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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.
Getting There
For many families travel to Utah is likely to be by plane or train. Salt Lake City International Airport is Utah's principal airport with non-stop flights to/from most U.S. locations and service to/from London, Paris and Frankfurt as well as several cities in Canada and Mexico. The much smaller Moab and St. George airports in southeast and southwest Utah respectively offer limited service. Grand Junction's Walker Field Airport in Colorado and McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada are valid alternatives for families travel to the state's southern reaches. Amtrak stops at the following Utah destinations: Green River, Helper, Ogden, Provo, Salt Lake City and St. George.
Getting Around
Utah is the 11th largest U.S. state and aside from a few scenic train trips there is little alternative to the car. For many, travel in Utah is likely to be tantamount to a family road trip.
When to Travel
Altitude and longitude influence precipitation as well as the temperature. Thus Utah's climate can vary greatly from north to south and east to west and within a single region. The mountainous areas in the northwest can receive more than 500 inches of snow in a single winter. In summer, the temperature often exceeds 100°F in the desert south making strenuous outdoor activity difficult during peak heat hours. Run-off from melting snow peaks from April to mid-June.
Health & Safety
Nature and the elements are potential hazards for families intending to make the most of the great outdoors. With its rugged environment, Utah is not a place to venture unprepared. Utah law requires children under 8 years of age or under 57 inches in height be properly secured in a U.S. government approved child safety seat. All children over 8 must buckle up.
Things to Keep in Mind
The climate in Utah varies significantly and the weather can change rapidly. Pack outdoor clothes and plan to dress in layers.
Travel Trivia
Cinque Terre is Italian for:
Books for Kids about Utah
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