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Southern Utah with kids

toytacoma8
Explorer
Explorer
We have 8 and 9 year old and plan on doing the grand canyon this spring coming from the north (washington). Would like to spend some time around St George, Zion, Dixie national forest area on the way down. Would like some ideas for kid friendly attractions and rv parks in southern Utah and Northern AZ.

A mix of kid friendly rv parks and more primitive camping with views and hikes right out of the campspot Would be great. Have done Moab and Bryce before so will likely skip those this time.

Pine Valley recreation area also looked pretty nice on the map.

Towing a 24 ft trailer.
Thanks!
13 REPLIES 13

covered_wagon
Explorer
Explorer
toytacoma8 wrote:
Have always done the interstate through idaho and salt lake but have always wondered about going through Nevada...


89 will take you an extra day and the end of it will overheat an automatic trans since it's a very long steep grade before you get to 395.

SteveAE
Explorer
Explorer
agesilaus wrote:
That is a lot of doing for 2 weeks. There isn't much between Kanab and Lake Powell, especially once you get past Jacob Lake. Which is the entry way to the North Rim of the Canyon.


Agree that two weeks isn't a lot of time. I suggest picking one area and focusing just on that rather than trying to "see it all".
Case in point, I could easily spend a month (even a lot more) between Kanab and Page.
Note that Lake Powell is at historically low levels right now which has it's good and bad points. On the bad, it's sort of ugly with a big bathtub ring and lots of mud between you and the water. On the good, there are canyons that haven't been exposed for decades to explore...all be it, somewhat filled with silt, but they are cleaning out.
If you want a couple good books to help research places to explore, I suggest "Photographing the Southwest, volumes 1 and 2" by Laurent Martres.

cptqueeg
Explorer II
Explorer II
We stayed at Mather CG on the south rim in late October, 2022. If you stay there or at the RV park nearby you'll have easy access to the bus which you can use to access hikes of varying lengths that follow the contour of the GC. These are relatively flat hikes compared to climbing to the bottom of the GC.
2024 Chev 3500 CCLB Diesel
Four Wheel Camper Granby Shell

Janss
Explorer
Explorer
If you like more desolate drives, come down through Nevada 🙂

Cedar Breaks Nat'l Monument is in the Dixie Nat'l Forest area. It's like a mini Bryce.

agesilaus described Hwy 89A, which goes from Kanab to Jacob Lake then to Bitter Springs. The more direct route from Kanab to Page/Lake Powell is Hwy 89. And along there is the Toadstools hike (short hike to some cool rock formations) and an interesting dinosaur exhibit at the BLM Big Water Visitors Center.

Top things to do in Page/Lake Powell...Antelope Slot Canyon, smooth water float trip below dam on the Colorado river, walk out to Horseshoe Bend overlook.

If you stay in Flagstaff/Williams, you might want to take a day to drive down through Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona. I think the best way to experience the Grand Canyon is to stay the night in a South Rim campground. More chance to see elk and deer roaming, and sunrise/sunset create beautiful lighting on the canyon walls.

I agree, there is alot to see and do in these parts. You'll have to pick and choose a selection of them to fit into two weeks.
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toytacoma8
Explorer
Explorer
Have always done the interstate through idaho and salt lake but have always wondered about going through Nevada...

cptqueeg
Explorer II
Explorer II
toytacoma8 wrote:
Thanks for all the ideas. We are leaning toward taking 2 weeks in late May, and coming down I-15 and/or hwy 89. Was also thinking of stopping somewhere between Kanaab and Lake Powell and ultimately hitting Williams/Flagstaff for a few days for a visit to the Grand Canyon and the surrounding area.



