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Utah Travel Guide
Fast Facts
Historic Interest
Paleo & Archeo
Horseback Riding
Things to Do
Family Travel Tips

Hikers in Arches National Park


Photo by Alfredo De Simone

A Utah vacation is all about the great outdoors. Bizarre geological formations - arches, spires, fins and hoodoos - dot the land. Snowcapped mountains and desert dune fields define the horizon. Rivers cut arresting paths and wind their way across the state. More than 70% of Utah is government property you know. But don't fooled into thinking that a trip with kids is limited to taking in the scenery. In Utah, wildlife roams freely. More than 600 species of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians have been recorded in this western state. What's more, Utah's cultural heritage dates back long before the white man arrived. The Fremont, Anasazi, Ute and Navajo have all called Utah home. Native American Rock Art adorns boulders and stones and pueblo-era architecture graces mesa tops and canyon rims. And the uplift that created Utah's varied landscape also revealed the state's earliest inhabitants: the dinosaur. Utah is a great place to dig for bones. But that's not all. Utah is a recreational paradise in summer, winter, spring and fall. Hiking, biking, climbing, rafting, horseback riding and skiing are but a few of Utah's outdoor activities that kids find fun.
History & Culture
The cultural history of Utah precedes the Mormons by several thousand years. Hunter-gatherers, known as Paleo-Indians, are believed to have ventured into the area we know as Utah at the end of the Ice Age roughly 10,000 years ago. The Archaic culture likely inhabited the area for several months each year collecting wild plants and hunting native animals for several thousand years thereafter. The Fremont and Ancestral Puebloans, known as the Anasazi, arrived sometime between AD 1 and AD 450 and they were the first people to stay all year. When the Freemont and Anasazi moved on in roughly 1250, the Shoshone, Gosiutes, Ute and Paiute Indians moved in. The Navajo and Apache made their way here in the early 1500s yet for another hundred years life went on more or less the same. It wasn't until the arrival of the early Spanish explorers around 1630 that life changed dramatically. The horse created mobility and was instrumental in changing the way the Native Americans lived. And when the Mormon pioneers arrived in 1847 Utah was under the control of Mexico for another year. The U.S. Congress rejected the proposal of great State of Deseret in 1850 creating Utah territory instead. For nearly 50 years the Mormons toiled on and in 1896 Utah became the 45th U.S. state. Copper mining began in 1906, the state capital was complete in 1915 and in 1919 Utah's first National Park was created.
Online maps are a great travel planning resource and a great way to get the kids involved in a family vacation. Use online maps to pinpoint your family travel destination, identify points of interest and plan your itinerary. Get state, county and highway maps. Find city street maps. Map national parks, monuments and rivers.
Books are a great way to introduce younger children to a new adventure and get teens and tweens ready for a family trip. Find recommended reading lists for adults and kids, learn more about the U.S. state of Utah through guidebooks, novels and historical fiction and embark on a different kind of family journey.
Music & Sound
Music is a great way to introduce children to a local culture and embark on a journey through sound. Listen to Native American music from hip-hop to pow wow and storytelling.
Read Utah newspapers online and brush up on Utah current events from politics to economics and sports to entertainment before you depart on a trip with kids. Get Utah news and discover what the locals are reading. Find out what's happening from Salt Lake City to Moab.
Kids' Stuff
Online resources make learning fun. Discover fun facts about Utah. Find trivia about the 45th U.S. state. Discover which Native Americans lived in the state of Utah and map their territories. Learn about the Southern Ute Indians and find out how they differ from the Paiute tribe. But don't limit your inquiry to the history of man. Tune in to geology and discover the earth inside out. Find out what's below the dirt in your backyard and why landforms have funny shapes. You might learn something that you didn't know!
Travel Trivia
The following natural wonder is located in Arizona:
Books for Kids about Utah
Free Travel Journal
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