Southern Utah is an outdoor lover’s paradise with adventures for everyone. Whether you’re wanting to slide into a tight slot canyon, find a waterfall amidst a desert oasis, scale sandstone cliffs or explore Dr. Seuss-like rock formations this part of the state has it all. While there’s no shortage of “epic” when it comes to hikes in Southern Utah, finding the right ones that you can take your kiddos on can be a little more of a challenge.
Here is a list of our favorite adventure driven hikes around Southern Utah that the kiddos will love and we feel pretty confident that parents will too. ;-)
1. KANARRA FALLS- Kanarraville, UT (Advanced)
A stunning slot canyon where you climb a ladder in the midst of a magical waterfall. Yes, please! This trail is 4.4 miles round trip and about as photogenic as they come with vibrant green trees and stunning slot canyons that will leave you speechless. There is a decent amount of rock scrambling and the beginning of the trail is a bit boring but keep going, it's worth it! If you can make it to the first slot canyon (about 1.5 miles in) with the kiddos I call that a win!
CLICK HERE FOR FULL HIKING DETAILS TO KANARRA FALLS
2. RED REEF TRAIL - Red Cliffs National Reserve (Beginner)
This trail is a fan favorite. It is a short 3-mile round trip hike with very little elevation gain, lots of cool spots for playing and exploring along the trail and the rock climbing rope area near the end makes the hike feel truly adventurous. If you choose to climb the rocks to the upper section with a small child on your back we recommend using a soft carrier. This will keep your center of gravity more even. There is a seasonal waterfall that runs in the spring but this hike is great any time of year.
CLICK HERE FOR FULL HIKING DETAILS TO RED REEF TRAIL
3. CANYON OVERLOOK - East Side, Zion National Park (Intermediate/Begginer)
This family-friendly trail on the east side of Zion features big horn sheep sightings, caves (kinda) and one of the most breathtaking views in the park. It almost feels like cheating to get views like this with such an easy hike. At 1.25 miles round trip, Canyon Overlook is great for families. There is some slight elevation gain. It is important to keep a close eye on the kiddos. This trail has lots of steep drop offs especially at the overlook.
4. YANT FLAT - Dixie National Forest (Intermediate)
The other wordly Yant Flats begins with a short 1.5-mile hike through the woods before reaching open terrain of swirling smooth rock formations that spill out for miles. The landscape can be steep at times, and there are cliffs to be aware of, but the sticky rock will allow kids to adventure across much of the area with a little hand holding from mom & dad. Beware that the road getting out to Yant Flat is an 8-mile bumpy dirt road. It is a pretty intense drive if you are not used to dirt roads.
CLICK HERE FOR FULL HIKING DETAILS TO YANT FLAT
5. WATER CANYON - Cannan Mountain (Advanced)
This hidden gem of a hike located just outside of Hildale, UT has a shallow year-round creek and a rocky waterfall oasis at the end. You can venture on past the waterfall, but this isn’t advised with young kids. At 3.5-miles round trip the trail can be a little more advanced due to the moderate elevation gain and tricky rock scrambling.
6. LOWER PINE CREEK FALLS - Main Canyon, Zion National Park (Intermediate)
Lower Pine Creek Falls is a great trail to get away from the crowds in Zion and also an excellent way to cool off in the heat of the summer. It is a short 1 mile round trip hike to get to the picturesque pond and 15-foot waterfall. It is a true adventure with some stream hopping, boulder climbing and sketchy ledges. Warning, once you get to the waterfall may never want to leave. If you go in the summer bring swimsuits for the kids.
7. KANAB SAND CAVES - Kanab, UT (Intermediate)
The Kanab Sand Caves are located 10 minutes outside of Kanab and is such a fun hike with kids. These man-made caves were used to harvest sand for glass production in the 1970s. Crazy right! The 1/4th mile round trip hike to the caves is easy and family friendly. You will have to scale up a sand stone wall for a very short distance. It can be a bit slippery and difficult for kids and adults. Make sure you have good traction on your shoes. Shoes with good traction are a must! There are steep drop off ledges at the caves so keep a close eye on your kiddos.
CLICK HERE FOR FULL HIKING DETAILS TO THE SAND CAVES
8. Belly Of The Dragon - Orderville, UT (Beginner)
A short hike through a manmade tunnel is the highlight of this unique, family-friendly trail located just 20 miles east of Zion National Park. The cave-like tunnel/Belly of the Dragon was originally created as a water culvert under HWY89 but over time drainage from upper canyon water flow has carved the sandstone walls and created a beautiful rippling tunnel prime for exploring. This is such a great adventure with kids so bring the whole family and have some fun.
9. BABYLON ARCH - Red Cliffs Reserve (Intermediate/Beginner)
Epic views, an epic sandhill, and an epic arch make this trail such a fun adventure with kids. At 2.9 miles round trip, the trail isn't as well marked as some and the arch can be a little hard to find. Take a gps with you to make sure you stay on the trail if this is your first time.
CLICK HERE FOR FULL HIKING DETAILS TO BABYLON ARCH
10. THE NARROWS - Zion National Park (Advanced)
If you are visiting Zion National Park in the summer with kids who love to hike and who love water then The Narrows is a hike that should be at the very top of your list. Such a great way to beat the intense summer heat, The Narrows is an amazing slot canyon hike that will take your breath away around every turn. The full hike is 9 miles round trip but just hike until everyone is ready to turn around.
CLICK HERE FOR OUR TOP 10 TIPS FOR HIKING THE NARROWS WITH KIDS
We hope you have such a great time hiking your way though Zion and Southern Utah.
Happy Adventuring - The Zion Adventure Photog Team