Moab parks with kids

Old Aug 20, 15, 8:17 am
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Moab parks with kids

A one year old, specifically. I have a tentative plan to visit Arches and Canyonlands for a day each. I know this isn't much time, but we can't do much hiking with a toddler and camping is definitely out.

Is there anything specific we can see at each of those parks with a toddler? Our backup plan is to do a driving tour, but we'd like to do some short hikes. I really have no idea about safety with someone so young or what they are physically capable of though. I'm assuming Delicate Arch is out? Canyonlands seems even more wild, so are we limited to the viewpoints?
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Old Aug 20, 15, 9:41 am
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Planning to do a driving tour, stopping at the pullouts, is important to have as a backup plan when traveling with a young child, if nothing else. At Arches there are lots great pullouts where you can actually see a fair bit from the side of the road. There are also lots of short/easy trails, where a 1/2 mile or mile of fairly level walking takes you to even better views. Canyonlands is tougher because most of the trails are at least a few miles long and traverse rougher terrain.
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Old Aug 20, 15, 10:52 am
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Originally Posted by darthbimmer View Post
Planning to do a driving tour, stopping at the pullouts, is important to have as a backup plan when traveling with a young child, if nothing else. At Arches there are lots great pullouts where you can actually see a fair bit from the side of the road. There are also lots of short/easy trails, where a 1/2 mile or mile of fairly level walking takes you to even better views. Canyonlands is tougher because most of the trails are at least a few miles long and traverse rougher terrain.
So an almost 2 year old can handle 1/2 mile to a mile? I am notoriously bad at distances, but I guess it's something we can easily test with him beforehand.

Is Canyonlands safe for him in a backpack carrier?

I do wish Delicate Arch was a possibility though...
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Old Aug 20, 15, 11:53 am
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Originally Posted by Kate2015 View Post
So an almost 2 year old can handle 1/2 mile to a mile? I am notoriously bad at distances, but I guess it's something we can easily test with him beforehand.

Is Canyonlands safe for him in a backpack carrier?

I do wish Delicate Arch was a possibility though...
A 1 year old likely couldn't make it to Delicate Arch walking on their own, but if you have a secure backpack and are able to carry him up hills etc for 45 minutes or so, it is definitely doable. There are some dropoffs near the end and at the arch itself, so you'll need to have a close watch/hand when he's not in the carrier.

In the Devils Garden area, there are some nice short hikes on safe trails that go to some of the arches (up to Landscape Arch; you won't want to climb beyond that). Sand Dune arch is supposed to be a nice one for kids, fairly close to the road and interesting to see/run around/play at.

Canyonlands has amazing views right from the parking lots in several places; you don't have to hike far if you don't want to. A 1/2 mile roundtrip hike in Canyonlands gets you to Mesa Arch, worth seeing. Again, a backpack carrier would work well, but the trail itself doesn't have major dropoffs or elevation gain (watch out near the arch itself though).

Dead Horse Point is another worthy stop for the views, not sure what non-cliff hiking is available though.
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Old Aug 21, 15, 11:53 am
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Originally Posted by Kate2015 View Post
So an almost 2 year old can handle 1/2 mile to a mile? I am notoriously bad at distances, but I guess it's something we can easily test with him beforehand.
How much of a walk your child can handle really depends on him. In my experience, I wouldn't count on a child that age being able or willing to walk more than about 50' under his own power. I suggested 1/2 mile to 1 mile trails more as an easy option for use with a carrier. Speaking of which....

Is Canyonlands safe for him in a backpack carrier?
I do wish Delicate Arch was a possibility though...
The distance and terrain that are safe to hike with a child backpack really depend on you-- your strength, stamina, balance, nerve, and preparation. I've seen parents with child carriers on the Delicate Arch trail and on trails even tougher than it.
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Old Sep 4, 15, 1:11 pm
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Originally Posted by darthbimmer View Post
The distance and terrain that are safe to hike with a child backpack really depend on you-- your strength, stamina, balance, nerve, and preparation. I've seen parents with child carriers on the Delicate Arch trail and on trails even tougher than it.
Actually, it depends on my husband's stamina and strength. :-)

I think we'll try Delicate Arch and hope my fear of heights doesn't get in the way. Part of the trail looks a little....high.
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