors to watch a sunrise or sunset in the park. Watching the sun’s rays spread across the red rock formations is an unpretentiously gratifying experience you will never forget.

4. An Exhilarating Ziplining Adventure

Utah offers some of the United States’s best ziplining courses with state-of-the-art infrastructure covering breathtaking landscapes and rock formations. Ziplining is an exhilarating way to explore natural beauty while flying through the wind. Salt Lake City is the best spot to discover the state’s finest zipline courses covering towering cliffs and lush green valleys.

Screaming Falcon is Utah’s longest zipline course, extending for 3900 feet above the picturesque Rainbow Bay. Parents with children can explore innumerable courses suitable for a variety of age limits and skill levels. Novices will find the local courses and trainers highly supportive while summoning their inner adventure and testing their mettle.

Final Thoughts

Utah has no shortage of rewarding outdoor excursions that lead visitors deep into the heart of the wilderness, surrounded by exalting beauty. Instead of planning an overly ambitious itinerary that will leave you exhausted, we suggest extensive research. Travel vicariously through YouTube travelogues and guides to discover hidden gems and popular attractions.

It’s important to avoid monopolizing the itinerary with experiences you enjoy and get everyone on board with the planning. Be sure to ask your family members, especially children, what they would like to do and see while mapping the itinerary. If you’re traveling with little ones, it’s wise to look into ATV tours and guided sightseeing tours, as hiking can get strenuous.