If it were me I'd take the first opportunity to get off the interstate in Portland Rt26, but I love the empty spaces in OR and NV.
2024 Chev 3500 CCLB Diesel
Four Wheel Camper Granby Shell

agesilaus
Explorer III
Explorer III
That is a lot of doing for 2 weeks. There isn't much between Kanab and Lake Powell, especially once you get past Jacob Lake. Which is the entry way to the North Rim of the Canyon.
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Straightline dual cam hitch
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toytacoma8
Explorer
Explorer
Thanks for all the ideas. We are leaning toward taking 2 weeks in late May, and coming down I-15 and/or hwy 89. Was also thinking of stopping somewhere between Kanaab and Lake Powell and ultimately hitting Williams/Flagstaff for a few days for a visit to the Grand Canyon and the surrounding area.

cptqueeg
Explorer II
Explorer II
On 95 or 93/305 please remember gas stations are few and far btwn. We use the precaution of driving on the top half of the tank.

Good info above, thanks.
2024 Chev 3500 CCLB Diesel
Four Wheel Camper Granby Shell

agesilaus
Explorer III
Explorer III
Coming from Seattle I would certainly try to stop at Lassen Volcanic NP. It's a mini Yellowstone for volcanic features and not much visited. Excellent in park camp. The major negative is that it is in Cali but coming from WA you should be prepared.
Arctic Fox 25Y Travel Trailer
2018 RAM 2500 6.7L 4WD shortbed
Straightline dual cam hitch
400W Solar with Victron controller
Superbumper

RedRollingRoadb
Explorer
Explorer
Your profile says Seattle, is that the start point? Do you have a proposed route yet? I'm asking as you might want a stop or two to let them run and burn off some P&V. How much time do you have?

There is some good sounding water parks in the greater SLC area when I was researching for a similar trip with the grandkids.

I'm sending you a PM.

SteveAE
Explorer
Explorer
So much depends on the season and your intended route, but here are some ideas:
(note that my brain seems to be working from South to North today, so adjust as needed)

A few miles west of Marble Canyon off Hwy 89A then about 2 miles north up House Rock Valley Road, is a Condor Viewing site. A few more miles north on House Rock Valley Road, is a nice hike to some pictographs. If you have a 4x4 and are adventuress, check out White Pocket in the same area. Awesome place, but do use caution (if you try to go to White Pocket), as there can be deep sand in there.
Condors can also sometimes be seen under the bridge and cliffs at Marble Canyon (just park at the visitor center and walk out on the old bridge. Nice NPS CG at Lees Ferry.

A few miles north of Kanab, off the East side of hwy 89, there are Dinosaur Tracks. It's a bit weird parking at a truck stop/weigh station, and then you gotta figure out the trail to the top of the ridge (not marked, but lots of folks have walked there so there is a "route". Up on the ridge you will find the tracks. A little imagination (and some water to lightly spread over the tracks) helps.

A little further to the north and east, Escalante is the best. You could spend a lifetime exploring the region (I have been doing just that). Research Spooky and Peek-a-Boo canyons, check out hike up to Calf Creek falls (don't miss the large picto's), walk along (and in) the river to several arches, lots of petrified wood down the Burr Trail (you can drive it) past Deer Creek CG. Personally, I would stay at the large BLM dispersion camping area about a mile down (south) Hole-in-the-Rock Road when exploring the area or stay at Kodachrome Basin State Park (or one of the several RV parks in the area if that is more your style. Soooo many places to explore here. Much, much, much better than the Big Ditch (Grand Canyon).

I could go on and on, but then you would miss the fun of researching and finding special places for yourself. But these should give you some starting points.

Have fun.

agesilaus
Explorer III
Explorer III
Coral Pink Sand Dunes state park should be a hit with the kids. Zion and Arches can be very hot and very packed. Canyonlands is usually comparatively empty and has boondocking. Dead Horse State Park is another good spot. Lots of boondocking east of Arches.
Escalante has lots of slot canyons and Hole in the Wall. Boondocking in the NF. Kodachrome SP. Bryce not quite as crowded and lots of Boondocking in the surrounding area and two campgrounds inside the park. Much cooler too.
Arctic Fox 25Y Travel Trailer
2018 RAM 2500 6.7L 4WD shortbed
Straightline dual cam hitch
400W Solar with Victron controller
Superbumper