Visiting Utah National Parks With Kids

Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Utah National Parks with kids. Use our tips to plan an amazing itinerary full of family-friendly activities!

We live just hours away from all five Utah National Parks so we’ve been able to visit often, and during every season. There are a variety of things to do with kids year-round at each park.

Utah National Parks with Kids

From the canyons of Zion to the red rocks of Arches, Utah’s National Parks offer incredible landscapes and activities for all ages like hiking, horseback riding, stargazing, and more! 

Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly hike or an educational tour, you’ll find plenty of opportunities in these awe-inspiring parks.

Depending on the time you visit, be sure to reference our packing list for Utah National Parks and get the free printable by clicking the graphic below!

Utah National Parks packing lists
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A Photo Tour of Utah National Parks

Take a visual tour through all five Utah National Parks to see the stunning landscapes you’ll see when you visit!

Visiting Utah National Parks Weather

All five Utah National Parks are open 24/7, 365 days of the year. You’ll need to pay an entry fee at all the parks, or use your National Parks Pass!

It’s important to check the NPS website for each park to know the current requirements regarding additional timed entry tickets, hiking permits, campground reservations, etc. for the time you plan to visit.

Utah National Parks Seasons and Weather

Deciding the best time to visit Utah National Parks depends on the activities you want to do.

You’ll find different Utah National Parks activities in the winter compared to the things you can do in the spring, summer, and fall seasons.

It’s helpful to know the weather, temperature, services and things you can do at each park throughout the year:

Utah National Parks Activities With Kids

There are fun way to get the kids excited before, during and after the trip with National Park activities:

Passport booklets are “usually” available at the park visitor centers, but we recommend you get the passport book before the trip, just in case!! We’ve seen sad kiddos when a visitor center is out of passport books. Rangers can stamp a piece of paper, but it’s not just the same experience!

All five parks have family-friendly activities. Here’s a summary of the things you can do. We’ll detail specific activities for each National Park below.

Hiking in Utah National Parks – this is one of the best ways to see the natural beauty of the landscape in these areas. All five parks have easy, family-friendly trails that we’ll detail below.

Scenic Drives in Utah National Parks – enjoy some of the best scenic drives in America. All five parks have a road to explore the various points of interest with things to see, do and photograph at each stop.

A fun way to entertain the kids while exploring the scenic drives is using the Utah National Parks GuideAlong App! You’ll hear fascinating behind-the scenes stories, local tips, and directions that play automatically as you drive, based on your GPS location. It’s like having a park ranger in the car with you!

Utah National Parks Tours – there are a variety of family tour ideas available at all five parks: guided hikes, canyoneering, horseback riding, river rafting, and off-road experiences!

Arches National Park with kids

Arches National Park With Kids

From April through October you’ll need an Arches National Park Time Entry Ticket. Timed entry tickets will be required from 7 am to 4 pm.

You CAN visit Arches without a ticket as long as you enter the park before or after those times, which are the best times of day for Arches National Park photography anyway!

Check out all the activities you can do at Arches National Park with kids:

Visiting Bryce Canyon with kids

Bryce Canyon National Park With Kids

Because Bryce Canyon has a high-elevation climate, weather conditions can be extremely variable throughout spring, fall and winter. There can be temporary road closures due to heavy snowfall or other significant, inclement weather.

Check out all the activities you can do at Bryce Canyon with kids:

travel tips for visiting Canyonlands with kids

Canyonlands National Park With Kids

You’ll find different things to do at Canyonlands Island in the Sky vs Needles. Island in the Sky is the most accessible and best to visit with kids.

There is no gas, food, or lodging (only campgrounds) at Canyonlands National Park so pack water, food, and proper clothing so you can be self-reliant.

Here’s a list of things to do at Canyonlands National Park with kids:

Capitol Reef National Park with kids

Capitol Reef National Park With Kids

Located in south-central Utah, you’ll see a landscape filled with cliffs, canyons, domes, and bridges. Capitol Reef has unique seasonal things to do with kids like picking fresh fruit in the orchards and enjoying homemade treats at the Gifford House.

Here’s a list of activities to at Capitol Reef National Park with kids:

Zion National Park with kids

Zion National Park With Kids

Zion National Park is the most visited Utah National Park so be prepared for crowds in the spring, summer, fall, and winter between Christmas and New Year’s. During these times, Zion Canyon is only accessible by using the Zion National Park Shuttle.

There are a variety things to do at Zion National Park with kids:

Utah Travel Guides & Maps

Utah guides and maps
US National Parks Facts Activity Pack 63 page printable

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