Adventure Articles

5 Fantastic Kid-friendly Hikes in Utah

Stewart Falls

Spring is in the air and everyone is itching to get outside. Why not spend that time exploring with your kiddos some of our favorite, kid-friendly hikes in Utah. There are so many incredible hikes in Utah that it was tough to narrow it down to just five. But these five hikes definitely stand out for our family. Some of these hikes may be close to home and some may take a little bit of driving, but they’ll all be worth it.

Delicate Arch

Location: Arches National Park
Difficulty: Moderate for Kids
Distance: 3 Miles Round Trip
Elevation Gain: 480 Feet

This hike takes you to one of the most iconic sites in Utah, the Delicate Arch. This huge, free-standing arch is truly an amazing site to behold. In addition to the arch, you will pass John Wolfe’s ranch, built in 1898, which kids will love to look at and imagine living in. There is also a fun, little bridge right before some Ute Indian petroglyphs. Our kids enjoyed sitting below the ancient artwork and sketching their own petroglyphs. Cairns, small stacks of rocks used as trail markers, lead the way across the Entrada Sandstone leading to the arch. The sandstone can be slick, so good shoes should be worn, and watch out for potholes! And your reward for 1.5 miles of hiking, a 45-foot tall, sandstone arch.

Notes: Vault toilets are available at the trailhead. This is a shade-free trail so bring hats, long-sleeved shirts, sunscreen, and lots of water.


Taylor Creek Trail

Location: Kolob Canyon in Zion National Park
Difficulty: Moderate for Kids
Distance: 5.4 Miles Round Trip
Elevation Gain: 260 Feet

This little-known hike became a family favorite when we stumbled upon it last year. The trail follows along Taylor Creek and provides plenty of streambed crossings, rock skipping, and water splashing opportunities. You pass by historic cabins, view beautiful waterfalls, and walk through incredible surroundings. It is one of the few places in the world where you can be walking through a forest-type landscape filled with pine trees in the middle of a sandstone desert. It’s not uncommon to see a pine tree and a cactus side by side on this trail. Our kids had fun counting how many times we crossed the small creek (over 20 times both ways!). And at the end of the trail you get to sit in the shady oasis of the Double Arch Alcove where kids can splash in the water and experiment with echoes.

Notes: Toilets are available at the Visitor Center. This trail has lots of shade but plenty of sun too. Make sure to bring water.


Stewart Falls

Location: Uinta National Forest, Theater in the Pines Trailhead
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate for Kids
Distance: 3.6 Miles Round Trip
Elevation Gain: 350 Feet

Hikes are always more fun when the destination is something worth seeing and Stewart Falls definitely is. It’s not everyday you round a corner and face 200-foot cascading waterfalls but this is exactly what happens on the Stewart Falls hike. We love doing this hike in the summer because a majority of the hike is in the shade and there’s a ton of water to play in at the end. In fact, you can even find snow there until pretty late in the year. One year my family made a mini snowman in July! And the trail leading up to the waterfalls is also exciting. Chipmunks and squirrels serenade you through the forest, flowers greet you in the meadows, and clean, crisp mountain air is with you everywhere. It’s one of my favorite hikes.

Notes: Toilets and water facilities are available at the trailhead.


Battle Creek Falls

Location: Battle Creek Canyon
Difficulty: Easy for Kids
Distance: 1.5 Miles Round Trip
Elevation Gain: 450 Feet

I had to include this hike because it’s the perfect beginner hike for small kids. It’s only 1.5 miles round trip and is one of the most exciting hikes around for kids. The trail goes through the forest, following along the river. There are lots of trees that cover the trail with shade for a majority of the hike and there’s always something fun to see along the trail’s edge. Shortly after you cross a sturdy, wooden footbridge, you’ll reach the waterfalls. You can either follow the right fork to the base of the falls or the left fork to get a view of the waterfall from the top. Kids love playing in the water at the base of the falls, I know mine do.

Notes: As always, bring plenty of water. And snacks for the kiddos.


Emerald Pools Trail

Location: Zion National Park
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate for Kids
Distance: 2.2 Miles Round Trip (Upper Pool)
Elevation Gain: 432 Feet

There’s a reason Zion National Park receives thousands of visitors each year and the Emerald Pools Trail is a big part of that. The Emerald Pools Trail is super accessible. It’s paved so that even wheelchair users can visit the popular pools. There are waterfalls, beautiful pools, majestic scenery all around, and fun wildlife. Our kids loved watching frogs in the middle pool and scrambling around huge boulders in view of a waterfall. The different pools and waterfalls make for natural breaks and make this an easy and really fun hike.

Notes: Toilet and water facilities are at Zion Lodge across the street from the trailhead. A lot of this hike is in the sun so make sure to wear sunscreen, hats, etc.

1 Comment

Leave a Comment